The traditional hedge of trees has often been considered a “living wall” in our gardens but planting a vertical garden is a far more interesting way of livening up a drab and dreary wall or space.
The benefits of vertical gardens include:
- Screening unsightly areas
- Cooling and absorbing odours and noise
- Providing a relaxing atmosphere
If you decide to try vertical gardening, keep these tips in mind:
- If you are making a base to mount on a wall, ensure the wall is strong enough to cope with the additional weight of soil and plants. If in doubt, seek expert advice about the wall
- Leave your base in a horizontal position for a few weeks to give the roots time to take hold. Having the wall upright too soon can cause unnecessary plant or soil loss
- Many plant varieties will adapt to vertical gardening. Some herbs , vegetables and succulents are great choices
- Often a drip system on the top layer is enough to irrigate the entire wall below as water seeps through the layers
- Using alternative water such as a rainwater tank will make your garden truly sustainable.
Some tips to keep in mind when selecting plants include:
- What outcome do you want to achieve? Are you looking for colour or other visual interest, a relaxing ambience or food or herb plants?
- Start off with easy to grow plants such as strawberries, mondo grass, nasturtiums, petunias, daisies or lettuce
- Ensure plants with similar water needs are kept together to get the best out of your watering
- Select plants based on shade or sun requirements based on where your vertical garden will be located
- Choose plants with smaller, slower growing roots.
If you’re looking for inspiration, the following website explains how to transform a shipping pallet into a wall garden – Shipping Pallet Wall Garden
For further information on vertical gardening see a five minute interview with Phil Johnson to learn more tips and tricks to creating a successful vertical garden.