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Arbours and Green Columns

Arbours and green columns are two forms of green wall architecture that have been developed from an extensive research programme undertaken several years ago. Arbours and columns are the latest green wall option on the market and although new to New Zealand, several have been installed across Australia.

Backed by a full research project and complete with engineering certification, these new green wall options allow a wider range of possibilities than ever before. Now new shapes and sizes can be suspended, located, and attached to the built structure to create that unique wow factor – but with much less cost than a conventional green wall.

SRS is New Zealand’s only certified PS3 green wall installer.

What are arbours?

Arbours are usually featured as ornamental yet functional elevated garden beds. In this context we use a very lightweight hydroponic growing media housed in a thin profile container. Typical dimensions are 200mm wide x 130mm high x however long you require, with a full saturated weight including fully mature plants of around 25kg per lineal metre.

There are many applications of how we use these lightweight arbours. Strips of roof gardens on a standard metal deck roof or as a very lightweight planter box attached to the side of buildings with a range of plants to climb and trail. Arbours can be in almost any shape and can be suspended by catenary wires or attached to a lightweight host frame or host wall. This allows art to merge with horticulture to create a unique garden to inspire.

Column growing wires at B:Hive, Smales Farm completed for Natural Habitats
What are Arbours Fytogreen

What are Green Columns?

As the name suggests, green columns allow columns of greenery to be suspended from above or mounted on a central pole, I-Beam or shrouding a wide girth concrete pillar. The final effect is a green garden seemingly growing out from a circular column. Green columns can be used across a broad range of settings, both indoor and out, providing a unique aesthetic and bringing many benefits to the environments they’re in.

The benefits of Arbours

Arbours provide a garden type that is highly versatile in shape and size. It is effective in bringing spaces and brands to life – often becoming the main feature of a building.  

Arbours are generally used in a central focal point of a room or space. They are incredibly effective in utilising otherwise ‘dead’ space in large zones such as reception areas of multilevel buildings with high ceilings but equally impressive when adapted to more intimate areas.

Making a commercial building recognisable or sought after adds value to any project. But there are also remarkable environmental and sustainability benefits from ‘greening’ the building also.

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Variety of styles to suit

One of the best traits of an arbour is the fact that there is almost no limit to the artistry and creativity that can be expressed in their design. This can be showcased not only through the style of the arbour’s planter box and attachment brackets themselves but also through the choice in foliage that is used. Curtains of foliage trailing down from an arbour are sure to wow as the garden ages and evolves – a truly ever-changing feature installation.

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Adding value in a myriad of ways

An arbour is a great feature to add to elevate your building to another level as it brings with it a sense of style and landscaping. Including one as part of your building structure that is designed as an ecologically sustainable garden will enhance your property and add value to it for the life span of the garden.

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Flexibility for your needs 

Arbours offer a huge amount of flexibility due to their very lightweight and range of plant types that you can use in them. They can feature as a statement piece and focal point of a balcony as part of a balustrade. They can provide strips of greenery on a standard roof-mounted like a solar panel. With a range of shapes, these can be used to create suspended gardens or artistic shapes of greenery.  


Biodiversity benefits

Arbours are often planted with a range of plant species creating an ecology as insects and birds are attracted to them. This biodiversity has a huge benefit to an urban landscape by bringing nature back into the city.

Did you know?

An arbour or green column can help to maximise productivity in the workforce. Many psychological experiments have conclusively shown that plants provide a sense of well-being, directly effecting the room’s occupants.

Is it time to add some greenery to your workplace?

The benefits of Green Columns

Like arbours, there is a wide range of benefits to warrant green columns located in on and around your building. Be it suspended from the roof trusses or mounted on a frame or a self-supporting load bearing pole enables a vertical array of plants with minimal foot space occupied by the garden. Being a column, it can be seen from all angles while being a feature for the space.

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Bringing nature into artificial spaces

One of the most attractive aspects for green columns is that it brings life and nature into typically artificial spaces creating what is often termed “living architecture”. It’s a relatively new trend in the context of modern architecture and is a great way of breathing new life into work, home and recreational spaces, often creating a space of multi-use in a single place.

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Relaxing atmosphere

Thanks to numerous studies, it is now an established fact that plants help alleviate the stress of people in and around them. So, having plants in gardens in, on and around the buildings that you live, work and recreate in increases everybody’s sense of well-being. Shopping malls, offices, gyms, and sports facilities are often places that have high stress and energy levels. Gardens in these places where they are ecologically sustainable and memorable go a long way to reducing the negative effects of stress.

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Aesthetic appeal

“Living columns” are very rare and seeing a thriving one is going to make your space standout and be easily remembered.


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Improved air quality

Air quality within an enclosed space always has the potential to become staler through poor circulation, overcrowding, indoor air pollutants etc. The foliage of the green columns naturally absorbs carbon dioxide and volatile organic compounds in the air releasing oxygen providing a much healthier atmosphere resulting in better health and wellbeing outcomes for all.

* Some of the images provided on this page have been supplied by our partner, Fytogreen.
** Most images shown are past projects where we have installed green facade supports systems using our tensile mesh or wire products – the foliage planting has not been undertaken by SRS Group but managed by a number of different local suppliers

*** All icons made by

Contact us today to find out more

If you’re interested in finding out more about one of our bespoke arbours or green columns contact our expert foliage team and we will provide you options of what is possible.

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