Florafelt Pro System

Luxurious Urban Oasis Fern Walls

Florafelt Pro System Vertical Garden by Tim O'Shea for a San Francisco Residence.

San Francisco's foggy Fillmore district is ideal for grottos of lush ferns that enhance a spa and shower hidden within the plant wall. A total of 2000 plants are growing in three massive living walls throughout the home, the tallest of which towers 25 feet. They transform this luxurious urban home into a natural oasis.

Florafelt Pro System Vertical Garden by Tim O'Shea for a San Francisco Residence.

Rock and Rose worked with landscape architect Tim O'Shea to design these massive vertical gardens. They used the Florafelt Pro System with direction by Chris Bribach of Plants On Walls, system installation by Mike Long of Longevity Construction, and final planting by Michael Bonicci of Showplant Nurseries.

Florafelt Pro System Vertical Garden by Tim O'Shea for a San Francisco Residence.

Tim O'Shea chose a collection of practical yet lush ferns for the cavernous, low-light conditions including Mother, Maidenhair, Bird Nest, and Blue Star ferns. Babytears and Soleirolii provide a variety of textures and colors that grow into a smooth delicate carpet with a subtle wave of contrast from the yellow flowers of Maroon Oxalis.

Florafelt Pro System Vertical Garden by Tim O'Shea for a San Francisco Residence.
Florafelt Pro System Vertical Garden by Tim O'Shea for a San Francisco Residence.

The gardens are maintained monthly by the team at Showplant Nurseries who use tall ladders to keep the living walls manicured to perfection.

Florafelt Pro System Vertical Garden by Tim O'Shea for a San Francisco Residence.

Intern Builds Vertical Garden, Inspires Green Living

Angelica Rocha inherited her grandfather's green thumb to build her first green wall, complete with 50 fish! The minnows form a vital link in her new aquaponics vertical garden at the EcoCenter on San Francisco Bay. This Berkeley student is on a fast track to make the world a lot more green, so meet her now and say you knew her when.

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Just completed in December at the EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park, the 84-pocket living wall is Angelica’s internship triumph. “Kids love it!” she says. “I think the EcoCenter is happy to house such an amazing piece of living space.”

The nutrient-rich water from the fish tank feeds the plants, creating a closed cycle system that is a perfect example of sustainable urban living ─ what the EcoCenter is all about.

Eternally curious, Angelica had experimented at home with vertical gardens. Since she was so interested in them and horticulture, "The EcoCenter project spoke to me,” she says.

Perhaps also because her grandfather and uncles were agriculture and landscaping professionals in Mexico before coming to the U.S. She dove into learning about Plants On Walls and Florafelt, too. “I was amazed at the projects. Each one is absolutely beautiful. I was so impressed, I had to learn more.”

Angelica arrived at the EcoCenter through a course, Applied Research in Sustainability, at City College of San Francisco. She now studies environmental management at UC Berkeley, after earning her bachelor’s degree last year in recreation, parks and tourism administration at San Francisco State University.

An amazing community and education center, the EcoCenter brings sustainable power, water and wastewater systems to life. It’s the first LEED Platinum - Zero Net Energy Building in San Francisco. Here you’ll discover a living roof, rainwater harvesting, constructed wetlands and much more.

Angelica helped run the popular Science Saturday programs that foster public interaction, and gave tours that required deep knowledge of San Francisco's watershed, Eco Center's wastewater treatment, biomimicry, environmental design and local wildlife.

For the aquaponics living wall, Angelica worked with Florafelt CEO Chris Bribach, who advised her at each step. Kids and adults alike had fun root-wrapping the native plants.


Assembly of the Aquaponic Vertical Garden

If you've ever built an Ikea bookcase, the idea is the same: all parts are labeled and ready to assemble.

If you've ever built an Ikea bookcase, the idea is the same: all parts are labeled and ready to assemble.

The patented Grow Bun allows water to reach every plant, wicking moisture into the felt where the roots grow while keeping the front dry and drip-free.

The patented Grow Bun allows water to reach every plant, wicking moisture into the felt where the roots grow while keeping the front dry and drip-free.


“I believe vertical gardens are the best solution for greening the urban environment. They require little space and make a big impact inside and outside,” she says. “They benefit the environment and ourselves ─ improving air quality, reducing particulate level, reducing stress, increasing productivity, and more.

“The EcoCenter is right on the waterfront of San Francisco Bay, one of the most invaded watersheds in the world. I wanted to bring in marsh plants, similar to ones you'd see outside, as a talking point for how our watersheds filter themselves.”

What’s next for this intrepid intern? Big goals, of course: making her mark in green infrastructure and environmental planning, and adding more vertical gardens to the world. She also plans to complete a 20-day hike along the John Muir Trail from Yosemite to Mount Whitney.

 

Six Ways To Scrub Your Air

What’s better than the gift of clean air? Thanks to her unique skills in green building and regenerative design, Amanda Goldberg of Planted Design has the air quality thing down, so breathe easy. Learn more about her vertical gardens, also available for rent, and innovative ideas that combine beauty with healthier air, inside and out.

Amanda Goldberg of Planted Design works with Brandon Pruett of Living Green Design to transform an industrial building into a living facade.

Amanda Goldberg of Planted Design works with Brandon Pruett of Living Green Design to transform an industrial building into a living facade.

Did you know? 70% of the detoxing our bodies need is supplied by breathing (perspiration provides 20%). And yet, dangerous volatile organic compounds released by carpets, copiers, and most any synthetic item in our lives rob us of clean air daily!

“People often don’t think about the VOC gases given off by fresh paint, flooring, carpet and cleaning products,” says Amanda. “More people in a room also raise carbon dioxide levels. Too much CO2 makes us sleepy and causes headaches, nausea and sickness.”

With all those hazardous compounds and carbon dioxide hanging around, Amanda creates living walls that work hard to remove ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and other toxins from the home and workplace. Thanks to photosynthesis, plants also replace toxins with vital oxygen

Amanda’s top plant picks for healthier indoor air

1. Pothos

1. Pothos

2. Orchids

2. Orchids

3. Philodendron

3. Philodendron

4. Snake plant

4. Snake plant

5. Spider plant

5. Spider plant

6. Peace lily

6. Peace lily

Amanda created her first vertical garden while working for Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, helping companies such as Aveda design products for a sustainable economy. Last March, she “took a leap” and started her own business bringing walls to life. She started with an 8x4-foot mobile vertical garden for the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, CA, then installed it in her client's office in Palo Alto, CA.

Pothos Vertical Garden for Go Raw by Amanda Goldberg Planted Design.

Pothos Vertical Garden for Go Raw by Amanda Goldberg Planted Design.

Now her creativity knows no bounds. With her unique custom portable gardens, Amanda is tapping into, and ramping up, the market for living wall rentals – weddings, conferences, photo booths and more. Because these gardens need backlighting, company logos and other special touches, Amanda turns to a whole community of artisans to bring out the best in her projects. As a ceramic artist and  industrial designer who created a “living desk” for her college thesis, perhaps it’s only natural. “I enjoy the collaborative spirit. It inspires and invigorates me," she says.

Partners in design: Amanda and Brandon Pruett from Living Green Design co-created this living wall in San Francisco’s Mission District, turning a sterile heat island into a thriving green oasis.

Florafelt Pro System filled with California Native Species by Amanda Goldberg and Brandon Pruett in San Francisco on 14th Street between Mission and Folsom.

Florafelt Pro System filled with California Native Species by Amanda Goldberg and Brandon Pruett in San Francisco on 14th Street between Mission and Folsom.

Urban Renewal volunteer root-wrapping team led by Amanda Goldberg and Brandon Pruett.

Urban Renewal volunteer root-wrapping team led by Amanda Goldberg and Brandon Pruett.

Amanda says she’s happy with the ease and flexibility of Plants On Walls‘ Florafelt system. “You can put plants in, then exchange them for a different aesthetic as your style changes."

How much is enough? For a 1,800 square foot house, a NASA study recommends 15 to 18 good-sized plants that clean the air and give off oxygen.

Exploring Color and Contrast

Monet would be proud. Living Green Design is a noted San Francisco firm that, in their words, “takes a unique approach to garden design that crosses borders, styles and trends.” Their folks believe strongly that interior design, plantscapes and style should all connect to the exterior garden seamlessly. A vertical garden was an ideal way to incorporate this concept of unified indoor and outdoor living. 

Davis Dalbok, founder and principal designer, and Brandon Pruett, who specializes in creating multi-dimensional vertical living walls, installed a large, 20x10-foot vertical garden at their San Francisco showroom.

They filled the Florafelt system with a vibrant textural feast of ferns, grasses, yellow oxalis and even trees − Japanese maple!

Oxalis is especially versatile when “painting” a vertical garden: besides yellow, the profuse flowers are available in pink, purple and white, and their foliage adds even more color and texture: chartreuse, purple, maroon, silver, purple-black, speckled combos and more.

Oxalis also thrives in part shade and likes well-drained, moist soil. Reliable up to zone 5, the plants can be treated as perennials in warmer climes; they’ll need overwintering inside if grown in climates like the Midwest, or they can be treated as annuals.

Davis says the garden is a hit. “When clients enter, they are so impressed by the diversity of plant material, and the sheer scale, that they almost always begin to figure out how they might incorporate something similar into their home or office. Most of the ambient natural light comes from skylights above, so this  garden provides the perfect opportunity to ‘zone’  the placement of plants in the overall design, demonstrating how one can achieve a successful installation by addressing all of the particulars.” 

Davis Dalbok, Brandon Pruett, Decorator Showcase 2013, Florafelt System

Davis Dalbok, Brandon Pruett, Decorator Showcase 2013, Florafelt System

Plant materials for their showroom were repurposed from the 2013 Decorator Showcase in Pacific Heights San Francisco. Birds of prey was the title of this exhibition that featured grasses and conifers, maples and ferns.

All plants which are not typical to vertical gardening but were a total transformation of this enclosed space to a lush landscape of lore.

Davis Dalbok, Brandon Pruett, Decorator Showcase 2013, Florafelt System

Davis Dalbok, Brandon Pruett, Decorator Showcase 2013, Florafelt System

The Living Green team continues to delight and amaze with their unique vision that delivers an experience to be remembered.

Poolside Theater Vertical Garden

Luxury Pools Magazine features a poolside theater vertical garden filled with succulents designed by Chris Bribach of Plants On Walls using the Florafelt Pro System for a Toll Brother's Jordan Ranch model home in Dublin, California.

Luxury Pools Magazine. Chris Bribach, Plants On Walls. Florafelt Pro Vertical Garden System.

Luxury Pools Magazine. Chris Bribach, Plants On Walls. Florafelt Pro Vertical Garden System.

Living Facade Vertical Garden

Amanda Goldberg of Planted Design worked with Brandon Pruett to create a living facade near 14th and Folsom Street in the Mission District of San Francisco using the Florafelt Pro System.

Amanda Goldberg, Brandon Pruett. Planted Design. Near 14th and Folsom St., San Francisco. Florafelt Pro System.

Brandon Pruett and Amanda Goldberg create a living facade for their client's industrial building near 14th and Folsom Street in San Francisco's Mission District.

This living facade is filled with drought tolerant California natives and contains thousands of plant starts.

Amanda Goldberg, Brandon Pruett. Planted Design. Near 14th and Folsom St., San Francisco. Florafelt Pro System.

The freshly planted vertical garden is already busrting with life and beginning to fill in.

Amanda Goldberg, Brandon Pruett. Planted Design. Near 14th and Folsom St., San Francisco. Florafelt Pro System.

Looking up from the street the industrial facade has been transformed into a lush countryside that offers a habitat for birds and bees.

Amanda Goldberg, Brandon Pruett. Planted Design. Near 14th and Folsom St., San Francisco. Florafelt Pro System.

Brandon leads a team of volunteers to wrap the plants in felt diapers. The root-wrapped plants are set aside and then inserted into the Florafelt System.

Amanda Goldberg, Brandon Pruett. Planted Design. Near 14th and Folsom St., San Francisco. Florafelt Pro System.

The rooftop was the perfect place to prepare the plants for the vertical garden.

Amanda Goldberg, Brandon Pruett. Planted Design. Near 14th and Folsom St., San Francisco. Florafelt Pro System.

Amanda of Planted Design hired Brandon Pruett of Living Green Design to map out the irrigation system that includes copper drain trays that directs runoff to landscape below.

Amanda Goldberg, Brandon Pruett. Planted Design. Near 14th and Folsom St., San Francisco. Florafelt Pro System.

Amanda Goldberg and Brandon Pruett worked together to create a dramatic design that includes a wide variety of color and interest highlighting California natives and drought tolerant species.

Amanda Goldberg, Brandon Pruett. Planted Design. Near 14th and Folsom St., San Francisco. Florafelt Pro System.

First a wire gird is assembled then the Florafelt Grow Strips are woven into it. 

Amanda Goldberg, Brandon Pruett. Planted Design. Near 14th and Folsom St., San Francisco. Florafelt Pro System.

A scissor lift is used to place the root-wrapped plants according to the design grid.

Amanda Goldberg, Brandon Pruett. Planted Design. Near 14th and Folsom St., San Francisco. Florafelt Pro System.

This completed living facade is a landmark installation that will not only transform the neighborhood but soften the urban experience for all.