[dropcap size=small]F[/dropcap]irst, they decorated buildings. Now, they are making their way into homes, thanks to advances in technology.

“Technology, from LED growth-lighting to automated irrigation systems, has empowered home-owners to create home gardens that are sustainable and easy to maintain,” says Darren Neo, founder of landscape consultancy Vertical Green.

Awareness of such green options has also blossomed in recent years. As a leading player in the local scene, Vertical Green has seen a 30 per cent growth in projects each year since the consultancy opened in 2009. More recently, demand has come from condominium and apartment dwellers.

When it comes to designing a vertical garden, Neo offers this insight: Look beyond the greenery. He says: “Many home-owners focus only on the plants, but around 90 per cent of what makes a vertical garden sustainable is the system behind it.”

He is referring to the felt pockets that house a variety of greens, and the automated watering system that keeps the flora thriving with minimal maintenance.

A poorly designed system results in water leakage, and requires many plants to be replaced on a regular basis. Good equipment, in contrast, helps plants live longer, with less than 5 per cent having to be replaced yearly.

(RELATED: Urban farming in Singapore has moved into a new, high-tech phase.)


Creative ways to bring the outside in.