Planters introduces indoor vertical gardens
Planters Group, the largest interior landscaping company in the Middle East, has introduced a revolutionary concept in interior landscaping. The company has tied up with Swedish Green Fortune to launch plantwalls in the region and is already working on a very large installation at a hotel due to open in Dubai, UAE, this year.
Plantwalls are a new way of integrating greenery in public spaces, says David McBryde, managing director of Planters Group. This vertical application makes a powerful impact on the environment where it is built, providing a lot of greenery without losing floor space, he adds.
Besides the aesthetics, plants also provide oxygen and humidity to improve the air quality – some even have air cleaning properties.
“It is almost like being outdoors inside the premises. Plantwalls can be varied both in size and shape, and the choice of plants can be adjusted depending on the size of the wall and the impact you want to create. It is possible to create a sophisticated wall that keeps its appearance over time, as well as a wild, heavily growing wall,” McBryde says.
Hilton JBR, Dubai
The integrated drip irrigation system makes watering easy. Also, thanks to the textile materials used, water does not seep from the wall, making plantwalls suitable for areas that are sensitive to moisture. Also, the fertiliser is distributed inside the four-layer textile of the wall via the drip irrigation system, he explains.
“The concept makes use of a complex irrigation system that pumps water several times in a day. There is a drainage system for excess water, which can be recycled as grey water,” he adds.
This process is programmed and automatically controlled. Each new plantwall project can be tailor-made to suit different demands. The company also offers a one-year guarantee and service agreement for each plantwall.
“Interior landscaping is our core business and we try to provide the very best in the field. It is our mission to create an environment that stimulates. We pick up the best concepts from the US and Europe and bring them to the UAE. We introduced the preserved palms concept into this market 17 years ago and it was a big thing then. The next big thing will be the vertical plantwalls.”
Green Fortune has spent the last seven years developing and pioneering this concept, which is very popular in Europe, and has joint ventures in a number of countries, particularly in that continent, for marketing and installation of plantwalls.
“We have tied up with them for the entire Middle East region. We see this as a very big development in the interior landscaping as the concept – which is being used for the first time in this region – has been liked by interior designers. It uses very little space, and offers a clean and minimalist look,” says McBryde.
“We are ready to launch this concept on a large scale and the owners of Green Fortune will be here in October for the official launch of plantwalls.”
Recent project: Preserved palms
at BMW showroom in Abu Dhabi
Planters is currently negotiating a very large project in Baku, Azerbaijan. “The project will have a huge plantwall, covering several storeys inside the building (1,600 sq m) and will have about 100,000 plants.”
Established in the UAE 35 years ago, Planters specialises in the supply of interior landscaping, offering top quality standards in terms of design, range of products and ongoing maintenance – a claim supported by the fact that the company has been winning the British Association of Landscaping Industry award in the UK for the past 10 years.
“Our client list supports our claim of being the number one choice for interior landscaping in all environments, from luxury hotels and palaces to shopping malls and commercial offices.
“We meet all the standards required for this industry and work towards keeping our maintenance portfolio while chasing new contracts. We have 100 experienced people on board in the UAE and also put a lot of emphasis on training our staff,” he adds.
Planters air-freights plants each week from Holland to ensure their freshness. It is also the exclusive distributor for Viridian, which custom builds preserved palm trees to match customers’ design specifications. The palms range from 2 m to 15 m in height with multiple or single trunks, straight or curved and the crown canopy can vary from 2 m to 7 m in diameter to maintain perfect scale and realism. Its standard selection of palms comprises Tropical Date, Washingtonia Fan, Cocus and the new Areca Palm. In addition, there are a range of Junipers available as well.
Revolutionary concept: A plantwall
and Grosvenor House, Dubai (below)
“Preserved palms are the ideal solution for larger spaces that require to make bigger statements. Made with both real fronds and bark, they are preserved using latest techniques,” he says.
Maintenance is easy as the palms do not require watering or feeding or light. Occasional dusting is required every four to six months to keep the palm fronds looking fresh.
Planters has a company in India to produce these trees to its specifications and exports them throughout the GCC and Europe. The company also has add-on businesses to interior landscaping, including a factory in Al Quoz in Dubai to manufacture high-quality plant containers. It also has a licence from Livingreen Design, UK, to manufacture planters according to its design in the UAE.
The company’s export division handles all exports of plants, containers, preserved palms and plants, and plantwalls to all the GCC countries and beyond.
Preserved palms have been supplied to Mirdiff City Centre, Dubai Mall, and Festival City in Dubai.
This apart, Planters counts numerous successes since its first project, the erstwhile Chicago Beach Hotel, in 1978, such as hotels, shopping malls, offices and airports, including all three terminals at the Dubai International Airport.
Some of the other projects Planters has been associated with include the Grosvenor House Hotel, Le Royal Meridien Hotel, Hilton JBR, Jumeirah Aviation Club, The Royal Mirage hotel, Radisson Blu, Souk Al Bahar, Grand Hyatt, Ramada Hotel, JBR, and Pullman Hotel in Dubai. In Abu Dhabi, where it has handled over 100 contracts, its completed and ongoing projects include the Rolls-Royce and BMW showroom, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cleveland Clinic. Planters has also done the Teaching Hospital in Sharjah.
“We like to handle complex projects, with our best projects being the Armed Forces Club in Abu Dhabi, which involved half a kilometre of interior landscaping and the forest walk at JW Marriott in Dubai,” McBryde says.
Planters is currently bidding for 11 major projects and expects to win another 10 big projects over the next nine months.
“We expect a very busy year ahead. Since we have close to 2,000 maintenance contracts, business has been stable for us. Last year was good and we think this year will be good too,” he concludes.