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Cultivating An Idea: The Green Wall at The John And Bonnie Buhler Library

April 20, 2016


A project management assignment planted a seed that bloomed at the Roblin Centre’s John and Bonnie Buhler Library. Library Technician Rosemary Woodby with the support of a Program Innovation Fund (PIF)  was able to procure two six foot tall, self-watering planters. A partnership with the Greenspace Horticultural students and their instructor, Ruth Rob, supplied the plants. Using the knowledge they have acquired as part of the Horticulture Practice course, the students planned the design and layout; chose and grew the plants and on a bright sunny Apr 13th installed them in the planters. The Reading Room’s trademark sunlight takes care of the rest.

Living Walls, sometimes called Green Walls, have sprung up in a variety of settings, both Florafelt-Vertical-Garden-How-It-Worksinside and out. Some of the larger interior walls are physically connected to the HVAC system to actively pull air in for better circulation. Our wall isn’t quite so complicated however, using a ‘passive system’ as illustrated by the Florafelt system (Pictured right). While the project is not without risks ranging from plant to pump failure, but the gains far outweigh them and we can expect:

  • Noise reduction
  • Optimizing humidity
  • Improved indoor air quality
  • And the Horticulture students gaining an opportunity to work in a vertical format that is gaining popularity with both interior and exterior landscaping.

Last but not least, the greenery provides some welcome relief for staff and students from the stressful periods during the academic year. Woodby and Rob hope to apply what they have learned from installing this wall and add a second next year.



Image: Rosemary Woodby



Image: Rosemary Woodby


Image: Fatima DeMelo

Image: Fatima DeMelo

With contributions by Rosemary Woodby