Vertical gardens are finally taking off as a popular concept. Now you can plant a garden even in the smallest spaces. A vertical garden can also double as living art if you plan well. Ginny is going to plant an herb garden on a wall by her kitchen door. Build your own vertical planter or buy it ready made. All you need is a blank wall or fence and you can go to town planting herbs, annuals, and even perennials. Remember that the more soil a planter can hold, the larger the plant you can grow.
There are enormous living walls in many cities (Shanghai has a glorious one along the Bund) that make wonderful urban art. A University of Illinois professor, Stanley Hart White, patented the vertical garden in 1938. Patrick Blanc, a botanist in Paris, is the contemporary designer of current vertical walls and is responsible for modernizing the concept and making it popular today.
Ways to plant a vertical garden:
Pockets: We saw these at the Chelsea Flower Show (see our previous article). In the U.S. they are made and sold by WoollyPocket either individually or in rows of three or five. It is easy to attach them to a wall with their metal grommets. A three pocket is $100 and a five pocket is $150. They can be reused for up to 20 years. They are made from recycled materials. Because they are modular, they can be used to create a variety of designs. They have a self-watering reservoir and each pocket can hold up to 20 lbs.
Trays: The trays are made from plastic and are similar to the multiple plant flats you buy at the nursery. The planting cells are slanted. Each unit comes with a mounting bracket and plants are watered at the top. The 45 cell tray is 20” x 20” x 2.5” deep (or 4” deep). You can hang multiple trays together. For the 2.5” deep, plants with shallow root systems like succulents work best. For other plants choose the 4” deep trays. $44.95 each.
Hanging Pots: This site sells a device that allows you to hang a flowerpot on any flat surface. The pot clip secures the pot to wood, brick, stucco, wrought iron, lattice, vinyl siding and more. The pot clip is hidden behind the pot. The pots can bear up to 100 lbs. and aren’t bothered by high winds. Five hang-a-pot hangers is $19.95.
Random objects: Hanging fabric shoe organizers have been used as vertical planters. Gutters make very attractive planters and can hold lots of soil. Burlap bags and shutters have also been used. Whatever you use, remember to drill drainage holes in the bottom. If you are growing edible plants, make sure your containers are not toxic. If you need an irrigation system go to www.dripdepot.com.
Check out Pinterest vertical gardens boards.
And this You Tube ‘how to’ video on vertical garden from Home Depot.
Other sources for vertical garden equipment: