Garfield Park Conservatory, Part 3 – Planting and Growing in the modules

growing in the modules
growing in the modules

In part 3 of the Garfield Park discussion, we’ll highlight the green side of the installation.  The soil retention bags within the modules were filled with engineered soil by our local distributor, Midwest Trading.  The soil mix used was their Intensive Green Roof blend, which conforms to FLL standards and has a saturated weight of 70 lbs/cu. ft. On several of the modules in the lower rows they also tried their PM-35 mix, a traditional  lightweight mix more designed for permanent plantings and woody ornamentals.  The saturated weight of that soil is approx. 70-80 lbs/cu. ft.  Conservatory staff has indicated to us that as the wall has matured they’ve preferred the intensive green roof blend.

modules ready for planting
modules ready for planting

The conservatory staff used the following plants:


  • Strawberry
  • Marjoram
  • Hosta
  • Sedum
  • Acorus
  • Carex
  • Sweet Woodruff



  • Eggplant
  • Allysum
  • Wave Petunia
  • Wedelia
  • Victoria Blue Salvia
  • Geranium
  • Helichrysum
  • Alternanthera
  • Plectranthus



planting module

planting complete
planting complete


The plants were grown in for approx. 2 months prior to mounting on the wall.  The conservatory planted them all on pallets to keep them off the ground, and to allow them to be gradually raised towards the vertical during the grow-in process.  Despite the preparation, the strawberries had picked up some type of fungus prior to planting, and weren’t able to recover.  They were removed and replaced prior to installation. The following images were taken during the final period of grow-in.

 Grow-in 2 - Garfield

growing in the modules
growing in the modules

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