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Innovative Urban Gardening on Display at Phipps Conservatory
Vertical Plots Educate Public on Gardening with Restricted Space


Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens uses LiveWall, a vertical garden, to grow a range of vegetables and herbs.

The Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, integrated a vertical garden with LiveWall to promote gardening in urban areas with limited space.

Vertical gardens are upright structures that attach to walls and grow fresh produce. The green walls provide access to vegetables and herbs for those in the community who lack space for garden plots.

"Growing vegetables and herbs on its green wall display is an innovative way for Phipps to demonstrate how families and community groups can grow their own fresh, healthy produce even if they do not have areas for large garden plots," said president of LiveWall Dave Mackenzie.

Phipps is using their green walls to educate the public on how to plan, install, and maintain their own vertical gardens. These walls are a part of Phipps' outreach mission to increase access to produce and promote healthy eating in the community.

"With our green walls, we have the opportunity to study, evaluate and learn about growing edibles on space-efficient vertical gardens," said Michael Bechtel, Phipps Conservatory display horticulturist.

Phipps began testing LiveWall and other green walls in 2015. The conservatory chose LiveWall due to its sustainability, integrated irrigation system, and structural strength.

LiveWall is a patented system that works in both indoor and outdoor environments. The professionals who designed LiveWall also created LiveRoof, a green roof system.

In the spring the walls grew vegetables such as carrots, beets, and kale. Basil, rosemary, and thyme were planted in the summer.

Founded in 1983, the conservatory is a historic public garden that provides a variety of programs to encourage environmental sustainability.

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October 15, 2019, 5:00 am PDT

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