Innovative vegetation design for glassed areas

Innovative vegetation design for glassed areas

Dreams of the Mediterranean lifestyle becoming Scandinavian reality

By Matilda Nilsson, Biologist and Landscaping Consultant


Mediterranean climates can be found on every continent of the world except for the poles. Even so in the Middle Eastern country of Jordan, showing an interesting variety from arid desert to blooming hills and valleys. When travelling to Jordan for the first time little did I know what I was about to discover. That I would come back every year to this wonderful country of terracotta coloured sand and rocks with shades of pink, purple and ochre. How I would fall in love with the desert plants that showed such remarkable survival skills and adaptations. How they kept blooming for months in the midst of winter in the most vibrant colours. I realized later on how those plants could be used in Scandinavia as well. In glassed areas where the climate is just the same as the plants origin – dry and warm.


Innovation in a traditional trade

Innovative vegetation design for glassed areas is in my opinion yet to be discovered. We have not seen the full potential plants can bring in form of money saved and maintenance kept to an absolute minimum. In addition to the economic side of it all, to be able to give customers the experience of colourful winter bloom, aromatic herbs and fascinating succulent plants that can be fully enjoyed when needed the most, during winter when the climate outside is hopelessly dark and cold. To be able to bring a piece of that Mediterranean lifestyle the customer is longing for. Gardens like these in glassed public areas could really bring the crowds and create important media attention.


Choosing the best plants for the given environment

Often times the vegetation seen in shopping centers are of tropic origin. The plants usually prefer weekly watering and would thrive with higher air humidity than shopping centers normally can offer. This difference of living conditions means one thing – maintenance. The amount of maintenance put into vegetation can be very costly. But there is another way to do it.


A new plant material

By using plants adapted to a life in warm and dry climate maintenance costs are minimal. Watering need is substantially reduced and during times of plant dormancy, not even necessary. Due to a dryer soil and a suitable climate, plants rarely suffer from pests and disease.

Many plants from arid and dry Mediterranean climates are in fact evergreen, which means all year interest, even after the seasonal bloom. You would think that all plants growing in desert is cacti, but think again. There are a big number of very attractive trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs that thrive in dry heat. Many of them never used before in a glassed public setting.


Horticultural knowledge gives economic gain

The most important factors for Biotopia when planning vegetation is to consider firstly, the ecological function to keep maintenance costs to an absolute minimum and secondly, to create an experience out of the ordinary. The visitors should find themselves standing in a room of greenery, organically interacting among the plants rather than statically looking at a few dusty plants in a pot. We wish to bring the customer into a different part of the world, even for just a moment while shopping. But to do this in the most cost effective way, horticultural knowledge is key.


Creating the atmosphere

With attractive winter blooming gardens around cafés or next to seating areas, visitors can find a moment of relaxation among the crowds while reminiscing the last vacation trip to the Mediterranean. Most people have a very positive attitude towards the aromatic plants of the Mediterranean and they are popular in all age groups.


It is a pleasure for us at Biotopia to be able to design, build and sustain a new type of landscaping for indoor use. Our plant material even tolerate grey water irrigation (wash water from sinks, showers, etc) for those clients who wish to bring their indoor landscaping in glassed areas to the next level of sustainability.


Contact us

Östra Kristinelundsvägen 27D
217 48 Malmö, Sweden
Phone: +46 (0)708 456 020
Skype: biotopia.landscaping



What used to be considered an added ornamental value can in fact be an interactive sustainable building material saving both energy, fresh water and environmental impact. Let us show you how!