People will place plants anywhere they’ll grow. First containers gained popularity. Then raised beds became all the rage. Today, it’s vertical gardens.
Vertical gardens aren’t new. Several decades ago, a local company manufactured modular, plastic vertical gardens that they marketed to grow food in areas like deserts that are difficult to farm. The Longwood Gardens green wall, pictured in my January 1 post, was built in 2010. The vertical garden photo shown here was taken at the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden in 2012.
Vertical gardens and green walls are becoming trendy now because more people are opting for smaller properties, which means they need planting beds with smaller footprints. So, they are doing the same with gardens as develop[ers have done with buildings. When there’s no more ground to build on, they start building upward.
Vertical gardens aren’t limited to space-challenged folks. Some are accents in larger landscapes. Others are used instead of hedges or other plants to define spaces within a landscape. Still others are being installed just to be trendy.
There are a number of ways that plants can be held in place in vertical gardens. If interested, make mounting systems part of your research when designing a vertical garden. Keep in mind that they are containerized plants so they’ll need the same special attention as traditional containerized plants. Most notably, they’ll likely have to be watered more often than in-ground plants. However, there are a number of self watering systems available. I’ve seen one that waters plants at the top and lets the water drip down, watering the lower plants as it drops. Any water that makes it all the way to the bottom is collected and recycled.
Overwintering is another consideration you’ll have to deal with. When buying plants, discuss overwintering with a horticulturist at your garden center. They may recommend perennials that are hardy to a zone or two colder than where you live. Or, you can plant annuals and throw them on the compost pile in the winter. Then replant in the spring.
If you are interested in joining the vertical garden evolution, you have a number of ways to do it. You can go to a home store to buy the frame and mounting material and to your local garden center to buy the plants and build your vertical garden from scratch. Garden centers also sell kits so you can go the “some assembly required” route. If you just want to enjoy the beauty of a vertical garden in your landscape, our designers can design one to compliment your current landscape or integrate it into a new or renovated landscape. And our installation professionals can handle all the fabrication details.
Vertical gardens aren’t limited to the outside. They are also available for indoor use. Some are mounted on the wall instead of art or photos. Other configurations make nice room dividers. Indoor vertical gardens are also available in kit form.