News - August 8, 2011

Wall garden

Babylon with its hanging gardens was one of the wonders of the world. The new building of Facilities Services, Actio, will have something similar: a vertical garden.

Vertical landscape gardener Norbert Streng ( has been working on this little indoor gardening wonder for more than a week. Well, a garden it cannot be called in the strict sense of the word. It's more like green wallpaper. The wall to the left of entrance of the new building will have a green carpet of about 34 square metres. Streng is incorporating 3000 plants onto it, comprising more than sixty different varieties.
Cosy corner
The wall garden will be one of the eye-catchers of Actio, the building which will be the testing ground for 'Nieuwe Werken', a new way of working within Wageningen UR. Construction foreman Rolf Helling calls the vertical garden a 'gimmick'. It is the brainchild of interior designer Ramon Beijer of the firm Rietmeier. A new way of working calls for a new way of gardening. The green wall will form the backdrop for the cosy corner of the building. Specially made big wooden meeting tables will be placed in front of the wall. The new building (on the Akkermaalsbos, at a right angle to the Wissel building), will be occupied in the fourth week of September.
Watering can
The plants along the wall are hung onto an almost hidden metal frame and grow on a nutrient-rich substrate thought up by Streng himself. No fertilizing is needed, only watering; but not with a watering can. That's not practical, for obvious reasons. Instead, it has a system of dropping tubes with holes. The garden will require very little maintenance. All that's needed is an occasional trimming of the shoots.