Are you short on space but want greenery on your balcony or in your backyard? The solution - grow up! Vertical Gardens are an exciting way to bring in green life to your home and soften up that hardest of brick or cold walls.
Many office buildings, new residential towers and even the Sydney Botanical Gardens with their Calyx floral display are getting in on the vertical gardening craze. And if you love the look of these gardens, they can be easily replicated in your own home. There are kits you can purchase too, that will allow you to recreate these looks, without resorting to building it completely from scratch. Check out the Whites Garden Up® range, which includes Wall Mounted, Rail Mounted or the Freestanding options to suit your needs (read on to see how you can win your own Garden Up Freestanding kit!).
Before you race to garden centre to pick up all your bits and pieces, there are a couple of things you’ll need to consider:
Before setting up the garden, take a good look at the wall and how much sun it receives. Is it getting full sun in the afternoon, or is it getting a small amount of filtered light in the morning? Also check how hot the wall gets during the day. Many plants, like us, can’t handle the heat that well so this will determine the ultimate success of your vertical garden and the plant selection as well. Just remember that as the seasons change the amount of sun also changes. This also needs to be taken into account before getting set up.
For sunny areas, look at succulents or sun loving plant varieties. Small native grasses like Lomandra ‘Little Con’ are perfect for sunny green walls.
For areas that have filtered light, indoor plants perform well. These include bromeliads and many understorey ferns such as the birds nest fern, will perform well in these environments. To add texture to the wall, mix up the planting with mondo grass, liriope and other soft leaf ferns.
Herbs, vegies and even strawberries can be grown vertically and are great to have near a kitchen or balcony. Add flowering annuals into the mix such as marigolds and snapdragons, and you have a garden that will assist with attracting the bees as well as being edible!
Whites Garden Up® have a style to suit every vertical gardener’s dream. The Wall Mounted range are great for those looking to soften up those hard brick or concrete walls. Once you have chosen your colour (Latte or Charcoal), grab your wall fixings and away you go!
For renters or those that like a movable garden, the Garden Up® Freestanding Range is built just for you! They come with the water smart design and are easy to place against a wall or anywhere that you desire! Great to give you more space on your small balcony or deck area.
If floor space is still at a premium or your wall is a bit too over exposed for your plant selection, don’t go off the rails, garden on them! The Garden Up® Rail Mounted Range is perfect for those “oh so tiny” balconies and its modular system is easy to hang on your railings.
Many vertical gardens require a mixture of 50:50 good quality potting mix to perlite or small styrofoam balls. This mixture lightens the soil, so that it lessens the overall weight on the wall and assists with moisture control.
Luckily, with the Whites Garden Up® range and fantastic design, you only need a good quality potting mix like Yates Potting Mix with Dynamic Lifter to get your garden started.
Irrigation is very important to vertical gardens. As their soil is fairly limited they do require additional attention, especially on scorching hot and dry days. Check the soil regularly to ensure that it is lightly moist and try not to let them dry out. To further improve the soils water holding capacity, mix in Yates Waterwise Water Saving Crystals into the potting mix prior to planting out.
All plants need a feed now and then, particularly in the warmer weather, this also applies to your vertical gardens. Regular feeding with Thrive All Purpose Liquid Plant Food for your ornamental plants or Thrive Vegie and Herb for your edibles will give your plants the right amount of nutrients that they need to keep on looking fabulous.
With all the tips and tricks now at your disposal, go out and get that vertical garden growing!