First brownstone 'living plant wall' turns heads in Carroll Gardens

A brownstone in Brooklyn is turning heads with its “living wall.”
Gennaro Brooks-Church is the artist behind the living plant wall, turning the front of a Carroll Gardens home into an art piece.
"I discovered living walls about 10 or 11 years ago and it was just so cool. I thought it was amazing and I saw potential to do art with it," says Gennaro Brooks-Church, of Brooks-Church Living Walls.

Brooks-Church says it's the first ever living wall on a brownstone.
“Important thing for me was to make a while that would be beautiful year-round,” says Brooks-Church.

He says to make that a reality, he used evergreens that, even on a cold rainy day, look vibrant.

Brooks-Church says he found his passion for living walls at a time when he was building his home for his family.

“Oh the first 10 pieces were a disaster. They were, really, they failed miserably. It took a lot of experimentation and I was inspired by other living wall installers and artists and so I kept going and eventually I got it down,” says Brooks-Church.

The hobby eventually turned into his business, Brooks-Church Living Walls, with the installations simple and easy to maintain.
A water pump installed at the top to make sure the plants stay alive.
“The upkeep is very simple, maybe once or twice a year I get up on a ladder, change some plants here and there, the rest is just on its own,” says Brooks-Church.

The art pieces not only stand out, they're ecofriendly, purifying air inside homes and insulating his building, keeping the heat out during the summer and the cold during the winter months. Even with all these benefits, Brooks-Church says that these pieces have even more benefits.

"The main benefit is psychological. it really is so soothing. Often, I’ll see people standing in front of my house. Just looking at the wall, meditating. Kind of in their own world and it really does seem to have a calming effect on people,” says Brooks-Church.

He hopes to make more living walls around the city.