Getting your garden vertical...

Anyone who has watched a gardening program on TV or picked up a gardening magazine recently will tell you that vertical gardens seem to have become the “flavour of the month”.

Fashion statements aside, a vertical garden is certainly worth thinking about if you’re trying to maximise space in a tight courtyard or alcove, cover an unsightly wall, or perhaps simply create a point of interest in an outdoor area.

If you’re considering adding this element to your property, remember that they don’t have to be overly complicated or expensive. However, one of the key factors in creating a successful vertical garden is to use the right plants. So here are a few suggestions.

One important thing to remember when creating a vertical garden is to make sure that you plan the watering and drainage right at the start. Nobody needs a visual highlight that rapidly becomes a maintenance headache!

  1. A creeper that is popular, particularly in tight spaces, is the Wax Flower or Hoya. Carefully positioned chicken wire will help the vine grow in your preferred direction.
  2. Baby Tears and the Hosta are popular options for shady walls.
  3. Many of the Geranium family can be used to add colour in compact clumps or lines.
  4. Ivy is also popular, but if you decide on this choice be sure to use wire to keep it from attaching to the wall.
  5. The use of ferns such as Maidenhair or Harts Tongue can help to soften harsh lines, particularly in shady positions.
  6. Bromeliads require very little soil and can add long lasting colour.
  7. For a point of difference, consider a native orchid like the Rock Lily.