Time poor, space poor? Simply poor-poor? No matter, a vertical garden is an effective, affordable and utterly on-trend way to update your outdoor space.
A prime example of how spacetight and time-poor we are today, the vertical garden is a practical solution for gardening in the age of apartment living. Luxe, architectural tomes will reveal huge walls decked in dense foliage.
On a smaller scale, a vertical garden can be made from next to nothing if you get creative. Make use of an old ladder, an upturned railway sleeper can add warmth, while others favour a simple trellis adorned with mix-and-match style pots that lend a thrifted feel. The best plants suited to this environment include ferns, peace lily, begonias and vines. However, look for Philodendron, Platycerium (Staghorn Ferns) and Heuchera too.
Contrary to belief, it’s not always south facing walls that are best for location. According to Mark Grehan, Founder of The Garden, Powerscourt Townhouse Centre (Shop.thegarden.ie), “From experience, vertical gardens out of sunlight do best. Irrigation is important; it’s good to have it on a timer in case you forget.”
Make a Splash
Take inspiration from your favourite far flung destinations to let the brightness in. Paint an accent wall in shocking pink, jazz up a courtyard with Moroccan tiles, make like the Parisiennes with intimate table settings and monochromatic palettes: the world, literally, is your oyster.
For inspiration, look to Instagram accounts such as Bend Goods (@bendgoods) and – for ultimate botanical escapism – @plantsonpink serves up succulents in the pinkest of scenarios. For cheap as chips Søstrene Grene sells bistro dining sets with a kitsch, colourful feel while online, Target does a mean line in jazzy pots.
If you want your summer garden to be more of a lush oasis than a haven for window-boxed pansies then Grehan advises to choose plants such as Fatsia Japonica, Gunnera Manicata, Dicksonia Antarctica (a type of fern) and Agave Americana. The latter works particularly well in a balcony space too. Finish with interesting textures – wicker, straw and glazed terracotta.