How To Create A Vertical Garden

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How to create a vertical garden

Feeling boxed in by your outside space? Take a look up to your left. Ahead. Behind. And to your right. Hey Marcarena, ay ya! But to be serious, any bare walls or fences could be the start of a beautiful slice of nature. Read on for how to create a vertical garden and make your horticultural dreams come true.

Vertical garden ideas for small spaces

One silver lining of pandemic lockdowns is how they encouraged fledgling gardeners to make use of every possible space. And the horticultural industry has responded with more solutions than ever to grow ‘living walls’.

Vertical garden planters

There are so many vertical container landscaping options to buy and DIY.

To buy

Nurgul Railing Pots look like pots, but have a ‘bite’ taken out so they slot onto the top of railings or battens. Available from B&Q.

You know those shoe pockets to hang in wardrobes? There’s a fabric gardening equivalent with pockets for plants. Just search for ‘hanging wall vertical planter’. To make it sturdier, attach it to a frame.


Only have the smallest of spaces? How about repurposing a wire file organiser? Line it with our coco coir basket liner, add compost and you’re good to go! Hat tip to Michael of Inspired by charm for this idea.

Guttering makes a fantastic ‘shelf’ in which to pop plants. Install in groups, water from the top, and gravity will make sure it drips through to the level below! Just remember to add end stops and drill holes in the bottom of the guttering curve.

You can plant up gutters with compost like a very slim mini-planter, or sit pots on top of gravel. The gravel prevents plants in pots from getting ‘wet feet’ and rotting.

If you’re renting and need something portable, check out this hanging gutter plant stand from Her Tool Belt.

Pro tip: not a fan of black plastic guttering? No problem. Just apply your favourite shade of oil-based gloss paint.

Up for a pallet upcycling project? There are some ingenious designs to choose from, including:

• Attaching pots using metal bands – we love the rainbow pallet flower garden planter by Hello Creative Family

• Creating shelves – check out this clever pallet planter from 2 Moms and a start up

Best plants for vertical gardens

If you only have small areas of compost in which to plant, it’s best to select plants with shallower roots and which don’t grow too high.

Flower power

Think ‘hanging basket’ plants, and you’re on the right track. Try:

• For sunny spots: campanula, lobelia, petunias, salvias

• Left in the shade: fuchsias, forget-me-nots, heuchera, pansies, vinca minor, viola begonias, bleeding hearts, vinca minor (also known as periwinkle)

Fancy foliage

There’s something about a lush, jungle-like display. This can be achieved with
coleus, ferns, hostas – there are some really stunning miniature varieties! – and ivy.

Prefer something airier? Tightly packing grasses like carex and stipa next to each other can create a stunning textured ‘living’ wall panel.

Incredible edibles: vertical veg garden ideas

Your vertical garden can act like a mini-allotment tipped on its side! Why not try:

• Herbs like basil, oregano, mint and thyme

• Cherry tomatoes

• Beans

• Spring onions

• Salad greens, spinach and bok choy – you could hang ‘cut and come again’ varieties outside your kitchen door

• Radishes

Going up?

You don’t need to build structures for vertical gardening. Climbing plants can do a lot of the hard work for you.

A perennial will return year after year. We’d suggest a climbing hydrangea, all three types of clematis – spring, early summer and later summer – for maximum blooms, evergreen jasmine, climbing roses and honeysuckle. If you’re patient and staying at your pad for a while, nothing beats a wisteria. Just buy one with flowers on so you know it’s not a dud.

Stackable garden supplies

Chances are if you’re short on gardening space, you have the same problem with spots to store gardening supplies. Luckily our compressed coco coir compost comes in boxes and can be stored anywhere cool and dry. Then just add water when you need some compost.

Tips from the ‘Green Gardeners Guild’ online advice library

On the lookout for more tips and hints? Our blogs are packed with advice:

Best plants for an apartment balcony

Inspirational gardening trends

Growing vegetables in pots

Have a verdant vision of vertical gardening?

We’d love to see it! Please post your pictures and tag @cocoandcoir on Instagram. We’ll credit you for any images we use and you’ll also be in with a chance to win some Coco & Coir goodies for your sustainable garden.