The vertical garden that was planted along the walls of a former Silver Lake hair salon has yellowed and withered as a new tenant has decided against tending the thousand of plants growing on the sides of the building. Barnaby Montgomery, owner of Yummy.com, which will be opening a grocery store in the building at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Griffith Park boulevards, said the garden consumes too much water, 40,000 a gallons a month to be exact. “At the suggestion of a member of the [Silver Lake] Neighborhood Council, we will grow fig ivy on the walls to soften the look and feel of the building, and to help insulate the building from the sun,” Montgomery said.
The garden was planted more than two years ago by a hair salon owner who had envisioned wrapping the building in a blanket of living plants. An estimated 20,000 seedlings – from succulents to Scotch Moss – and handfuls of soil were inserted into slits cut into thick fabric attached to the walls. A network of pipes under that fabric irrigated the garden. But the garden proved difficult to maintain and large sections of the walls were never planted, leaving behind tattered flaps of fabric and plastic to begin peeling from the sides of the building.
Montgomery said a deadline for opening the new grocery store has not yet been scheduled.