One of the things I’ve discovered in dropping Hanging Gardens in some different locations around town is that there are a whole lot of different ceiling situations to deal with. Some are more difficult than others, and the hope is that I can come up with a few standardized approaches that fit most, as in say 95% of mounting situations. Honestly, I’m excited about the challenge, as solving the mounting challenges is beginning to reveal other opportunities that will help flush out the full potential of the Hanging Garden and will enhance its potential as a kit system usable to anyone who wants to turn that dead corner, porch or balcony into an ecological garden.

Here’s the latest. I had the good fortune of a temporary install at the Hummingbird Nest Ranch in Simi Valley over Winter Solstice evening, when Evonne Heyning, Tirza Hollenhorst and friends put together a fabulous Dance to Freedom event. Already exhausted from the two week treehouse adventure, I had about six hours before the party started to figure out how to mount the Hanging Garden under a huge beam to which I could not attach any screws, except along the hidden top, and over which it was impossible to run any ropes or cables. I had to “side mount,” and wasn’t sure how to pull it off.

When I finally did pull it off, managing to keep the bad and the ugly from view, I joined the party, spread the biz cards and then as often happens, got the better, cleaner, more elegant and not to mention cheaper, design solution in meditation a few days after it was all over and at the most inconvenient hour… :)

The exciting point is that in this solution however is the beginning of an idea of how to quietly integrate water/nutrient delivery that can be flushed out as needed with future installations. The exploration contines and stay tuned, and I must say thanks to Evo, Brent, Pardox, Ed, Lance, Geisty, Tea Faerie, Fuzzy and a lot of others (pardon me if I didn’t include your name…) for sharing yourselves and an amazing evening under the stars and in the cushest horse stables this side of Appalachia…


Principal at Vertecology  By age six, Mark was building cities that touched the ceiling of his bedroom. As a teen he discovered the sustaining connectedness of the natural world in hiking and canoeing the Southwestern US and the creative power of culture through travels abroad. He developed a wide knowledge far beyond his high school curriculum and recognized by age 14 an unfolding life mission of learning and teaching how to create an abundant world where the creative power of nature, people and community were celebrated. In his early twenties, recently graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Mark initiated large-scale collaborations around the culturally recombinative Burning Man festival and jumped headlong into a career in the rigorous world of personal training and development during which he spearheaded automation of a $75 million company’s international financial reporting and launched salons that systematically investigated the levers of global peace and cultural reinvention. In his thirties Mark came home to a design-centered vision, earned a Masters Degree from SCI-Arc and a Permaculture Design Certificate and served on the core team that wrote Los Angeles’s award winning Integrated Regional Water Management Plan which integrates permaculture principles, a 100-year vision of full ecological rehabilitation of the Los Angeles River and the visions of over 1,400 stakeholder groups and agencies across a metropolitan area of 10 million people. Since 2009, Mark has thrown himself into urban ecological design/build and designed, built and consulted on more than a dozen structures including bamboo structures, super-adobe structures in Haiti and several geodesic tree houses and greenhouses with one of the most innovative tree house design/build firms in the world. Through his own entity formed in 2012, the invention studio Vertecology LLC (www.vertecology.com), Mark has been creating geodesic luminescent sculptures quickly gaining attention in the Los Angeles art scene, community scale rainwater harvesting systems, a home-scale hanging garden system that will soon go to manufacture, a line of pollinator habitats and a forthcoming line of e-books and curricula to support other makers in creating “vertical ecologies” or vertecologies of their own. Read more from this author