The Essentials of Vertical Gardens and Living Walls

Many people don’t have a lot of space to grow a garden and often look at container gardening as the only solution. If you don’t want a lot of pots in your living area you can always consider vertical gardening as an alternative way of gardening in a small space.

Vertical gardens or living walls are becoming very popular as a way to create an interesting, pleasing and calming look to the exterior or interior of homes or offices.

Here’s a video of Patrick Blanc, considered to be one of the pioneers of vertical gardening:

There are many ways to construct a vertical garden and all it takes is some imagination and practicality.

  • Trellises are very often used outside for vines or runners. Some people use hanging baskets and even plastic water bottles in a wooden frame for their gardens.
  • The framework that supports the vertical garden is very important because the entire structure can become very heavy once the plants are added and watered.
  • Interior installations must be waterproof to prevent water damage.
  • Plants are grown in a growing medium which can be a combination of soil, compost and other components. Some synthetic growing mediums are commercially available too.
  • A great variety of plants can be grown in a vertical garden. These include plants chosen for their aesthetic properties as well as edible plants such as herbs, vegetables and fruit such as strawberries. Don’t attempt to plant watermelons or pumpkins in a vertical garden as these do MUCH better on the ground!¬†Wall panels for living walls can weigh approximately 75kg when planted and fully saturated and so it is important that a sturdy frame and secure fixings (e.g. fischer Fixings) are used.
  • When choosing the plants for your vertical garden always consider how fast they grow, how they spread out and how large they will be when fully grown.
  • The watering of the plants in a vertical garden is very important and this can be done by either individually watering each plant by hand or through an irrigation system that flows from top to bottom.

Living walls are vertical gardens that cover an entire wall and require quite a bit of planning and professional installation.


Benefits of living walls

  • Living walls conserve energy by providing insulation: cool in summer, warm in winter
  • Filter air particles and therefore make the air healthier near or within your home
  • Add humidity to the air by creating a microclimate


More information about vertical gardens and living walls:

Vertical Plantscapes

Country Living: How to plant a vertical garden


Your turn: Share your thoughts!

Have you ever tried to make a vertical garden? What tips do you have to share?