Karl called one day and said, “Steve-o, we need something on the walls. I’m not sure about your aquaponics ideas but we need something on the wall.” Karl went on to say he wanted something to reinvigorate the space and start a conversation between his patrons and his staff about the food and the business.
The wall is yet another challenge of this site as it is on the North wall facing South. Located in somewhat of an outside hallway that has seating and provides access to the back room and toilets, its sun hours are limited during summer and pretty non-existent during autumn – winter.
Going with the adage “if you can’t get Mohammad to the mountain, you must take the mountain to Mohammad” – the Cassette Garden concept was born. This is an experimental system I have devised to rotate plants between the sundrenched roof above – to the holders mounted on the wall below.
The next question would be what materials and overall aesthetic? As it’s a restaurant and bar, I presented the idea of using cut wine bottles mounted on stainless steel ‘fingers’ to hold small pots.
I know what you’re thinking. Small pots? Are you sure about that? Well, I figure with the right nutrients and light, a partial bonsai of some and constricted growth of other plants may allow this to work. Six months in I’m glad to say it’s going OK. Once the irrigation is ready up on the roof, life will be a great deal easier. Currently I am keeping the plants at home and bringing in a few species each week to keep things looking fresh.
The plants are chosen on their merits either for relevance to the restaurants cuisine, aromatics, tastes and their respective growth habits. The aim is to start a conversation between diners and restaurant staff and for diners to feel free to pick, touch, taste and smell the plants and hopefully learn more about them and their properties in the process.