Vertical garden brings life to Edmonton airport

A new 'living wall' was unveiled Monday at Edmonton International Airport.
At 1,400-square feet and with 8,000 individual plants, Edmonton International Airport's living wall is one of the largest in Canada. (CBC)

Travellers arriving at Edmonton International Airport are being greeted with a new sight — a "living wall" made up of over 8,000 real plants.

"A lot of people assume that it’s fake, that they’re not real. And as soon as they find out they are real, they’re just astounded," said Mike Weinmaster, an artist with the Vancouver-based company that installed the 1,400-square foot wall.

The wall, one of the largest vertical gardens in Canada, is partially inspired by the cloud formations often seen on the prairies. The plants aren’t placed in soil and are instead fed through hydroponics.

Weinmaster says as the plants grow the shape of the wall will change.

"I wanted it to be interesting, not just the colour and the textures, but also the depth," he said. "There’s some trees and shrubs and bushes on here as well which we’re going to let grow about eight feet out of the wall."

Weinmaster says the plants will also clean the air around the wall.