Saturday, 10 November 2012

Green screen

After a few months without decent rainfall it has been raining since late yesterday afternoon.  The water tank is filling up, the plants are getting a decent drink and the grass is looking greener already.  Of course, while making me a very happy gardener, it's also not the best day to be out and about digging or to be a chicken.  So instead it means bringing the gardening for the day.  Inside!  Hmm, sounds messy.  Don't worry. I did the messy, dirt-flinging, pot tapping bit outside under the eaves, then went inside to finish off the green wall project.

So what's a green wall?  I initially saw the idea on a programme about green home design.  The overall concept (as for indoor plants) is to filter indoor air and also act as a temperature regulator.  Although the show demonstrated a fixed wall with soil and plants in pockets or suspended pots, I thought I'd tweak it a little to make more of a green screen in the hope that this would mean a lighter structure requiring less maintenance (and expense to set up).  To make the structure for it to climb on we screwed eyelets into the door-frame at 30cm intervals.  Between these we strung fishing wire.

Then it came to choosing a  plant.  To make things impossible my criteria for the plant were: 

a) dense enough to not look patchy and to fill the gaps properly between wires but
b) light enough not to stretch or collapse the wires
c) a native plant
d) one that's suitable for indoors 
e) either non-flowering or non-allergenic and finally 
f) preferably edible

With a little trawling through online nursery lists my mission was accomplished.  There came up a plant that matched all the criteria perfectly: Lygodium microphyllum (also known as climbing maidenhair or Old World climbing fern).   The nursery that had listed the plant was on the other side of town, a little too far to justify a specific trip in the car.  So I waited and waited, hoping that I might need to go over that way for some other reason.  Talking about this to my sister she offered to take me to a nursery a few streets from her place.  Although most of the plants there were rather scorched and wilted specimens, the indoor plant section seemed to be well cared for.  I spied a nice plant creeping along the ground and over a log.  On closer inspection it turned out to be the exact plant I was after.  The wait was over.

All that remained to do today was re-pot into a permanent container and wind it along the bottom rung.  I had planned to get a new pot forgetting that I had a perfect sized one sitting outside that a friend had given me.

Voila!  Green screen commenced.  Grow little tendrils.

Note: Out of its natural habitat this plant has become a significant weed in Florida, US.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment or question, they will be published as soon as possible after review to avoid spam. This usually takes less than a day.