The rise of vertical gardens

The rise of vertical gardens
  • Written by
  • Abby Beswick

Forget boring horizontal gardens – it’s time to get vertical. Also known as living gardens or green walls, vertical gardens are a fashionable trend in the gardening world. High on the facades of hotels and commercial buildings, within restaurants and cafes, and inside peoples homes: this arty foliage breathes colour and life into spaces. 

While large living walls create a dramatic backdrop, they also work extremely well in small areas by utilising space. So if you want to transform a wall in your garden or home into a verdant attraction, we can help. Here are some tips on how to create your very own vertical garden.

Assess your space

Look at the location where you want to grow your vertical garden and see how much sun it receives throughout the day. Does it get full sun all day or is it in total shade? Few plants grow well in extremes like this. Gentle shade and sun is ideal as this will give you plenty of plant choices.

Choose a frame and planters

You can buy ready-made vertical garden kits and frames from your local garden centre. These come in different sizes and shapes to suit your space and design. If you’re feeling creative, you can make your own using timber, trellis or recycled wooden pallets. You can then add pots, baskets or planter boxes.

What to grow

The options for vertical gardens are endless! Here is some inspiration when deciding what to grow:

Edible garden – make your vertical garden edible by planting herbs and vegetables. Not only will your garden provide delicious additions to your cooking, it will also smell divine. Try some of the following: parsley, coriander, basil, lettuce, rosemary, mint, beans, and radishes.

Tropical wall – Consider growing tropical plants for a lush, exotic vibe. Options include, sword fern, devil’s ivy, zebra plant and swiss cheese plant.

Succulent wall – For a lower maintenance vertical garden, choose succulents, which are extremely hardy and come in all shapes and sizes. Try echeveria, crassula, portulaca and string of pearls.

Flower wall – For a colourful, vibrant wall choose annuals such as pansies, violas, petunias, geraniums and begonias.

Pot and hang your plants

This is the fun bit – creating your garden. Make sure you use a good quality potting mix and pack your plants in nice and snug before hanging them. Successful vertical gardens depend on effective watering as they can dry out quickly. If an irrigation system isn’t included in your design, you’ll need to hand water your wall regularly. And don’t forget to use plant food to promote healthy growth and keep your vertical garden looking its best.

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