Greening our Cities: Gardens for High-density Living, Wednesday 23rd October, 2019

We were gifted perfect weather for our exclusive visit to the award-winning rooftop garden set 30 storeys high on the Phoenix Tower in Flinders Street. Here Merran Porjazoski from Bent Architecture and Gary Simpson from Infinite Landscape Pty. Ltd. described the formidable process of building the garden  and the many challenges they faced in such a difficult site: not only  the logistics of transporting all materials and plants up via lift and through the Apartment, but also selecting plants which would cope with the conditions.

Apartment owner, Gerard, recounted his challenges maintaining the garden since its creation 3 years ago, chief among them being strong winds. By and large the planting scheme has been very successful, using a variety of vines and mesh screens to create a buffer against the harsh winds and hot sun. Hard landscaping using large planters and retaining walls surfaced with mosaic tiling contribute to a cosy, bunker-like feel and blend perfectly with the plantings, especially the attractive, heavily-weeping Rosemary. We thank Merran, Gary and Gerard for granting us this special visit to a wonderful city vantage point.

Gerard (apartment owner), Gary Simpson (Infinite Landscape Pty Ltd) and Merran Porjazoski (Bent Architecture)

Our second stop for the day was a visit to Australia’s largest breathing wall built by Junglefy. Here we received an in-depth talk from Junglefy director, Jock Gammon, about how their system works, what sort of plants were used on the wall and how it’s maintained.

This breathing wall is not only beautiful, it also serves the function of filtering the building’s air of volatile organic chemicals and other common pollutants, thanks to the plants photosynthesising plus the presence of soil microbes. The 88 square metre wall is made up of reusable plastic modules that hold six plants each. Along with their fully compostable potting medium (predominantly coconut fibre), the plants are fed hydroponically. If any plants begin to languish the modules can be switched out with fresh plants. Any plants that can be, will be rehabilitated at the Junglefy nursery. The wall is lit by full-spectrum LEDs that support the plants, removing carbon dioxide, by allowing them to photosynthesise.

We greatly appreciate Jocks time and effort in coming from Sydney to talk to us and look forward to seeing more of Junglefys great work across Australia.      

For more information about Junglefys projects, please visit their website https://junglefy.com.au/downloads/