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5 plants for exterior green walls

Incorporating a green wall into your exterior grounds can tick a lot of boxes: create a dramatic feature, encourage biodiversity, add greenery where space is tight or even provide an edible garden for your staff.

In this blog we have picked out five of our favourite exterior green wall plants to consider when designing a green wall.

Heuchera

Let’s start off by adding a splash of colour to your green wall with the pretty purple foliage of Heuchera ‘Sugar Berry’. Its violet, shallow-lobed leaves are characterised by deep dark veins with a silvery lustre, bringing an amazing velvety texture to the display. Heuchera, or Alumroot, are generally evergreen and unless you want your green wall to die back in the winter look for varieties like this one which will grow all year round. Belonging to the family Saxifragaceae, Heuchera is native to North America and grow in compact clumps, so while its ideal for an exterior green wall it’s equally suitable for rock gardens, flower beds and patio containers.  This hardy plant likes full sun or partial shade and has beautiful, small tubular flowers in the spring and summer, bringing further diversity to the display.

Hedera hibernica

Commonly known as Atlantic ivy or Irish ivy, Hedera hibernica will trail down your green wall to provide a lush covering. This fast-growing plant will quickly provide a dense, dark green carpet of foliage with its five-lobed, starfish like leaves.  Extremely versatile, Hedera Hibernica will grow well in all conditions and is rated H5 in terms of hardiness by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), so is likely to survive even severe winters in the UK in less exposed areas.  For added interest, yellow flowers appear in the summer followed by black berries in the autumn.

Lonicera pileate

Lonicera pileate, also known as box-leaved honeysuckle, hails from Central and Southwestern China.  This dwarf evergreen shrub will provide a dense spread for your vertical display. Characterised by small, glossy, pointed leaves, for a bit of scent it grows cream flowers which are often beautifully fragrant in the late spring and in the autumn sports purple berries. It does like some sun, either full sun or partial shade but is one of the hardiest plants featured, with an H6 rating.

Thyme serpyllum

Now for something to eat. Green walls are the ideal place to grow herbs – perfect for immediate access to fresh flavour to add to your cooking. Thyme is a Mediterranean herb which enjoys the sun and will survive in almost drought conditions, but it will need some protection from harsh winter weather. Importantly, it isn’t difficult to grow and will bring vitality to your green wall all year round. Thymus serpyllum or Brekland Thyme, is a dwarf variety which has purple flowers in the summer which are particularly attractive to bees, increasing the biodiversity of your exterior grounds.

Pachysandra terminalis

A member of the Buxaceae family, the evergreen Pachysandra forms a mat, providing a green, glossy covering. If your green wall is in a dark spot, then it won’t be a problem for this plant which can grow in full or partial shade. Its leathery leaves make it a hardy specimen and during the summer spiky, small, white flowers protrude from the centre of leave clumps.

While these are some of our favourites every green wall is unique depending on factors such as it’s location, size and what you would like to achieve with your display.

For help planning your unique display give us a call on 0808 100 3120 or email us at enquiries@gpplantscape.com.

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