Cities around the world, such as Singapore, Milan and London, are taking re-greening of urban landscapes to great heights – literally. The trend for vertical planting is starting to grow in popularity and is not just for large urban displays, they can add wonderful interest to domestic gardens.

Vertical planting pouches
Vertical planting pouches

It’s perfect for those who are limited by space but want to make an outside space with impact. Boundaries do not just need to be fencing or screening, they can become another opportunity to add wonderful plants to your outdoor space.  

Have a small space or an unsightly area? Time to think UP

What options are there?

There are a mix of options, you could try a pre-made solution or get out the tools for an up-cycling projects.

Pre- made vertical planting solutions such as:    

  • Wonderwall
  • Burgon & Ball Verti-plant vertical wall planter
  • Hanging pocket planters from eBay and Amazon

DIY projects:

  • Up end a pallet and add a bottom to each horizontal strut – makes a great planter
  • Up-cycling old ladders
  • Add hanging pots to trellis

Or even slightly more unconventional planters:

Bedding plants in a tyre - anything can become a planter!
Bedding plants in a tyre – anything can become a planter!

How large does the display need to be?

You can go as big as you like, and your space (and budget) will allow, but even simple compact displays can have real impact in your space.

The scale is not only dependent on the space available but also by how the watering will be managed. A smaller display can be watered by hand but a larger scale will need some consideration. Some pre-made solutions, such as Wonderwall, have nifty drainage systems built in.

What to plant

There are so many options to choose from, the planting will depend on its position as well as the watering. Here are a few planting options for inspiration:

Wall planted with chillis
Chillis adding some fiery colour to this display by Sunshine Garden Centre at Lords cricket ground.

Splash of colour

If you would like to regularly change the colours and give a different feel to the space, bedding plants can be used throughout the season to refresh the display. Violas, Geraniums, Petunias and Calibrachoas would work well and are available in a full spectrum of colours.

Heucheras range in colour from intense lime greens, to bright reds and moody purples. They would work well in full/part shade. If you have a more shaded spot, an Ajuga could add some lovely foliage colour.

Texture

Ferns provide beautiful texture to the display and most are happy in shaded areas. Very popular on social media, succulents provide wonderful structural foliage, consider varieties such as Echeveria, Sempervivums, Delosperma and Crassula.

Ivy can provide a varied mix of patterns and colours, and the trailing aspect of this plant lends itself well to vertical planting. Try Hedera White Wonder, Golden Koubri or sagitifolia.

GYO

They don’t just have to be ornamental, but vertical planting can be handy for herbs and veg. The perfect balance between practical and beautiful. Lettuces would be well suited and come in an array of colours and leaf shapes.

Vertical planting can be very versatile and can transform a space with colour, scent and wonderful textures all up at eye level.  Why not try some plants from the Small Plants for Small Spaces™ range and add another dimension to your space.