These days, even a little sliver of outdoor space is a gift to be savoured. So, if you’re lucky enough to have a tiny yard, balcony, or garden, you’ll want to do everything you can to make the most of it, which means finding creative ways to use every inch of space to your advantage.
One up and coming trend which is set to be popular this year is vertical gardening.
By building your garden upwards instead of outwards, you’ll save precious floor space, while still being able to plant all manner of stunning plants, flowers, and even herbs and crops.
It’s also a fantastic way to fill a bare wall with colour. In this article, I’ll be sharing a few ideas for growing your own vertical garden, so you can enjoy a flourishing outside space filled with bright plants and flowers, no matter how small your home may be.
Pick a spot with care
Before you can get your gardening gloves on, you’ll need to think carefully about the best spot for your vertical garden.
Ideally, you want somewhere that gets at least a little partial daylight throughout the day, and which is sheltered from the worst of the rain and wind.
It’s important to make a note of how much light and shelter your chosen spot will have, as this will dictate the sort of plants you can position there.
You’ll also need to think about whether your wall or fence is strong enough to support your vertical garden. In a pinch, you can use the wall of a sturdy shed or summerhouse.
Once you’ve decided on a position, you can start thinking about which sort of planting solution you want to use.
Make an easy living wall with trellis
If you’re looking for a simple fix, mount a trellis on a wall or fence, and then hang a few lightweight plant pots from it using hooks or garden wire.
This way, you can easily swap and rotate the pots to your liking, meaning you’ll have a vibrant vertical garden that changes with the seasons.
For a living wall that really makes an impact, you could even grow a climbing plant up the trellis around the pots: varieties like ivy, jasmine, and passionflowers are all perfect for this.
Repurpose an old shoe organiser
If you are on a budget, why not turn an old shoe organiser into a vertical garden? Take an old overdoor shoe organiser (the sort with small compartments for every pair) and mount it on your wall using several sturdy hooks.
Cut a couple of holes in the bottom of each section for drainage, and line each compartment with coir before filling with a good potting compost.
You can then plant up your organiser with plug plants of your choice. While trailing plants and flowers will look lovely. You could also use this as an opportunity to grow a mini kitchen garden: herbs and edible crops like rosemary, thyme, parsley, chives, and even lettuce will all grow well in this sort of planter.
Mount shelves to create a container garden
Didn’t think you had enough space to plant up lots of pretty pots?
By mounting an outdoor shelf to your wall, you can stack up several different container plants without them taking up valuable space on the ground.
When choosing a shelf, make sure it’s made from treated, weather-resistant wood, and be sure to bracket it securely to the wall. If you really want to make a statement, you could even give your shelves a lick of paint in a bright colour — just remember to choose a weather-resistant formula.
Add spring and summer colour with a hanging basket
Don’t overlook the humble hanging basket!
A brilliant space-saver, a hanging basket will bring a cascade of colour to a bare wall, even in the tiniest balcony or yard.
You can usually find some gorgeous ready-planted baskets at your local garden centre but, if you prefer, you can also create your own using plug plants.
For a lush display, go for complementary trailing varieties: lobelia, petunias, geraniums, and bacopas are all fabulous choices for a hanging basket that will flower throughout the summer.
Once you’ve planted up your basket, all you need to do is bracket it to a wall or sturdy fence post.
Don’t forget that your basket will drain water underneath, so you won’t want to position it directly over a seating area. You may need to put a drainage tray underneath it to catch any runoff during watering.
You don’t need a huge outside space to enjoy your favourite plants, flowers, and herbs. With a bit of creativity, you can create a thriving vertical garden that brings colour and greenery to your home without taking up precious space.
Take my tips on board and, by the time summer arrives, you’ll have a stunning garden that you love spending time in.
Nicky Roeber is a father-of-two, a keen percussionist, an avid gardener, and an Online Horticultural Expert with Wyevale Garden Centres. Nicky has been gardening since he was a child and has worked in the horticultural industry for many years — he’s even shared his advice and tips at Gardener’s World Live.