Why superyacht owners are planting gardens on their boats – Robb Report

Despite their earthly omnipresence, indoor gardens have naturally been rarities in the nautical world. But as yachts become more and more residential and sustainability becomes more important, suddenly the tomatoes are ripening and the tulips are blooming at sea.

When done well, onboard gardens can have both practical and aesthetic benefits. Plants can help purify the air in an AC-filled yacht, as well as create microclimates and create different moods throughout the vessel. Some fine examples are already on the air, from Boadiceathe explorer’s yacht tropical garden and greenhouse Scout to smart planters and pots programmed to regulate their own water, fertilizer and light exposure on Flying fox.

Axel Massmann, CEO and Founder of Yacht-Greena Hamburg-based company specializing in the interior and exterior greening of megayachts, has created gardens for boats over 300 feet, including Dilbar. When it comes to designing your own, he recommends stepping away from small flowerpots and doing something amazing: bringing the jungle to you. “Imagine you are standing on your yacht in the Arctic, staring at an iceberg. It’s beautiful, but it’s cold and uncomfortable,” suggests Massmann. “So you enter your own Mediterranean garden with olive trees, lemon trees and the sweet scent of fresh lavender. Two climates meet in an unprecedented symbiosis. Isn’t that fantastic?”

On a slightly smaller scale, the London-based design firm Bannenberg and Rowell created a Japanese-inspired Zen garden to bring a peaceful ambience to the wellness space for a client.

A lush Yacht-Green concept that includes a green column and a vertical garden wall.

Courtesy of Yacht-Green

And gardens aren’t just for looks. On some yachts, such as sea ​​owl, chefs grow fresh herbs on terraces or vertical green walls in the kitchen. There is even the possibility of planting fruit trees or cultivating a vineyard on board.

Green thumb or not, none of this is easy. Gardens may require their own maintenance systems and additional crew training. Bannenberg & Rowell recently designed such a facility. “It took extensive research into hydroponics to understand what would be needed to provide the yacht with a self-sustaining food chain,” says company founder and director Dickie Bannenberg.

“The scale of a yacht is a determining factor for the feasibility of a living garden,” adds Bannenberg. “Even then, there are maintenance and durability issues to consider.” For example, many countries will require foreign ships to discard both the plants and the soil they grow in to prevent the spread of foreign pests or agricultural diseases, which is an additional barrier to widespread adoption. But Bannenberg hopes “the direction of travel is towards a greener, more self-sufficient onboard lifestyle.”

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