If Walls Could Talk THESE LIVING WALLS ARE BRIDGING AGRICULTURE AND DECOR FOR A NATURAL FLAIR
• “I’ve always been intrigued by fishtail palms,” Wallace muses. “It’s one of those plants where you either love them or hate them.”
• Wallace reveals the next trendy plants are Philodendron Monstera, Calathea varieties and Fabian Aralias.
WRITTEN BY: JANE ADLER PHOTOGRAPHED BY: NATHAN WHELAN
In the plant kingdom, one man reigns as king of the jungle. That man is Greg Wallace. Nearly 40 years ago, a seed was planted that Wallace grew into a blooming—eh hem— we mean booming business. Stemming from his own Southern California roots, Wallace took over an Orange County botanical business in 1980 and, what started as a simple side gig, developed into four decades of working in the field of plants, and his company, Instant Jungle, is still thriving today.
Instant Jungle is an industry leader when it comes to the latest plant furnishing trend: living walls. These installations act as living, breathing art that can complement any personal or public space. When it comes to choosing your living wall, there are three different types of applications (tray, module or TerraScreen wall) to consider after deciding whether the plants will live inside or outside. Design concepts and aesthetic are meticulously mulled over, and a method to frame the wall and how it will adhere to its new vertical home are picked. Depending on which system is chosen, a living wall can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to install from start to finish. Instant Jungle works hand-in-hand with landscapers
and customers to ensure that the wall is functional, aesthetically pleasing and matches its surroundings. This form of agricultural art can range in scope from a single wall to an entire rooftop and everything in between.
Greg Wallace CEO, Instant Jungle
“Plants create a nice environment and ambiance and they just really enhance [an area]. We stage with plants to soften things, make them look warm and friendly,” says Wallace. While the living walls still remain one of the top trends in the flora field, Wallace acknowledges that “architectural plants are really popular again…[they are] coming back and making a stronger statement because it also kind of ties in with the drought-tolerant trend.” If you recall, droughttolerant plants began sprouting like weeds with all sorts of species of succulents invading the industry. Wallace jokes, however, that “we’ve had rain and we have short-term memory,” so he predicts this trend may soon be watered down, so to speak. Wallace explains, “The cool thing is we can use anything that is on the property. We have different decorative containers. We have different ways to wrap [our plants]. We offer underplanting so you can do a forest, a jungle…we can create the whole element or illusion, whatever you want to create.”
INSTANT JUNGLE 2560 S Birch St Santa Ana, CA 92707 714.850.9227 www.instantjungle.com