How to Create a Vertical Garden
- Photo by Linda Oyama Bryan
- Photo by David Tsay
Pockets of breathable, recycled material last 15–20 years and attach to wood, masonry, concrete and chain link with metal grommets. Sold singly or rows of three or five. (Woolly Pocket, from $19; woollypocket.com.)
- Photo by Peter Krumhardt
Lean and green
Prune and tie fruit trees—apple and pear are traditional—along wire or a frame to skim a wall. Trees grafted on dwarf rootstock work best. Give it three to five years for a full look.
- Photo courtesy of Terra Trellis
Steal the scene with this weather-resistant metal tuteur—a four-sided pyramid trellis for vigorous vines like trumpet honeysuckle, cup-and-saucer, or purple passionflower. Available in 5- and 6-foot heights and seven colors, including oxide, shown. Order this tuteur with a sphere or a screw-on bird feeder, birdhouse or bee bungalow topper. (Akoris Tuteur, $279–$490; terratrellis.com.)
4 fast-growing vines
Looking for an intriguing climber that’ll reach 10-plus feet in two months? We’ve got you covered.
1 Chocolate vine ‘Silver Bells’ Rosy blooms and small, mild fruits adorn the 15 feet it sends out in sun or partial shade.
2 Scarlet runner bean This one zips to 10 feet and sets showy scarlet blooms. Eat the pods whole or just the beans.
3 Dutchman’s Pipe Curving trumpet flowers brighten the 30 feet it can reach in just eight weeks.
4 Moonflower Fragrant 6-inch purple or white flowers bloom each evening on the 10–15 feet of this morning glory species.
- Photo courtesy of Shawna Coronado
5 reasons to create a vertical garden
Chicago’s Shawna Coronado, author of Grow a Living Wall (Cool Springs Press, 2015), shares why she gardens skyward.
1 Grow anywhere Put these gardens right where you want them—a balcony, patio, garage wall or fence.
2 It’s easy Once you plant the garden, it’s super-low maintenance. No weeding!
3 Less is more Because the plants are up off the ground, they have better air circulation (so less fungus or rot). They’re also ideal for pollinators while being less susceptible to pests that are at home on the ground.
4 Super saver Prevent waste by installing an automatic drip line (from $28; dripdepot.com) that encourages water to trickle top to bottom. Planting tightly to fit a container results in a compact root system that holds moisture better.
5 You’ll like the math Planting veggies? If you go vertical, you can grow dozens of plants in a small footprint rather than a couple of space-eating rows.