What is vertical gardening?
It’s the use of structure to provide visual height in your garden, providing ample space to grow food and flowers upwards. It’s a wonderful solution for those who don’t have space, as pretty much anything can and will grow upwards!
We provide you with the easiest, most practical and frankly, quite beautiful ways to incorporate the element of height into your garden using vertical gardening…
What are you looking to create?
Look around your space. If indoors; are you looking to create an indoor living wall? Are you looking to install stackable planters or wall mounted planters to maximise wall space?
If outdoors; the options are vast. Trellises – available in wood and metal, in various shapes and sizes – are versatile and provide not only height but privacy, if that’s what you’re after. Obelisks and arches can be used with pots or directly in garden beds as bases to provide effortless, visually strong statements in any outdoor space.
Hanging and wall mounted planters provide the perfect space for vining plants to nestle into, and as they grow, they create their own height and interest of their own.
Balcony pots (those which sit comfortably on a rail) offer their own beauty hanging off railing and come in striking colours and shapes to suit your space!
Your space will come alive when you decide which style of vertical gardening you will go for. An interior wall clad with wall mounted planters and vining plants will introduce living colour into a space in a unique way.
A trellis planted with with vining vegetables, like tomatoes will soon be laden with the juiciest crop.
An archway with climbing roses or bougainvilleas is not only a thing of beauty, but a spectacular way to showcase bountiful blooms without taking up much space at all.
Don’t forget metal trellising or wooden equivalents go a long way in creating a vertical space, which is easy to train plants up.
What plants do I go for?
Climbing and vining plants are the simplest choice to creep up trellises, obelisks and arches or along wire wall designs and balcony rails to create privacy and a living wall of foliage. We have provided just a few examples, but do remember that the choice of plants is huge, and is at the end of the day, quite personal.
Some of the best climbing plants include:
Thumbergia alata or ‘Black-eyed Susan’ is a quick grower, with the benefits of attracting pollinators and being water-wise. An ideal screen cover-up plant, it creates a thick wall of growth, bursting with orange flowers with black centres.
Jasminum Angulare or ‘Wild Jasmine’ is a beautiful glossy-green foliage shrub which grows slowly but rewards your wait with masses of star-shaped white, headily floral blooms. Their signature scent elegantly envelops any space!
Named after French explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville, the Bougainvillea packs a colourful punch in any climbing plant circle. Just as he discovered this plant on his travels in 1768, so the Bougainvillea will ceaselessly climb and explore up any vertical object until it can climb no more!
Trachelospermum jasminoides or ‘Star Jasmine’ is a fantastic climbing choice, and will easily cover trellis and wall with it’s vigorous vines. It’s hanging blooms in spring really steal the show, and its deep bottle-green foliage stun year-round.
Gelsemium sempervirens or ‘Yellow Jasmine’ variety with lanceolate deep green leaves and clusters of buttery-yellow trumpet- shaped blooms. This is the State flower of Carolina in the United States- and a favourite for climbing over walls and arbors. Interestingly, it is toxic to honeybees, but not to bumblebees!
Our favourite climbing roses are…
The Rosa iceberg and Rosa banksiae are both prolifically flowering climbing rose varieties. Rosa banksiae or ‘Lady Banks Rose’ is an evergreen, vigorous climber. It bares very little to no thorns, and its floral clusters bare masses of small yellow roses.
Rosa iceberg is a year round producer of masses of white roses. It will grow over most surfaces with ease. It is evergreen and the simplest of roses to grow and care for. It’s origins are German, with its common name being Schneewittchen.
Check out this helpful page from Ludwigs Roses, all about different climbing roses and their differing growth habits.
Vegetables with an urge to climb include:
Pumpkins, tomatoes, cucumbers, most summer and winter squash varieties, beans, peas, loofah, nasturtium, melons, certain species of spinach – amongst others – grow well vertically. Strawberries do very well as vining plants in hanging baskets, or tumbling out of large pots.
Be sure to check when you buy tomato seeds if the chosen variety is determinate or indeterminate. Determinate varieties grow to a certain size and bare a certain amount of fruit and then cease production once the top buds set fruit. Indeterminate species grow much larger and produce much more, for a longer period of time- at least until the first frost. The latter are a better choice for a vertical garden.
For an endless range of indoor plants, visit us in store! Plants which are perfect for hanging on walls, draping down from hanging baskets and for sprawling lazily out of pots, are plentiful.
Lets take a peak at the choices
Epipremnum aureum or ‘Devils Ivy’ is the easiest plant (not directly) under the sun! It’s sprawling leaves and robust growth make it an obvious choice for Indoor vertical spaces. They are easily at home in wall mounted planters, atop shelves in pot covers, and in hanging baskets near a window. It is also commonly known as ‘Pothos’, and has waxy leaves which are large and marked with yellows, brighter shades of green and white.
Philodendron cordatum or ‘Heart Leaf Philodendron’ is commonly confused with ‘Pothos’ but presents a more compact growth structure and has flexible stems that are more slender than the ‘Silver Vine’; allowing for a wonderful trailing habit and beautiful vertical visual appeal.
Senecio rowleyanus is best known for it’s necklace-like bead-shaped leaves which grow in tumbling masses. This ”String-of-Pearls’ is actually a succulent, but prefers the Great Indoors and indirect sunlight, although a sheltered position outside with morning sun will be fine too, provided it is protected from frost.
What containers and pots should I use?
Vertical gardening is a continuous experiment. You may find a hanging basket works well for a certain plant, and another plant may need a large heavy pot. We have some favourites to share with you!
Wall mounted planters come in a variety of styles and can be planted up with indoor plants or trailing veggies- the choice is yours!
Balcony planters are perfect for that outdoor-salad garden, planted up with lettuces and seasonal veg and herbs, ready for the picking. Load them up with water-retention crystals to ensure your plants stay happy and hydrated.
Our beautiful balcony and railing tin pots come in a variety of bold colours, and some of them have chalk tabs on them for labelling your seedlings. What a fun addition to any outdoor area!
Hanging planters from Reel Gardening are that pop of truly African style your wall needs! Hang them over rails or attach to a wall and plant directly into the Schweschwe planters. Fabulous for herbs, trailing indoor plants, your winter annuals, and small salad crops.
We also have hanging baskets with colourful liners- the choice really is yours when it comes to creating a vertical garden!
Do my plants need extra care?
Many plants in pots and vertical gardening structures need extra hydration, or means to keep their water levels high. Water retention crystals and slow-release water devices can easily aid in this.
Growing vertically, especially when in pots, means the plants are not getting water and nutrients from the ground, and so these things need to be added to the pots. Fertilising and adding plant food, mulch and other organic additions to the soil will greatly enhance the health and quality of your plants. See our blog post |HERE| all about fertilising.
If your plants are planted in the ground in conventional garden beds, there is less haste to ensure water retention – but of course regular watering is still necessary.
The only way forward is up!
Your vertical garden is a labour of love and a source of joy – with care, proper light, food and enough water, your plants should give you many years of abundant crops and plentiful beauty.
Please share your vertical gardens with us!