Do you have a blank wall staring at you in the garden? A hunk of empty fence can flummox even the most experienced gardener. Aside from flinging a vine at it, what else can you do?
Garden designers Susan Morrison and Rebecca Sweet have a lot of tricks up their green sleeves for changing bare spots to focal points. Working in their own gardens (that’s Morrison’s purple fence in the photo) and with clients, they’ve transformed many a plain-Jane piece of stucco.
The Vertical Garden Institute had its first event, a seminar at the Grand Opening of the Singer Hill Art Garden, on July 18, 2010. The seminar was presented by the Institute’s founder, Philip Yates. Yates is the owner (with his wife Vicki) of the Singer Hill Building and the Singer Hill Cafe.
Yates began researching vertical gardens in the winter of 2007, after seeing a huge vertical garden, designed by Patrick Blanc, on a five-story museum under construction in Madrid, Spain.
Patrick Blanc’s book “Vertical Gardens” includes a brief section on vertical garden design. Blanc’s book makes it clear that his technique is to grow plants between layers of cloth, staple the plants in place on sheets of expanded pvc, and use hydroponics to feed the plants. However, Blanc’s book leaves many unanswered questions. The Institute’s mission is to answer those questions with science-based research.
The newest rage in container gardening is vertical gardening. It is easy to see why this is fast becoming a very popular way to garden. For those that have limited space such as apartments or live in urban areas this is ideal. I like the idea because it frees up my lawn area for other things such as flowers, pools, and grass for the kids to play in.
So what exactly is vertical gardening? Vertical gardening is growing herbs, vegetables, flowers or whatever you wish, up. This could mean on a fence, a wall, the side of a house. But, how exactly do you plant in a fence? Very carefully. I know corny, but I had to I say it.
Now that you know what vertical gardening is, how do you make a vertical garden? There are many options for vertical gardening. You can buy black pouches online or at your local gardening center. Another option is to use gutters. Yes, I did say gutters. Hang the gutters on your fence, fill with soil and plant anything such as an herb garden, flowers or vegetables. The benefit of this is you can usually fit more plants in the gutters than what you could have with potted plants.
I admit I have a hard time thinning vegetable plants that grow on vines, but they take up so much space. If you don’t have a lot of room in your garden, and you want to grow the crawlers that would cover a football field if left on their own, the only place to go is up.
Cucumbers, summer squash, beans, melons and peas will use a lot less ground space if you create some simple trellises to support their upward mobility, and it’s likely you have materials around the garage or shed that will work just fine. Tomato cages, for example, can support a lot more than tomatoes. They are the perfect size for climbing varieties of peas and beans.
A section of fence can support many kinds of vines. I consider the waist high fence that surrounds my garden to keep out critters as the perfect structure to support my gourds and bean plants.
Want to get the whole family involved making artsy one-season plant supports? Assemble “building” supplies such as string and strips of fabric for tying, bamboo poles, small tree branches and worn-out long-handled garden implements, and encourage everyone to get creative. This can be a lot of fun as ingenuity meets structural engineering. Send me photos of your finished projects.
By the way, items such as old wooden chairs that you were going to throw out, a rusty bicycle and an old ladder can do double duty as support for plants and charming garden sculpture.
Vertical gardening is the latest, most talked about trend in gardening. Outdoor living walls planted with anything from succulents to vegetables, are springing upin urban and suburban areas and even commercial spaces. Home gardeners are now ready to take advantage of the vertical spaces in their own gardens. Ornamental gardeners searching for help with narrow planting beds or choosing the appropriate trellis, small space gardeners in need of specific solutions, edible gardeners interested in creative ways to mix edibles with ornamentals will find the help they need. Garden Up! offers inspiration and how-to information for enhancing any outdoor space. Authors Susan Lee Morrison, and Rebecca Sweet offer advice on plant selection across the country, and include easy do-it-yourself projects than add unique touches to any garden.
Patrick Blanc, an artist with a green thumb, has created dozens of his admired botanical tapestries in public and private spaces around the world, including the Marithé & François Girbaud boutique in Manhattan; the Jean Nouvel-designed Quai Branly Museum in Paris; the aquarium in Genoa; the Siam Paragon mall in Bangkok; and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan. In this luscious, oversize, all-color book, he explains how to create plant walls using more than one thousand plants, drawing on his observation of natural milieus, his technique of growing on vertical surfaces, his savoir faire, and his passion for plants.
Bringing nature into urban spaces is one of the greatest challenges of the twenty-first century. Perhaps the most spectacular solution to this problem is the vertical garden: more than just a decorative trend, these gardens are a means of bringing greenery into metropolitan areas. Vertical Gardens is the first publication to present a collection of the most important examples of this unique addition to the international architectural vocabulary, illustrated through hundreds of photographs. Architects using ingenious framing systems are able to create compositions of plant life and adapt them to diverse settings which include luxury hotels, office buildings, museums, and parking garages.
This book introduces a revolutionary new concept to gardeners. Planting on roofs and walls began in Europe, but it is now becoming popular all over the world. Green roofs and walls reduce pollution and run-off, and also help insulate and reduce the maintenance needs of buildings. Planting Green Roofs and Living Walls discusses the practical techniques required to make planting on roofs and walls a reality.
No space for plants? Turn a wall into a vertical garden
Many people now a days have very little room to grow a garden small spaces or balconies are all the options they seem to have. I read recently about vertical garden in a news article, that explains some of the very innovative ways people have come up with to garden in these small spaces.
Vertical gardens have been commonplace in Europe for years but the trend is just now catching on here and more and more people are finding ways to grow a garden on a wall. There seems to be no end to what you can use to grow your plants in with a vertical garden. Everything from fabric pocket planters to old file cabinets seem to be in order.
If you want to garden vertically, one of the simplest and least expensive ways to do it is by using bamboo poles. When I want to add pop to my vertical garden design, I spray paint the bamboo in bright colors.
For a simple bamboo teepee, simply use three (or as many as you want) spray painted bamboo stakes. Stick them as far as they will go into the soil in your container garden. Gather them at the top and use a zip tie to secure your teepee.
The construction of an interim vegetable garden on a former playground, to be transformed into new workplaces by the St. Luke Architecture School of Science & Arts, offered a group of motivated bachelor students of the course Interior Architecture a chance to accept the “green challenge”. Armed with shovels and rakes, potting soil and seeds, garden guides, sketch paper and a laptop, a paved, polluted and overgrown piece of the city was transformed into an outdoor studio where sun and rain determine the daily rhytm of life .
Thus, future interior designers could study how gardening and ‘a garden as a workshop’ can be integrated into their profession.
How to garden successfully in your own house?
The designing of this experimental garden as a house of weed and food (* HOW, House of Weed) was the first step. Taking stock of a collective inventory of the stored resources, both materials and knowledge of the students, was the basis for detailed zoning and designing the garden. Separate teams studied spatial aspects such as the greenhouse, the terrace, the vertical garden, the hanging gardens, the concrete surface, the flower field and the zoo.
During the gardening activities and numerous confrontations with obstacles (soil too heavily roots and contaminated, weather too dry , too much shade, too little suspension points, not enough wood, radishes growing too slowly, escaping chickens, garden hoses too short, etc. ), the students developed an individual design-based research and a project-proposal, resulting from the HOW-experience.
Finally, the harvest will be shared: cooking together, eating together, partying together, … with students, neighbors, friends, helpers and members of the jury.
And with a wider audience through a weblog
Vertical gardening is becoming a big success. Here are different types of growing plants against a wall. Photos taken by students of “HOW-WORKSHOP”.
It’s that time of year in Portland again when folks in mud-caked boots appear with hoe in hand, coaxing the fragile starts of their favorite fruits and veggies to take root. Huffing and puffing in their yard, or in one of the 35 community gardens located throughout Portland, urban farmers faithfully carve precious time in their schedule and brave the elements in the hopes of bringing a bounty of healthy eats home to enjoy.
But there’s an easier way to enjoy the fruits of hard labor: Container gardening! Need convincing? Here are some reasons you should give space-saving gardening a try:
No need to plan around Portland’s unpredictable weather and your busy schedule.
The first time I saw flower bags, was in a courtyard cafe in Montreal. Everywhere you looked there were bags bursting with impatiens, begonias and petunias. From pastel pinks to mind-blowing, bright oranges and sensuous purples – there were flowers hanging from every vertical surface. There were so many bags, it seemed as if the walls were alive and made of flowers. Since that day, I have been a huge fan of hanging flower bags.