I can’t help it, my eyes light up just thinking about all of the many creative ways to go about vertical gardening. Some are DIY, others are DIY with some help from kits & frames, less work, yay. 🙂 Other ideas borrow from historical gardens, and from the growing habits of plants that can make vertical gardening go from – “Help, I just want to cover up this ugly wall!” To a success!
Before getting into some good vertical garden ideas, here’s a little history…Ever heard of a guy named Patrick Blanc? Because decades before vertical gardening became trendy, he was on the scene researching nature in the rainforest and is the inventor of the Green Wall. I believe that he has done projects on every continent, and you can find him here to look at his scope of his incredible projects!
7 Vertical Garden Ideas You’ll Love!
1. DIY with vertical pallet gardening
For a fun project, you can re-purpose a wooden palette and use it as the framework to grow your living wall. The material list is basic and easy: A wooden pallet, landscape fabric, nails or screws, quality potting soil and plants. Because there’s a lot of space in a pallet, you can pack it full with a lot of plants. TIP: Choose plants that don’t need a lot of root space, like small trailing and flowering plants, succulents, herbs. You can also enjoy being creative with textures, color and sheen of foliage.
2. Narrow and vertical garden planters and plants
The simplicity and clean vertical lines make for an elegant entrance. The glazed red pots are slim and upright (you don’t need a lot of space). The tightly clipped, pyramidal bay laurel shrubs within take the eye upward as well. This photo was taken on a trip to Spain a few years ago, and is the entrance to an apartment building in Madrid. This is a nice choice for this tall building, accentuating the upright scale. TIP: If your objective is to create vertical accent using any one of these adjectives: (elegant, sophisticated, small space, modern, clean lines, formal) – consider how nicely the repetition of a formal clipped shrub with several similar bold color pots achieves that.
3. Grow an espalier for limited space
Pronounced (ess-PAL-yer), espalier is a great way to grow and trains woody plants to grow vertically as well as flat. Some of the best plant choices to take on this form include: fruit trees, fremontodendron, quince, pyracantha, camellia, buddleia, cotoneaster and weigelia.
4. Create a wall of terracotta pots
Paint the pots or just maintain the terracotta. To create a wall of plants, make sure to position the pots close together. You can use plants that don’t require much water. Succulents like sedum and sempervivium are great. Also give saxifrage plants a try. Hardware for mounting? You could try using 4 to 8 inch flowerpot rings. Planters can get heavy with water, so make sure that they’re well supported.
5. Buy a vertical garden kit
There are a number of different kits and brands on the market – if you are looking, here’s my link because there are plenty of excellent vertical planters on Amazon. Woolly Pocket’s has been around for a few years and is very popular because it’s great for a small area. This really got the craze kicked off. It’s a synthetic fabric. Easy to install. And as Joanna Silver, garden editor of Sunset Magazine explains, “the synthetic fabric does natural root pruning.” There are other brands that also use synthetic fabrics. There are vertical planters made of firm recycled plastic. There are also many dimensions to choose from, which can be hung individually or in groups to form a seamless vertical landscape.
Tips for success with vertical wall planters:
- It’s critical to use a good quality potting soil that has materials within to retain moisture. You can mix in coconut choir, which has excellent air space and water holding capacity and is a good substitute for peat moss, perlite and rockwool.
- Use plants that don’t need a lot of root space. If you want to plant herbs. Great. If you want to plant vegetables, like tomatoes, not so good.
- Match the sun and light conditions to suitable plant choices.
Do you have any vertical garden tips and/or ideas to share. We’d Love to know!
p.s. If you’re seriously considering trying your hand at ‘vertical gardening’ you may want to take a look at this book on Amazon by the master, Patrick Blanc. It’s not only a good source of inspiration but also includes plenty of stunning photos.