July 6, 2012 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
For his Bike Rim Planter, which extends from the wall by steel supports, Brian Carter replaced the bike’s rubber tires with rockwool slabs, a favored hydroponic growing medium. After wrapping the slabs with a porous fabric which he sewed to the wheel rim, he planted Red Malabar Spinach seeds every six inches.
Evaporation and Saturation Generate Mobility
The bike garden wall uses a single drip-feed hydroponic system that emits drips of water onto the top rim of the wheel between nine and twelve o’clock. As the planting media becomes saturated, the weight causes the wheel to begin turning and, as a result, the entire rim gets irrigated.
Another benefit, claims Carter, is that the climbing plants respond well to the shifting center of gravity during the wheel’s rotation.
Carter designed the planted wall as part of his course study with The Horticultural Building Systems Lab, under Richard L. Hindle, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at The University of Oregon. Professor Hindle’s research focuses on technology in the garden and landscape, with an emphasis on material processes and innovation.