Tuesday, 14 July 2015
We normally write about gardening on the ground, we have been known to write about gardening on roofs, but this time we thought we’d write about gardening on walls! If you’re struggling to find growing space in a smaller garden or wish you could grow something in your paved patio or balcony, a vertical garden might be the solution. We’ve been finding out all about the logistics, benefits and downsides of different options.
Vertical planters come in 3 main types. The cheapest and most basic are just fabric pouches. Plastic cylindrical towers with pre-cut planting holes are the mid-range and can be freestanding or wall mounted. Larger, free-standing containers provide the longer term solution. Or you can make your own (more on that later).
There are some things to consider before you decide which type of vertical planter is right for you:
We all know that greenery and plants have a wonderful calming and stress reducing effect. Much better than staring at the back of your neighbours fence that’s painted in the colour you never liked anyway! If you’re simply looking to disguise a fence or wall, you might be interested in pre-grown ivy screens. The ivy is pre-grown for 2-3 years on galvanised wire mesh. These can be planted directly into your ground or into troughs with some compost and slow release fertiliser. They don’t require too much maintenance, just a trim once or twice a year and watering of course if they are in troughs.
Wall hung sedum planters have been popping up all over the internet recently and we do think they look fab initially. But longer term trials are starting to reveal that sedums are not suited to vertical growth. It seems that the need to grow towards sunlight causes the plant stems to weaken and break. So by all means use these as a temporary green wall but not as a permanent feature.
Taken to the extreme, vertical planting can help purify the air in cities.
The structure of this building in Turin includes 150 trees which absorb almost 200,000L of C02 per hour and reduce noise pollution from cars. Plants and trees in urban areas also regulate air temperature and vegetation on a building insulates it helping to reduce heating bills!
Another benefit of vertical systems is that you can have planters at a height optimised for you. So if you’re in a wheelchair or have trouble reaching up or down, you can set up your own perfect system.
Now we’ve gotten you all onboard with the benefits and how great vertical planters are, why not have a go yourself? A lot of the larger container style vertical planters are not at all innovative, they are just containers that you can grow climbing plants in, or they are a bit like window boxes hung on a wall. I feel a Vialii pallet project coming on…..
This would be amazing as a herb garden outside the kitchen door.
If you’ve got a bit more space, this pyramid would make a great functional focal point and would be ideal for strawberries.
If you prefer a clean, minimalist aesthetic, stacked cedar boxes attached to the side of your home make for a striking vertical garden.
You could even plant up an old chest of drawers and stagger how far the drawers open. Not sure how long that would last however as the supporting structure for any vertical planter needs to be able to withstand a lot of moisture so it would probably need a bit of reinforcement.
If you need advice on any aspect of creating a green wall or would like a quote to have a bespoke planter built and installed, please get in touch.
All at Vialii