By Hilda Mitrani
On tony Worth Avenue, Palm Beach’s first vertical garden rises alongside the exterior wall of a Saks Fifth Avenue. The adornment, an 840 square foot masterpiece, is part of a larger revitalization project.
The installation cost $250,000 and includes 10,920 tropical plants from 11 different species and the irrigation system to support them. The plants are a mellifluous sounding group - Mondo Grass, Xanadu Philodendron, Asiatic Jasmine, Silver Sawtooth Palmetto, Altermanthera 'Yellow', Muehlenbeckia Axillaris, Philodendron 'Burle Marx', Dusty Miller, Zebrina pendula, Coontie and Zoysia Grass.
Located on the western façade of 150 Worth Avenue, this vertical garden is a collaborative project designed by Deborah Kotalic of GSky in collaboration with the Garden Club of Palm Beach, Sanchez & Maddux, a landscape architecture firm, and Michael’s Nursery of Boynton Beach.
With support from the Palm Beach Civic Association, the town has now introduced residents to state-of-the-art “smart irrigation” systems that help maintain the vertical garden plants and provide leadership on water usage.
The vertical garden is part of a revitalization project in the Worth Avenue historic district that cost more than $15 million. It's not the only innovation (or renovation) in Palm Beach, which earlier this year celebrated the centennial of its incorporation.