News : Vertical garden grows downtown

Sep 22, 2010

From Portsmouth Herald

By Rachel Forest

PORTSMOUTH — Softly flowing tussock grass and curly, burgundy-hued coral bells are two plants that you'd come across on a walk through a New England forest, but it is a surprise when those plants grow on a brick wall on the side of an urban restaurant building.

On Monday and Tuesday this week, a team including landscape designer Charles Hugo of South Berwick, Maine, installed steel frames to hold about 50 2-by-2-foot panels filled with soil and native greenery on the facade of Cava Tapas and Wine Bar on Commercial Alley.

Now, a vertical garden grows on the brick wall, the result of an environmental and beautification project that took a village to create. Led by Coastal Home Magazine, a group that included landscape designers, electricians, irrigation experts, nurseries and a company that has developed a system that makes constructing these gardens much easier, worked together to create the "living wall." The garden, which organizers claim is the first outdoor vertical garden in northern New England, will be officially unveiled Thursday in an invitation-only ceremony.... read the full story in the Portsmouth Hearald here!