Vertical Garden Ideas for Every Home
Whether you live in a house, townhouse, apartment or flat, there are vertical garden ideas for every situation.
Vertical gardens are the buzzword for anyone who lives in a house, townhouse, apartment or flat. It is a method of gardening that allows you to grow fruits, vegetables and plants on a wall rather than have plant pots and containers take up valuable space. Vertical gardens are also popular as a way to dress up areas such as paved courtyards, an entrance to a home, or a small patio area or stoep where you like to sit.
Not only practical where there are limited space options for plants or growing your own fruits and vegetables, but a vertical garden is also an aesthetic element that can bring nature indoors or be used to decorate a blank feature wall or bring a splash of colour to a patio or stoep.
Instructions for Vertical Garden
Making a vertical garden of your own is an easy project and there are only a few things you will need. Some reclaimed pallet wood or wood scraps to make the box frame, some chicken wire or mesh mounted onto a front frame, a piece of landscape fabric, hessian or burlap, good quality soil and plants.
Make the box frame and frame for the front. Staple the chicken wire to the front frame. The box frame needs to be approximately 50mm deep for succulents and around 75mm deep for other plants. Put a simple catch on the front frame to secure it firmly in place.
Fill the box frame with a quality soil mix, preferably specific for the types of plants you want to put in the vertical garden.
For this step you have two choices, you can lay landscape fabric, hessian, or burlap over the top of the soil, or you can simply push the plants through the chicken wire directly into the soil and then wait a couple of weeks for the root systems to be established and hold the soil in place. If the former, you will need to make holes in the fabric and through which you can push the plants through the chicken. I prefer the last method as it allows you to hang the vertical garden immediately and the fabric holds the soil in place.
Decorative Vertical Garden
Popular as an easy solution to gardening where you don't have access to your own garden, vertical gardens can be decorative, colourful, and interesting, especially when filled with plants of varying shapes, sizes, types and colours. Succulents have become the main feature for vertical gardens but, these plants do need sunlight to thrive so be sure to keep this in mind when deciding where you want to mount a vertical garden.
Succulents are great for planting in vertical gardens but don't forget that these plants might require little watering but do need plenty of sunlight.
Polystyrene or polyurethane cornice and moulding with a decorative design are ideal for use as a frame for a vertical garden. Attach the cornice or moulding onto a basic wood frame with cornice adhesive.
If you fancy the idea of an indoor succulent vertical garden, make sure to place it in a sunny spot that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight per day, or install grow lighting above the vertical garden to ensure that the plants thrive. Insufficient light will cause the plants to grow straggly and lose their vibrant colours for which they are so well known.
An old picture frame makes for a quirky indoor garden and can be filled with a variety of succulents.
peter krumhardt - bhg
If you have a sunny wall or courtyard that receives a fair amount of sunlight during the day, making a vertical garden using steel mesh is an easy option. Builders stock a variety of steel mesh products that are affordable and the only other things you will need is the frame surround and plant pots filled with plants or herbs. Use this method on a smaller scale to grow herbs on a balcony.
Indoor plants that require only minimal light are perfect for an indoor vertical wall and provide a great feature or focal point.
More Solutions for a Vertical Garden
While the frame box idea is a great one for a simple vertical garden, there are plenty of other ideas for vertical gardens. I love the idea of mounting shelves onto a wall and being able to fill these with plants that are suitable for particular situations. For example, a courtyard or wall that is in full or dappled shade can be filled with shade-loving plants, while one in a sunny location lets you pot up herbs, assorted small veggies and plants.
Wall-mounted shelves offer a solution for both indoors and outdoors where you have no space on the floor but plenty of room on a wall. Consider this if you have a small balcony and want to grow plants, herbs, or veggies.
Used to reinforce concrete, steel grill is the perfect solution for growing herbs and salad ingredients in a small area. Reinforced mesh 2.4 metres x 6 metres costs R369 at Builders. Cut into sections to set up a frame for potted plants and herbs.
Another vertical garden idea that won't cost that much to set up is that of using PVC pipes with a cut-out opening or cut in half and then sealing off with end caps. These can be filled with a variety of plants but do keep in mind that the soil is shallow, and it is best to only fill with plants that have minimal root growth.
The Web provides plenty of inspiration for a vertical garden and there is guaranteed to be one that you would like for yourself. You don't even necessarily have to buy the materials to establish a vertical garden when there are so many ideas out there for using recycled materials.
The Bottom Line
As the above goes to show, anyone can establish a vertical garden even if the area they have available is small. Pop into any Builders store and peruse the aisles for ideas of materials you can use to establish a vertical garden in your home, on a patio or stoep, to decorate a plain courtyard or to create a feature that you can see from indoors. All the above options are fairly inexpensive to make, and you will not only be able to enjoy the beauty of foliage and flowers but also be able to grow your own produce and herbs for your kitchen.
Get creative and think up ways to use items that are not associated with gardening. A shoe holder is easily transformed into a herb garden!