Vertical gardens have become quite popular these days, with more people wanting to have greenery in their home without sacrificing precious floor space.
Versatile and highly customisable, vertical gardens can be made to work specifically to your needs, so you know you’re getting a unique feature that is perfectly suited to your home.
Whether you opt for a real or artificial vertical garden, we’ve got an in-depth guide to help you build a vertical garden of your own!
Benefits of a vertical garden
One of the main benefits of a vertical garden is that it uses up vertical space instead of floor space, which makes it fantastic for areas where maintaining space is critical! Land is a precious commodity, particularly for a lot of city-dwellers. There’s also the fact that small-space living and tiny homes have become really popular too. We can see why green walls are experiencing a rise in popularity!
Vertical gardens can also function as a unique decorative element in any home, adding on-trend greenery into your interior decor while making quite a statement. There are many instances where green walls add a decorative flair to indoor and outdoor spaces, including as a statement wall in a living area, on a balcony, or even in a kitchen.
Vertical gardens are also a great way to spruce up your space. If you have unsightly walls or fences, a vertical garden can help camouflage it and give it a second life. It’s such an effective way to transform a space, making that previously uninteresting spot in your home to the hottest hangout location.
In addition to all of this, green walls also happen to be better for you! Simply looking at greenery has been proven to have many health benefits, including lowering your blood pressure, decreasing eye strain, and reducing anxiety.
How to build a vertical garden
1. Find an ideal location
First of all, you need to decide on where exactly you want to place your vertical garden. The location of your vertical garden needs to be ideal for the types of plants you want to use in it.
For example, certain plantings – like herbs and vegetables – require a lot of direct sunlight, so it’s vital that you place your vertical garden somewhere sunny. On the other hand, a succulent garden requires a lot less sunlight, so you can place it under shade without worrying about your plants dying.
Artificial vertical gardens are a good option if you want more freedom in terms of the location of your vertical garden. Fake plants can be placed pretty much anywhere. Yes, even in direct sunlight! Of course, you’ll have to make sure they’ve got UV protection, but the fact remains that a well-made fake vertical garden can last years and years without too much maintenance.
2. Decide on the size of your vertical garden
This may be decided based on the size of the wall that you want to cover up, or the maximum size you can afford on your budget. Regardless of the reasoning, it’s important that you know the exact measurements for your vertical garden, because you’ll need to build a suitable frame for it.
If you’re planning to use live plants, you need to also consider the weight of soil in your calculations – a vertical garden that is too large and heavy may not be realistic, because the frame needs to be able to handle the weight.
On the other hand, fake vertical gardens don’t need any soil at all, so you can pretty much install as large a size as you’d like.
3. Decide on the details
Now that you’ve decided on the size and location of your vertical garden, it’s time to nail down the details! There are a few different elements involved in building a vertical garden: you need to have a suitable irrigation system, appropriate pots, and the exact type of plants best suited to your needs.
If you’re planting real plants, there are a few different types of irrigation systems that will work for you, but it depends on how much time you’d be likely to spend on watering.
Remember, both overwatering and underwatering can kill your plants, so you have to make sure you’ve got the right setup from the get go!
A good irrigation system is also important in preventing permanent structural damage to the wall that you’ll be installing your vertical garden onto. Chronic dampness from moisture retention, and cracks from root damage, are just some of the potential problems that can occur if you don’t protect your wall in some way.
In terms of pots, the best thing to do is make sure they’re as lightweight as possible! Real vertical gardens use an astonishing amount of soil – on average, a vertical garden requires 10 litres of soil per square metre. Between the soil, plants, and irrigation system, a live green wall has a lot of weight to it, so pots are a good way to mitigate some of the risk involved with such a weighty installation.
Next, you’ll need to decide on the actual plants you’ll want in your vertical garden. Here are some ideas on the types of plants that do well in a live vertical garden:
Having a mix of these plants will add some visual interest, but you have to make sure that plants with similar watering and sunlight needs are placed together to make it easier to maintain.
If you’re opting for an artificial vertical garden, you won’t need to worry about an irrigation system or pots – there’s no need for either! An artificial green wall comes to you ready to install, so all you need to decide on is the types of greenery included in the panel. There are so many types to choose from and many ways to style them, so you’ll be sure to find something to suit your taste.
4. Install the frame
A real vertical garden requires a frame to hold the irrigation system and plant pots together, and to protect the wall from damage as well. Building a frame out of wood is fine for smaller vertical gardens, but be mindful of water damage over time.
Metal frames are popular as they can hold a bit more weight, but they do require a sturdier mounting system. Whichever material you choose, make sure they are securely installed onto the wall or vertical surface of your choosing.
While an artificial vertical garden can be easily installed on any wall, some people still prefer to install them onto a frame instead of directly onto a wall or vertical surface. This method makes it easier to move the artificial green wall too – perfect for people who are renting!
5. Attach pots and start planting
If you opted for an artificial green wall, you can skip this step, as you’re all done!
For those who would rather use real plants, this is the part where you get your hands dirty. Pot all your plants appropriately, taking special care to use appropriate types of soil for what you’re planting. Then you can then attach your pots to the frame using screws or hooks.
Don’t forget to consult your plans from beforehand – make sure each newly-potted plant is placed in the ideal location for its solar and watering needs.
6. Maintain your vertical garden
An irrigation system makes this a little easier for live plants, but if you’ve opted to water it by hand instead, make sure you’ve got the right schedule for your plants. Again, different plants have different watering needs, so make sure you understand each plant’s individual needs when you create a watering schedule.
You should also keep an eye out for aphids and pests among your plants, and early signs of water damage on your wall or frames. Remember to also cut back any overgrown plants if necessary, and of course, harvest any vegetables or herbs when they’re ready to eat!
An artificial garden is a lot easier to maintain – simply give them a clean 2-3 times a year, and you’re good to go.
Style your home with a vertical garden
Vertical gardens are not only visually stunning, they can be customised exactly to your preferences. The steps outlined above will make it easy for you to create your own beautiful green wall for your home.
If you want to have a vertical garden without all the hassle, consider artificial vertical gardens. This low-maintenance option is quick to install, and comes in a variety of different styles to suit your needs!
Living vertical garden VS artificial vertical garden
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