Types of Vertical Gardens

What’s great about vertical gardening is that you can use all sorts of containers in a variety of different shapes and sizes. You can meet the needs of your environment by choosing the right type of vertical garden for the space.

For example, in a small space, you would want to select a vertical planter that lays flat against a wall. Some vertical gardens work as privacy screens where you can plant on both sides rather than one. In some situations, you may want to switch or add plants from time to time where removable pots in a vertical frame may work better.

Of course, other things factor into your decision, such as cost, type of plant, whether you want to build it or buy it, watering needs and drainage, etc.. So, let’s take a look at the types of vertical gardens…

green wallGreen Wall

A green wall is what attracts many people to vertical gardening in the first place. It can free-standing or attached to the wall of a building and be designed for either indoor or outdoor use. The vegetation can completely cover the entire structure or be enclosed in a shallow frame.

Pockets

Another way to grow plants vertically is with “pockets”. The first time I saw this idea in action, was Woolly Pockets, which is a line of products designed for easily creating a living wall. The container is crafted from a breathable felt fabric so that plants grow better. Another less expensive way to do this is to use a hanging fabric shoe organizer.

Tiered Garden

A tiered garden is essentially several long and narrow beds arranged to look something like a staircase. Plants grow up rather than out. This may be more “diagonal gardening” than vertical, but it still makes efficient use of growing space and is often a good solution for urban gardeners – especially ones without any wall space.

Gutter Garden

You’re right, this is a planter made from a standard rain gutter. These can be arranged horizontally in rows or structured diagonally in a zig-zag pattern so that water drains efficiently form one row to the next. Depending on the depth of the gutters, space may be limited, which of course will limit the size of plants you can grow in them.

Garden Made from a Pallet

Wooden pallets

I’ve seen many cool vertical gardens created from recycled wood shipping pallets. They work¬†well leaning against a wall or a fence, freestanding with support posts or hanging on a wall as long as you add some sort of waterproofing between the planter and the structure.

You’ve got to like the look of a worn old pallet because that’s half of the appeal. To keep the soil from escaping, you can staple landscaping fabric to the back and sides of the pallet.


 

Trellis or Arbor Gardens

We’ve all seen vines growing vertically on trellises, but you might not have thought about the different shapes or types of structures that you want your vine to cover. Of course, you can buy the standard trellis at your local garden store, but you could also create your own from wood or wire in a shape that you like. I’ve even seen a large picture frame encompassing criss-crossed wires creating a vertical garden framed “portrait” with a vine.

Vertical Gardens Built from PVC Pipes

You can design a garden with pvc pipes standing straight up like a tower or laying horizontally in rows against a wall or fence. In either case, you would simply drill holes into the pipe for the plants to grow out of. With a vertical standing pipe, you can plant 360 degrees around the pipe. I’ve seen this done with strawberries and other “bushy” plants that eventually cover and camouflage the entire pipe.


 

colorful planter pots hanging on wall

An Arrangement of Garden Pots

Maybe the easiest way to create a vertical garden is by using standard gardening pots (ceramic or plastic, etc.) and hang them to a wall. Containers hung close together in a symmetrical arrangement with coordinating colors and plants can create a sophisticated look.

With many individual containers, watering can be more work, but plants can be changed, replaced or moved more easily. Herbs, seasonal plants or annuals work well in this style of vertical garden

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