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Full Wall Greening - Surface Greening of Walls

Full greening means the full-surface cultivated covering of a facade or other surface. It is regarded as supremely ecological. This greening method often thrives without climbing support structures. However, entire trellis walls can be designed of wire-rope or wood, depending on the plant (see below). Mixed greening is also possible. If you are considering a larger scale greening, this section can support you in making a decision.

Vine-covered farm wall near Dresden / Saxony
Vine-covered farm wall near Dresden / Saxony

Pros and Cons

Full-surface greening can actually improve the microclimate in summer, especially in densely-populated cities. Even birds and insects get an additional habitat -- practical animal protection! Your costs only begin when the plants reach the roof and need routine trimming. And depending on the plant, a considerable amount of foliage must be disposed of in autumn! Structural damage or tenant dissatisfaction due to spiders, critters, or darkened, overgrown windows, should also be considered.

      *Another creative tip: At least in some places, leave the facade un-greened to create contrast.

Natural Self Climbing Plants

Self climbers (plants that climb by themselves without any wire, cable or wooden trellis) need almost no climbing aid, so they can be used to create very inexpensive green areas. This is especially true for ivy, which keeps its leaves all year round. Boston ivy and Virginia creeper are usually fast-growing and have bright red autumn leaves, but in winter appear less impressive. 

Plants with Climbing Support

Most climbing plants need climbing systems to completely cover a wall. The classic full-greening was previously done with espaliered grapevine, because at that time greening was seen and valued in terms of yield. But vines need care, and for their development, expertise is required (which can be found on this website). Also with climbing roses, larger surface greenings can be created, and where appropriate, clematis and annuals can also be introduced.

Full-cover greening method with Boston Ivy
Greening method with Boston Ivy
Full-surface greenery mix of Virginia creeper, Dutchman's pipe (yellow) and fleece vine Mixed planting in a fire wall, autumn colours, climbing system similar to our 5040, concept and design: green façade, 2002.
Multi-greened facade

Photo Gallery

Here you will see green facades with different plants and in different states of being cared for-- with and without trellises and at different times of year.

Large-scale wall greening with trumpet vine
Full-surface façade greening with wisteria on an espalier, town hall Riesa / Saxony
Three grapevines
Vintage wall greening of espalier fruit (pear), castle Hasselburg / Schleswig-Holstein
Surface greening of overhanging 'evergreen honeysuckle' on wire rope in an alley, Konstanz / Baden-Wuerttemberg
An outbuilding greened with vigorously growing climbing plants (clematis Montana)
The wall of a shopping centre planted with clematis vitalba (and wisteria)
Building greened with ivy, winter photo
Greening with ivy
Building greening with ivy, Boston ivy, and flower boxes, Überlingen near Lake Constance / Baden-Wuerttemberg
Lush silver lace vine on wooden trellises
Climbing plants (climbing hydrangea) with autumn colouring
Three-lobed Virginia creeper in autumn
Greening with a three-lobed Virginia creeper in winter