Donna Coakley McGowan's Blog
Have you been fantasizing about giving your green thumb free rein but are dealing with a limited amount of room in your outdoor living space? Perhaps you've got active children in the household who need backyard space to work off all that energy, or maybe your yard is just small. If so, you'll be glad to know that there's hope for those freshly picked vegetables, herbs and flowers you've been dreaming of cultivating. Many homeowners in your position have turned to vertical gardening as an alternative to the traditional horizontal gardening spot, and they're finding they like this approach even better. Here's what you need to know about vertical gardening:
Vertical Gardens Can Be Anything You Want Them to Be
Otherwise known as green walls, vertical gardens are highly customizable -- you can use them to grow a huge variety of herbaceous perennials or annuals. You can choose to fill them up with flowering annuals for a vibrant aesthetic, ferns for a woodland effect, strawberries for treats at the table and culinary herbs to spice up your meals. They can be small affairs designed to hold a few herbs and fit neatly right outside your kitchen door, or they can be cover entire walls from ground to roof-level with cascades of greenery and flowers. You don't need to stop at just one, either -- many homeowners have multiple vertical gardens because they enjoy them so much they can't seem to stop after they get started.
Getting Started With Your Vertical Garden
If you're the do-it-yourself type, you can construct your own vertical garden frame using lumber, plastic sheeting and landscaping fabric. A variety of easy-to-follow plans are available depending on the which size works best for the space. If you're the creative type, you can craft vertical gardening frames out of discarded pallets. If you're like many busy homeowners, however, your time is limited. Because vertical gardening has caught on throughout the country, you can purchase whatever size of ready-made frame you need from your local home and garden retailer.
Other Benefits of Vertical Gardening
A vertical garden also provides a great way to cover a not-so-attractive wall or pull together an unfinished outdoor aesthetic by adding vertical balance. Perhaps one of the greatest advantages of vertical gardening is that you aren't constantly bending and stooping the way you would be while working in a garden planted on a horizontal plot, and your back will thank you at the end of every gardening session. Vertical gardens also offer good ways to get the kids interested in learning about how plants grow.
Even if you've got ample garden space in your yard, why not give a vertical garden a whirl as well?