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Wall Flowers: Vertical Gardening Made Easy

April 21, 2010

You’ve heard the old refrain: if walls could talk. But what if your walls could live?

Vertical gardening is a growing trend that’s popping up in museum exhibits, retail stores and private residences around the world.

In addition to being beautiful, vertical gardens are low-maintenance and can thrive both indoors and out, so no matter your climate or space limitations they are easy to grow. The environmental benefits of a vertical garden include improved air quality by purifying air naturally, decreased storm water run-off and organically created humidity.

Conceived by French botanist Patric Blanc, vertical gardens typically consist of a sturdy frame, modular components to hold the plants, and felt fabric for the plants to adhere themselves to. Very little if any soil is used, making vertical gardens lightweight and easy to move.

The best types of plants for a vertical garden are those that are durable, have shallow roots, and don’t require a lot of water such as succulents and moss, though you can also grow flowering vine-plants, veggies like lettuce, and even fruit such as strawberries.  Refer to Sunset Magazine’s Plant Finder for some additional help deciding which plants will work best for your climate conditions.

If you’re interested in growing your own vertical garden, ELT EasyGreen living wall kits are easy to use and include everything you need but the plants. For the DIYers out there, Lowe’s has comprehensive instructions and a list of materials you need to build you own vertical garden from scratch.

For more ideas, inspiration and pictures see Apartment Therapy’s vertical garden roundup.

Note: I originally wrote this article for EcoSalon.

Image: Jill Clardy

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