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Seeds of Peace (and Quiet)

Just ask the French: plants don’t actually need soil.

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This was botanist Patrick Blanc’s conceit when he began growing Vertical Gardens on the indoor and outdoor walls of some of Paris’ most design-forward museums and ateliers.

Unlike, for example, the temples of Angkor Wat (left), Blanc’s gardens don’t damage the buildings on which they grow. Instead of taking root in the walls, Blanc’s gardens use a layer of thick felt as a substrate for plant growth, and are separated from structural walls by PVC, which also acts as a vapor barrier. The gardens and are watered from above by drip irrigation systems:

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Musee du Quai Branly, Paris

The Vertical Gardens provide insulation, noise control, and a little urban reminder of the world outside.

How’s that for seeds of peace?

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