living wall with a drainage gutter to drain small amounts of overflow away from a seating area

Living Wall with a Drainage Gutter

Today we want to share a recent job we did involving a living wall with a drainage gutter.  It’s not normally something that’s necessary, but read on to find out why we needed a gutter for this green wall in Battersea.

The PlantBox system

At Rosewood, we use the PlantBox system to form the structural element of our living walls.  We love PlantBox for many reasons.  One is the fact that it allows us to include automatic irrigation.  The living wall is connected to the water supply on a programmable timer.  This removes the hassle and guesswork of manual watering, as each planting trough receives the appropriate amount of water for the plants it contains.  Of course each individual plant is different.  They all use different amounts of water, so setting the timer is an imperfect science.  No plant should be left thirsty, but we want to avoid a large excess of water filling the reservoirs.  Finding the sweet spot between those things is not easy!

What happens to excess water?

We use our considerable knowledge and experience to set the timer so there’s going to be minimal overflow.  It’s impossible to avoid some, however, or you risk leaving plants parched.  In some circumstances this results in some excess water in the reservoir of the bottom unit.  If this becomes full, it has to go somewhere.  The system designers have this covered, of course.  If it fills up, the reservoir in the lowest unit overflows from a slot in the bottom (in the same way that a bath overflow hole provides an escape if you overfill your bath).  This means that water drains away naturally into the ground as it would when it rains.  Plants don’t get waterlogged – problem solved.

Why a gutter in this case?

In this particular garden, the idea was to create a stunning area to sit and relax, with a soothing backdrop of beautiful plants immediately above the seat.  However, installing the wall in such a position meant that any overflow would make the seat wet, which would spoil things somewhat!  Don’t worry though: Rosewood always finds a solution.  We installed a gutter running along the underneath of the entire living wall.  This then feeds into a separate pipe which goes down into an existing drain.  No water on the seat (unless it’s raining, of course!) even if the reservoir fills up to the point of overflowing.

Other reasons that PlantBox is great

Although nothing to do with the gutter story, we thought you might like to hear some of the other reasons why the PlantBox system is so good.  As well as the automatic irrigation possibilities, customers also like the fact that the units are made from recycled materials.   And these aren’t the only benefits.  PlantBox is a modular system, so we’re able to customise the size to fit the available space.  The stackable troughs allow us to create a vertical garden that fits the required height.  Then we add width by fitting stacks side by side.  Either way, the size becomes very flexible.  Click the link to  Our Systems if you’d like to know more about it.

You might already have considered the idea of having a vertical garden but dismissed it because you thought it might not work for your situation.  However, the point we’d like you to take away from this post is that our Rosewood team is great at coming up with solutions to suit the exact requirements of your location and preferences.  All you have to do is call Calum on 01727 811448 and we can discuss your own new living wall!