Even if you haven’t had a chance to visit MNDFL, a new meditation studio located in downtown New York City, you may have seen a few photos of the center on Instagram in the last few months, and they probably weren’t of people happily practicing their mindfulness. The snapshots from inside the airy space are mostly of MNDFL’s striking and very lush green wall, affixed to light gray–toned bricks. Made entirely of preserved moss, the structure was created by the geniuses at New York’s plant design shop The Sill. As one of the in-house experts Christopher Satch explains, “the concept behind the MNDFL living wall was to offer students the contemplative and calming benefits that are said to come from looking at plants, but in a space that doesn’t provide the natural light and moisture required to grow such a wall.” He adds, “It’s also super low-maintenance, which is great for the staff—there’s no soil or upkeep required in this instance.”
Living walls and vertical gardens like the version at MNDFL have become increasingly popular as of late. While previously reserved for large-scale surface areas and tall buildings, more and more people have opened up to the idea of creating their own, more practical, version at home, green thumb or not. To bring this sort of life to any wall, Satch suggests starting with either moss or an air plant. Below, he shares his advice for building and maintaining a gorgeous green living wall in your own mindful, social media share–worthy space. House flora truly never looked—or felt—so good.
To Build a Moss Wall
“Once you buy live moss, which you can get at almost any plant store, affix it to a corkboard with a fine layer of peat moss sandwiched in between. You can then affix the corkboard to a plate or frame and hang it on the wall. You should affix with tacks, or a small amount of natural glue or putty (Important note: Floral shops will sell the type of glue you want. If you buy regular glue, you risk poisoning the moss).”
To care for a moss wall: “You can soak the moss frame every few days, or mist it every day. A moss wall is definitely a commitment, but a beautiful one. Alternatively, if you choose to use reindeer moss, then you don’t need to do any maintenance because this variety can withstand both hot and cold climates and a range of lighting. Like with all photosynthetic organisms, your moss wall will like indirect light (ideally, indirect northern exposure light) and high humidity. Bathrooms are ideal for that, especially if you are a shower person!”
To Build an Air Plant Wall
“Air plant walls are similar to moss, but require only medium maintenance. You first need to buy or make a natural wooden frame, then use chicken wire to string through horizontally in the inside of the frame. You can then just wedge or tie in the air plants.”
To care for an air plant wall: “The air plant walls require soaking for an hour once a week, or you can mist it twice a week. Be warned that air plants can dry out between watering, so a little extra mist might be needed. They also like bright light or indirect sunlight.”
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