Photos: 5 Amazing Orchids

The Flying Duck Orchid

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History of a Green Thumb: The Hanging Gardens

In modern times, living green walls are springing up in bustling metropolises around the globe. Each new green wall project seems to outdo the last as architects continue to imagine new possibilities for green design. While today’s walls of green are mighty impressive, none of them live up to history’s most famous (and possibly fictional) vertical garden – the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

In my youth, I went through a stage in middle school where I obsessed over the “7 Wonder of the Ancient World.” The sprawling seaside sculpture, the Colossus of Rhodes, the Giant Pyramid of Giza and all the other ancient wonders fascinated me greatly but Babylon’s Hanging Gardens was always my favorite. As the story goes, King Nebakanezer II, the king of Babylon, constructed the Hanging Gardens outside modern-day Baghdad along the great Euphrates River. Read More »

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Video: Tips on Building a Tropical Landscape

Looking for more tips on how to better your garden this year? Visit Chris Karl’s video page for more instructional videos! Read More »

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Plants May Be Slowing Global Warming

Plants play a bigger role in your daily life than you might think. A recent study published by Nature Geosceience found that plants can help “mitigate the warming caused by greenhouse gases.” The study suggests that plants respond to fluctuations in the climate and release temperature-cooling aerosols. It was found that when temperatures rise, more of these biogenic aerosols are released into the atmosphere.

In rural areas rich with forestland, the researchers estimated that plants could be reducing global warming by 30%. Collecting data at 11 separate locations worldwide, the research team from IIASA (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis) and the University of Helsinki surveyed the amount of plant-produced aerosols in the atmosphere in relation to the temperature. Read More »

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How Green Walls Work: Irrigation

Green walls are popping up everywhere inside and outside. People want plants and when horizontal space is limited but vertical space is abundant, green walls make a statement.

Many different green wall technologies exist and new ones are being developed every year. Regardless of what type of green wall system, most green walls have one of two types of irrigation systems: recirculating and direct irrigation.

Recirculating irrigation systems do just as the name implies: recirculates water. In a recirculating system, the source of water is an irrigation tank which is either remote-controlled or directly underneath the green wall. The irrigation tank is filled manually on a regular basis to provide an adequate supply of irrigation water. Water is pumped from the tank to the green wall. Water is distributed to the plants in the wall. Gravity pulls excess water downward. Excess drainage water collects at the bottom of the wall and is fed back to the tank. This water is then used over and over (recirculates). Read More »

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