Vertical gardens are one of the biggest trends in garden design and for good reason. Ideal for homes with compact spaces, they can instantly refresh your abode.

To help you create the vertical garden of your dreams, we sat down with Angie Thomas, expert horticulturalist at Yates to share her top tips.

Why you should consider a vertical garden feature

With a large number of us now living in apartments and smaller homes, vertical gardens are a great option for those who love plants but don’t have the space for an army of pots, or a large backyard.

Aside from their obvious good looks, they are a fantastic way to make the most of bare walls, soften the look of hard surfaces, help to filter the air of harmful toxins and attract pollinators to even the most urban of environments.

Getting started: How to choose a frame

If DIY isn’t your thing, you can buy ready-made kits, frames and pots from your local hardware store or garden centre. They come in different sizes and shapes to suit your available space and design style.

Make sure you consider how many pots come in each kit and what their dimensions are to make sure you aren’t under, or over, committing yourself. For the more creative, you can make your own frame using recycled wooden pallets. I often turn to Pinterest for inspiration!

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Credit: 123RF

Successful gardens depend on effective watering, as they can dry out very quickly. Many pre-made vertical gardens have in-built irrigation systems, otherwise, DIY garden walls will need to be regularly hand-watered or have some form of included in their design.

What to plant

Edible wall: Make your garden edible by planting herbs and vegetables such as parsley, coriander, chilli, lettuce, bok choy, rosemary and basil. Not only will your vertical garden fill your salad bowls and season your soups, it will smell divine!

Tropical wall: For a lush, tropical vibe I recommend planting Swiss cheese plant, sword fern and devil’s ivy. These plants will give a holiday vibe to any balcony or patio.

Succulent wall: For a lower maintenance garden, choose drought-resistant succulents such as golden and blue feather sedums and sempervivum* (‘hens and chicks’).

Flower wall: For a colourful wall, choose petunias, begonias, orchids and mix in with some soft green baby’s tears.

Gardening tips

It’s important to not use garden soil in vertical gardens, which can be poorly drained. Instead, use a good quality potting mix to maintain ideal growing conditions for your plants.

To promote healthy growth and beautiful flowers, feed vertical gardens regularly with fertiliser and even compost to ensure your plants are in tip-top shape. Match your vertical garden with plants to suit the amount of sunshine it will receive. Gentle morning sun with afternoon shade will suit the widest variety of plants.

Text: Homes To Love