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Garden Design

Design elements – living walls and vertical gardens

Marianne Cannon

Marianne Cannon

October 29, 2012

I’m talking about living walls and vertical gardens with landscape designer Louise McDaid, covering pleaching trees and shrubs, aerial hedges, vertical gardens, pots and hanging baskets and climbing plants.

Living Walls Part 1    Pleaching

Have you ever thought of having a vertical garden? It’s one way to grow more plants that’s for sure. Which one is right for you? Design Elements covers five different living walls and vertical gardens. If you’ve never thought of this concept, then you’re in for a surprise. Let’s begin the series. Did you know that vertical gardens on an external wall of your home, acts as an excellent natural insulator, making the temperature inside several degrees lower. In fact, a room with a vertical garden can be 7 to 10 degrees cooler than a room without one!



Living Walls Part 2    Aerial hedging and vertical gardens

This is the second in the series of vertical gardens and living walls. If you’re creative or a bit handy, I’m sure you can come up with lots of different ways to make a vertical garden with pots or hanging baskets. Perhaps convert a crate, turn it on its side and fill in the spaces with compost and plants. There are also modular units you can buy like in this photo to the right. Let’s find out more….



Living Walls Part 3    Living walls with climbing plants

Spring and summer are good times to walk around your neighbourhood looking at flowers on climbing plants, but also you need to look at where and how the plant’s growing. If your garden is shady, don’t pick climbing plants that need full sun, and the reverse is also true. The series on Living walls and vertical gardens – great for small spaces, or even big spaces when we want to include an intimate or cosy part into our garden.

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Julie Thomson
10 years ago

Some fantastic ideas there, Marianne. My challenge with vertical or hanging plants is keeping them moist …. but have some great inspiration there.
Thank you.

10 years ago
Reply to  Julie Thomson

Hello Julie,
Yes it is a challenge to keep hanging baskets moist.
Self watering pots can help as can mulching with coir.
Is there a chance you could erect a dripper system to connect the hanging pots?

Julie Thomson
10 years ago
Reply to  Marianne

Yes Marianne, a dripper system would be a boon, but that has been on our “to do” list since about 2003. Sigh. It just doesn’t excite me installing pipes etc. I would much rather plant or dig …. haven’t got the plumbing gene, sadly.

Tom lantry
Tom lantry
10 years ago

very clear explanation on vertical walls and their construction

10 years ago
Reply to  Tom lantry

Thankyou for the comment. In the very near future, the full radio program that I present (Real World Gardener) will be streaming live at 5pm Wednesdays on 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney.

Paul Slattery
Paul Slattery
10 years ago

Hi Marianne, My company Dapples Garden Management Services used to maintain vertical gardens built by David Holst, they were perfect in every regard, however the same perfection does not happen these days, no one can afford the total scheme of things, as they are constructed in and to very contrived standards.

Cheers Paul Slattery, retired old codger .

10 years ago
Reply to  Paul Slattery

Hello Paul,
I would be very interested to know if you have any thoughts about ways that home gardeners can construct their own vertical walls.
I’ve seen ones made from pallettes on Youtube, and they don’t look that great.
Please contact me via the Real World Gardener email.