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Monday, April 14, 2014

Purple marks the spot of Silver Lake’s future vertical garden

It will be one of Silver Lake’s largest and most extravagant beauty salons, owned and designed by a man who has operated high-end salons across Europe and stocked with exclusive, all-natural hair care and beauty products. But many of the people who wander into the unfinished home of Natural Mind Beauty & Beyond on Sunset Boulevard are not interested in all-natural hair care. What they want to know is what are those purple sheets covering the building. “Everybody touches the fabric,” said salon owner Arnaud Ozharun.

That purple fabric, which is a thicker version of the padding found under carpeting, will eventually be covered with the leaves of 20,000 plants to create what Ozharun calls a vertical garden on the exterior of the former video store. It’s his version of the vertical gardens and systems he saw in France, where he last operated a salon, the latest in cutting edge eco design. “It will be like Amazonia.”

Of course, city building inspectors have been puzzled over what to make of the system to support the vertical garden. About a half-dozen layers of plastic and fabric will support the plants and protect the exterior walls from moisture. Under the padding are pipes to supply water to the garden. Drains at the base of the building will collect the water, which will be pumped back and recirculated to keep about 100 different plants alive and healthy, he said.

Despite some delays, Ozharun said he has worked with the city to address any concerns and expects that he will soon be able to finally plant the walls. Instead poking a hole in soil, however, Ozharun’s vertical garden will be planted by cutting thousands of slits into that purple fabric and inserting seeds and cuttings. He can’t wait for the garden to sprout. “If you can’t have green, you can’t live.”

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