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One creative way to decorate your wall is to plant a vertical garden. Hanging fresh herbs, flowers, and greenery will add life to any bare wall space. And you’ll be surprised at what big impact it could have on your life.
Walls are a perfect canvas for creating a beautiful mess of a garden. There are various vertical garden design ideas that you could fit into your small space to create your living wall.
Read this to gain ideas on how to start your wall garden.
What is a Vertical Garden
A vertical garden is a new level of garden structure where the gardener utilizes vertical space, be it indoors or outdoors, for planting. A vertical garden was built in an urban setting with only small spaces available. You can transform vertical areas like walls into something green and aesthetic.
This creates a more refreshing look that benefits both humans and the environment.
Establishing a vertical garden shouldn’t be as complicated as we think. You can start with something super simple until you gain the skills and resources to upgrade a living wall.
Best Plant Potting Mix To Use With Your Wall Garden
Since you’re planting vertically, you need to consider what type of growing medium will support the growth of your indoor or outdoor plants. Generally, the potting mix should have the following characteristics:
It must be lightweight. Since the potted plants are suspended vertically, they mustn’t carry so much weight. This is to prevent the whole structure from collapsing. Heavy soil isn’t commonly used here.
It must hold and retain more water. Moisture retention is critical if you want your potted plants to thrive in a vertical garden. They can quickly lose water and wilt if the medium gets dry very often. Cocopeat and sphagnum moss can help increase water retention.
It must have high nutrient retention. The potting mix should be able to retain as many nutrients as it can after leaching. You can improve this by adding organic matter.
It must be porous. Porosity in the potting mix gives the roots enough oxygen. It also provides good drainage of water. Vermiculite, perlite, and shredded bark help increase porosity.
It must have neutral pH. Most plants thrive in a neutral pH. Hence, your potting mix should at least have this pH. A medium that’s too acidic or too basic will grow very few plant species.
Following these characteristics to consider, there are three types of growing media that you could use for your vertical garden. This is based on the recommendation of the TNAU Agritech Portal:
Loose medium. This growing medium is like a “soil-in-a-bag” setup. The loose medium is stuffed into the hanging planter installed into the wall. After a year or two, you’d have to replace the bag with another as the medium gets depleted over time. This medium, however, could be messy, especially once they start getting eroded from the bag.
Mat media. This type of growing media is woven into a mat. The material is usually coco fiber. Mat media systems appear to be aesthetic once installed. But the downside is that the mat is thin and wouldn’t support heavy plants once they grow and mature.
Structural media. Structural media comes in robust blocks that would last 10 to 15 years. This is the best option you have for a sturdy vertical garden. Another good thing about this media is that features like water holding capacity and pH are customizable.
Benefits of Wall Gardening Aside From The Obvious
Putting up a vertical garden structure is beneficial in many ways. If you still have doubts about it, read below the advantages of investing in this modern type of garden.
Breaking The Monotonous Style
Some wall designs are plain, and they get boring over time. Adding a touch of colorful flowers, greeneries, and other favorite plants can make a huge change. Any bare space will spring out of life with the presence of plants.
In highly urbanized areas where almost everything you see is buildings, a vertical garden will serve as a break from all the solid lines and forms you see in the infrastructures.
Saves Energy and Water
The vertical orientation of the garden is designed to minimize water consumption. You can water from the top and allow the excess water to drip below the remaining indoor plants. Some vertical garden systems have built-in water equipment that’s automated.
It also allows full sun exposure enabling plants to harness enough energy for photosynthesis.
The vertical garden may also serve as thermal insulation during cold periods, while it may have a cooling effect during hot weather. Such functions could help reduce the building’s cost of electricity.
Do you know plants are also good for sound and noise reduction and absorption? If you don’t want to bother over something that’s going on on your neighbor’s property, a vertical garden is a way to go.
It also provides another layer of cover to any open space, so people from the outside won’t easily see what’s inside your building.
We understand how difficult it is to acquire big space in urban areas. But that’s the edge of constructing a vertical garden. You don’t need too much space to get started. All you need is a vertical space like your very own wall.
Another benefit of having a vertical garden is that it creates a unique view. This garden design is very much different from the traditional design. Hence, it’s often highly attractive.
Adds Value to Your Property
Installation of a vertical garden is costly. If you add this to your existing property, it can be considered a worthwhile investment. Once you sell the property, you could top up the value of the vertical garden, considering that it’s well-maintained.
Once there’s an existing garden, other living organisms such as insects and birds are drawn because of the microclimate that it creates. The same principle applies when installing a vertical garden in your area, especially if it’s in an urban place.
Gardeners can also grow numerous plant species like perennial vines, herbs, flowers, and greenery in their living walls, making the whole setup diverse.
Best Plants To Use For Vertical Gardening
Here are some recommendations on what type of plants you could grow in a vertical gardening setup:
Vines or Climbing Plants
What other plants could best fit a vertical garden setup than the climbing plants? You could hang different vines in a hanging planter or baskets, put them on a wall, and create a pattern or design to make them more attractive.
Make sure they come in various forms, shapes, and colors to look more pretty.
You’ll never go wrong using air plants in your vertical garden. You could install old pallets to serve as a frame, fill them in with media like moss, and insert the tillandsia plants would surely make a beautiful attraction in your house.
Air plants are also very easy to maintain so, you’re most likely to encounter less trouble.
Creating a living fern wall is like creating a semi-jungle indoors. You must install a frame using materials like old pallets or fence wood. Fern plants would grow in moist moss so you could use that as a growing media.
Ferns are lovers of moisture, so you’d need to constantly spray the moss with water, ensuring they don’t dry.
A bromeliad hung in a wall set up will create a tropical vibe in indoor and outdoor spaces. Bromeliads are colorful foliage plants and will make a colorful addition to any backdrop. They’re also straightforward to maintain and would require very little care and maintenance.
Make sure to combine different varieties of bromeliads for a more dramatic display.
Due to their hard-to-kill reputation, succulents are a good candidate for creating a living wall. Choose those species that are small in size and have flat leaves so they won’t protrude. Avoid using succulents that have thorns.
Some recommendations are Blue Pearl, Blue Giant, Moon Silver, Golden Glow, and Chocolate Soldier.
Begonias are also known for having highly attractive foliage. The variety of colors and variegations you can choose from is so diverse that they’ll look like a bomb when put together. Aside from their foliage, begonias also produce beautiful flowers.
They’d be a living art on any wall.
Hostas are another great addition to a vertical garden, especially for those living in a more shaded area. This is because hostas love the shade and won’t have trouble thriving in such growing conditions.
They also make the garden lusher with their attractive foliage.
The good thing about hoyas is that they naturally have a trailing habit making them suited as wall decoration. You can mount a hoya using a slab of wood. There’s a wide variety to choose from and they also bear beautiful blooms known as waxflowers.
To those who are fond of cooking, one way to keep your herbs at arms reach would be to create your own vertical herb garden. Basil, dill, chives, cilantro, and marjoram are just some of the herb plants that you could plant in planters, baskets, or small pots to hang on the wall.
Apart from giving you a consistent supply of herbs, this garden will also produce herbal scents around the house.
Best Vertical Garden Ideas
After selecting the plants that you’ll grow, now is the time to decide on the design of your vertical garden. Here are some recommendations for you:
A plant wall or a green wall is a vertical wall that’s intentionally covered with vegetation or various types of greenery. It has a built-in growing medium to serve as the substrate for the growing plants.
DIY Vertical Planter
You can create your own DIY vertical planter. This way, you have the liberty to make the design that you prefer. You can use recycled tires, fences, wood, and other materials to make the planter.
Hanging planters with trailing plants
To make a simple wall garden, use a hanging planter and colorful string. Those small plants in pots will certainly look good when combined. This design saves you money. You can also incorporate macrame hangers to achieve a boho look.
Wood Pallet design
Wood pallets have been used in many types of indoor furniture and you can use them as frames for your living wall. Pallets are thick and they can hold more growing media. They’re more suited for planting bigger species.
This vertical garden idea makes use of pocket panels where you could grow the plant. This system creates a uniform look and will most likely provide overall coverage of the wall.
The succulent wall is another vertical garden idea wherein you could plant different succulent varieties in frames or planting boxes. You then attach the frame to the wall vertically. You can use different shapes of frames like triangles, circles, rectangles, and ovals to create variety.
Symmetrical Wall Garden
The symmetrical garden often has similar plants established on each side to provide a vertical balance on the wall. The color of the plants is arranged in a way that creates symmetry and continuity.
A hedge wall is a vertical design idea that’s similar to a backdrop. It often consists of plain green foliage. The hedge wall is versatile because you can add other designs depending on the occasion.
Steel Matting Vertical Garden
Steel matting is a common material used for installing a vertical garden. The mesh wire creates a grid on the wall and this is where you can hang planters, pots, or baskets. You can easily mount and detach it from the wall.
Frequently Asked Questions
Installation of a vertical garden can be more costly than the traditional garden. It can also potentially damage the infrastructure from where it is installed if not appropriately managed.
A vertical garden requires more maintenance. The more complicated designs require expertise to make them successful and sustainable.
Make sure the container from where you put the soil mix is sturdy. Don’t put heavy soils but amend it with plenty of light materials like perlite, moss, and coco peat.
A well-maintained vertical garden can last about 4 to 6 years. You would need to do maintenance along the way, of course, like poting mix refill, and replanting among others.
When the soil begins to dry out, it’s time to water. For succulent plants, less watering is needed.
Yes, watering can cause moisture build up on the wall which may encourage mold growth after.
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