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The Greening of Vertical Structures and Elements

Here we will address those slender, vertical columns-- components of a building that have a 'ballast' at the top. These are: columns, pillars, balcony supports, props, building supports, and posts of a pergola, and we'll  show you how they are greened into 'plant climbing pillars' or 'plant climbing supports.' Wire ropes are ideal as a climbing aid for such vertically-oriented building components because they can be removed. Thus, the climbing plant can shine and one gets the impression that the arrangement was created naturally... that is, by chance. (We've dedicated an extra section on our website for the greening of free-standing masts and posts.)


Climbing Pillars

This means that only the pillar or support is greened and not the area around it. The climbing plants should be correspondingly slow growers or easily-tamed continuous bloomers.   Mandevilla, clematis, rose and grapevine are possible... the latter as vertical cordon or small espalier/trellis.


Such columns usually 'dislike' being drilled into; where possible, subtle individual attachment points in accordance with cable system 1010 or vertical ropes like 1020 and 1030, are sufficient. Depending on the desired effect (one-sided or circumferential greening), set 1 -5 parallel ropes per column. In the case of angular supports (rectangular/with corners) and with a larger width, more than one rope can be tensioned per area-- cable system 4020 is appropriate. For questions about fastening/attachment, see below.

Greening of a courtyard gate with morning glory
Morning glory, Großjena an der Unstrut/ Saxony-Anhalt
Pillar with climbing cable for an annual cathedral bell vine
Pillar with climbing cable for (annual) Cathedral Bells, Weimar / Thuringia
Roses on a pillar as per system 1020, medium construction design
Designing a pillar with wire rope to become a 'trellis pillar' for roses
Several cable systems 4020, Easy Kit as push-through mounting
Greening of a pillars
Overgrown greening of grapevine on a column as small trellis form
Greening a pillar with grapevine
Climbing plant support made of concrete for Dutchman's Pipe Aristolochia tomentosa, steel cable with delicate eyelet bolts.
Growth pilllar, Aristolochia (Dutchman's Pipe), International Style, Weimar / Thuringia
Climbing rose with cable system, similar to our 4010 system.
Greening of a pillar, Gründerzeit-house in Leipzig / Saxony

Greening Over 1 1/2 Stories

This means that the wall area above a support, a pergola, or a balcony is greened, or that the greening will take place primarily in the upper area and the support only then serves to guide the shoot structure of the climbing plant upwards. A vertical wire rope 1020 or 1030 as a climbing aid usually suffices for fastening. Sometimes an easy construction style suffices. Combination systems like 9010 and 9020 can be used here. If there is a wall offset/misalignment, vertical and horizontal ropes are laid separately.


As an alternative to climbing aids, preferred single plants can also be planted here and fixed with flexible binders-- velcro ties -- or with rubber belts or strips drawn around the structure.


Similar examples can be found under "balcony greening."

Akebia in the castle grounds Sanssouci/Potsdam. Baroque colonnade; the columns have been covered with climbing wire for ca. 200 years.
Greened columns in castle Sanssouci / Potsdam / Brandenburg
Wisteria on a concrete column, fastened only with velcro strip
Wisteria on concrete pillar
Wisteria, below attached to the concrete support only with binding material (bandage), led to the top on the horizontal wire per system 1060.
Plants on the balcony
Greening with wild grapevines. One climbing wire each is suitable for the pillars according to system 1020.
Greening of wooden pillars, castle Tiefurt near Weimar / Thuringia
Small kiwi, climbing support with 2 x System 1030, easy construction style.
Climbing support, greened with kiwi
Colonnade greened with wild grapevines on steel cables
Fruitless grapevines on steel cables greening a colonnade
Interior view of the arbour in the previous photo
Greened colonnade, wild grapes
Greened arcades on the courtyard side of housing estates, the kiwi plants were raised on steel girders.
Arcade greened with kiwi

Multiple-Level Greening

Greening can also be taken to great heights and "distributed" to supports via wire-cables... so, several balconies or whole arbours/arcades can be greened. The attachment along the vertical supports can be relieved and is less stressed if the climbing plants are also fastened laterally to balcony parapets, etc.. 

Questions About Fastening

What should the distance be between ropes and a climbing support? In the past this pesky question was often solved pragmatically: there was almost no distance! The wires were laid very close to the columns. The Easy Kits from FassadenGrün, which are often sufficient for columns, etc.. correspond to this older method. However, Medium or Heavy Kits are needed from time to time. Even a massive construction style is possible for representative or design reasons.


The choice of fastening depends on the selected plant species and the subsurface/wall type (for example, there are special instructions for fastening into concrete elements.

Akebia on balcony supports made of wood, two cables in accordance with system 1050, here as a Medium Kit.
Greening of a balcony support
Climbing poles with wisteria on a workshop in Quedlinburg / Sachsen-Anhalt
Climbing poles with wisteria on a workshop in Quedlinburg / Sachsen-Anhalt
For particularly representative installations -- here in a spa garden -- Massive Kits with greater wall distance (cross mount WM 12153) are used.
Posts designed as a climbing pillar
Climbing supports greened with honeysuckle on wire ropes on the entrance of a car parkhouse
Greened columns
Bittersweet. Trellis columns can also be insulated... then a wire system like RV 12XX2 works well to fasten plants to the column.
'Trellis pillar' thanks to bittersweet