The better artificial vertical garden companies, like Vista Green in London, advise its not currently possible to predict the long term outcome of artificial vertical gardens within the Australian climate.
Artificial vertical gardens are becoming popular, very fast. Every month gardenbeet.com and verticalgardenonline.com.au receive more inquiries from designers around the world who are trying to reduce the maintenance implications of owning a real life vertical garden.
Designers are actively seeking a real life plastic interpretation of a lush well designed vertical garden.
Europe seems further ahead in this field than Australia.
It is possible to purchase some rather convincing English and European flower mixes from a London based company Vista Green (images above). All their designs are hand finished and exported worldwide. Prices start at 450 GBP per square meter.
Visa Green’s vertical faux gardens can be found in many high profile jobs worldwide. They have not reached Australia, yet.
Eco Vs fuss-free
Corporates want the vertical garden look without the hassle. People are becoming aware of the expense associated with a tip top sparkly shiny vertical garden made from living plants. So now we have the equivalent of a fake-plant-wall-paper being specified by interior designers as well as shop fit out and building companies.
Twelve months ago the same designers were probably specifying eco friendly recycled plastic cladding.
Basically the eco vertical garden trend has begun a sales surge in a very very environmentally unfriendly product – plastic plants!
Cheaper or not?
Quality (but still environmentally questionable) fake vertical gardens are between $900 to $1200 per square meter.
The cost of artificial vertical gardens is a similar cost to the real plant hydroponic solutions (soil based vertical garden solutions tend to be around $450 – $650 per square meter) .
Of course the long term maintenance costs are less for plastic plants. So overall a quality fake indoor vertical garden is cheaper over a 5 year life span than a high end real hydroponic system.
Except when artificial vertical gardens are used outdoors.
The Australian sun is harsh.
It needs to be made very clear – there are ZERO UV stabilised artificial vertical gardens that come with a guaranteed life span.
Vista Green are the only company to date to have their artificial vertical gardens ISO 4892-2:2013 solar weather tested. And Vista Green advise it is not even possible to predict the outcome of their product when exposed to Australia’s sun.
It is commonly accepted amongst the better artificial plant that every 12 months to 3 years the faded plants will need replacing. Disneyland in the USA replaces some of its artificial plants every year. This is a necessary cost to keep an artificial garden looking good.
Fake can be more expensive than the real thing.