After years of research, Michael Riley, a former commodities trader who later became the assistant director of the Horticultural Society of New York, learned how to grow a wall of plants inside his New York City apartment. The process included stripping the walls of plaster and fitting plywood to new and existing building studs. Bitumen roofing was then applied to the plywood to protect the walls, and cork bark was stapled over that before plants were inserted into pockets in the cork. Sprinklers and lighting were later installed overhead with trenches at the base of the walls to catch water.

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