Living Walls Blossom Throughout Local Duluth Businesses

Bill and Kate Isles are the Creators Behind Duluth Living Walls

DULUTH, Minn. – The Lincoln Park craft district is now home to a massive 37 foot long living wall.

The concept is sprouting up in popularity across much of the nation, but the owners are proud to be the first official business right here in the Northland.

“A lot of people, first their thought is, wow, and second it’s like, is it real,” said Adam Ruhland, co-owner of Wild State Cider.

When you walk into the latest cindery to call Lincoln Park home, you’ll quickly realize green goes well with a good crisp cider.

“Sometimes it looks so perfect they’re wondering, maybe it has to be fake,” said Ruhland. “We kind of felt that doing something green and on a larger scale really were going to fit the brand.”

Shortly after renovations began to bring Wild State Cider to Duluth, Ruhland reached out to handyman Bill and green thumb Kate Isles.

“I checked my phone and I had a message and I said Bill, I don’t know if this is real. I think this might be a joke,” said Kate Isles, co-owner of Duluth Living Walls.

But a joke it was not. The Isles were indeed in for a big project to help beautify the fresh space.

“My concern was getting the watering to work correctly but we came up with a system that has a pressure base that only starts watering the plants once the pressure is built up to a certain point so they all get watered the same,” said Bill Isles, co-owner of Duluth Living Walls.

The Isles are working every day to perfect Duluth Living Walls. The concept stemmed from an idea the couple came across in Florida.

“Kate said to me, we should do this in Duluth, nobody’s doing this,” said Isles.

After returning to the Twin Ports, the Isles leafed out, building thoughtfully planned out frames and caring for hundreds of natural detoxifiers.

“My role is choosing the plants and potting the plants,” said Isles.

The Isles choose to be hands on in the process every step of the way.

“It really takes constant care and research,” said Isles. “We love working with businesses, also we love visiting the businesses, being there with the plants and enjoying their food or their music or whatever they have happening.”

Duluth Living Walls first blossomed at locally owned Mount Royal Vanilla Bean.

“People start talking. They start talking about plants, they start talking about all sorts of things because they’re connected to the wall. So maybe even with someone they don’t know, they might start talking to them about, “Did you see that wall?” or “What did you think about that plant,” said Isles.

Not only do the Isles hope the conversation keeps customers coming back to locally owned establishments, they would also like to expand their eco-friendly idea with healthy living in mind.

“They’re healthy, they’re better for the air, they’re better for the sound,” said Bill Isles.

“It’s rewarding and I get attached to the plants so it can be heart wrenching sometimes,” said Kate Isles.

With the plants as crisp as the cider, the Isles are bringing new life not only to the Lincoln Park craft district, but to a Northland in need of more green life.

“In the middle of January and February when people are outside and they come in here they can breathe easy, they can feel wonderful,” said Isles.

The Isles are looking to expand their business in the future.

They’re encouraging local business owners to reach out to them via Facebook or their website with new ideas.

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