In October of last year, MNN business blogger Melissa Hincha-Ownby covered the unveiling of North America’s largest green wall at the Semiahmoo Public Library and RCMP Facility (Canada speak for police station) in the Vancouver suburb of Surrey, B.C., near White Rock. Sure, this feat of sustainable landscaping was impressive back in its infancy — a whopping 3,000 square feet of soil-less splendor — but nearly a year later, the lush creation of design firm Green Over Grey is really something to behold.

Over the past week, striking updated photos of the fully grown wall have been popping up all over sustainable design blogosphere, so I thought I’d share as well.

A bit of background on the project:

The unique design is nearly 3,000 square feet and consists of over 10,000 individual plants representing more than 120 unique species. It includes ground covers, large perennials, shrubs and small trees.

A green wall, also known as a living wall, is a self-sufficient vertical garden that is attached to the exterior or interior of a building. The technology being used is soil-free, and the plants receive water and nutrients from within the vertical support instead of from the ground. It closely mimics how plants grow vertically in nature such as on cliffs, bluffs, tree branches or next to waterfalls.

'The large diversity of plant species chosen creates a balanced ecosystem that is an urban oasis for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds,' says Patrick Poiraud, principal at Green over Grey – Living Walls and Design, the Vancouver-based company designing and constructing the wall. 'The living wall helps to insulate the building, purify the air and transforms the grey concrete into hundreds of shades of green.'

Absolutely gorgeous stuff ... plenty more photos can be found over at Contemporist. Have you made any stabs at vertical gardening on a smaller, residential scale? And any B.C. residents or passport-carrying Washingtonians out there have the chance to check out the Semiahmoo Library in the flesh? 

Via [Contemporist]

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Surrey's lush library for literal wallflowers
Soil? Who needs soil? Take a look at North America's largest and lushest green wall at the Semiahmoo Public Library in British Columbia.