Spring is in the air! Literally for me as it’s the time of year I contemplate what I can grow vertically. I am intrigued by garden walls, stackable pots scenarios and the arrangement of complementary plants that can grow together.
A few years ago, while I was knee deep into my shaman exploration, I attended a weekend workshop in Ferintosh Alberta. It was held at an eco farm just outside of the small village. I learned many things about meditating with plants and the creation of infusion, tinctures and solar extraction of plant essential oils. I also learned about vertical options for growing complementary vegetation.
This blog, I want to explore options for how to arrange vertical structures for making the most out of small spaces.
My husband and I took a walk around the canal area near Venice Beach in California during one of our adventures. I fell in love with how creative the home owners had become with their small spaces. In particular, the wall gardens. They were created from all sorts of materials. Some were cinder bricks stacked up with the holes facing outward where potted plants could be inserted. Others were made out of landscape fabric with various sizes of pockets attached. You can buy all sorts of premade ones but I wanted one with specific dimensions. I am lucky to have a partner who is game to create whatever I can envision so off we went to build our own version of the Venice inspired garden. We got to work with a couple of 2×4 weather treated boards and some landscape fabric. I sewed the pockets together with my limited sewing machine skills and we assembled it with a staple gun. I fixed it to the side of the shed with some screws and then stood back to admire our handiwork. That was the easy part. The tricky part was finding plants that would not require too much watering. It’s a challenge to keep the plants hydrated in summer with this type of set up. I chose to fill it with succulents for obvious reasons. It turned out to be one of my favorite combinations.
Recycled Air Compressor Planter
My dear husband has a tendency to pick up other people’s abandoned junk. He comes home and asks me what we are going to do with it most often. Being someone who hates to just throw it away I have incorporated a lot of these homeless items into my landscape. Tim got to work making a hole in the two cylinders. We then bolted it to our fence. The depth of the planters created was deeper than the garden wall pockets so I was able to add more soil. I still decided to stick with succulents for easy maintenance.
Propane Tank Planters
Do not attempt to cut holes into propane tanks without the help of a professional. Once we consulted someone we then had 3 holes cut to work with. Hubby bent two metal pieces into a stand that he then was able to attach the tanks onto. The structure stands about 4 feet tall which is ideal. The containers are good sized so I could put bigger plants into them. For now I haven’t attached the planter to any permanent location so it can be moved throughout the yard or onto a balcony.
Other Vertical Planting Suggestions
I have incorporated numerous pots into my yearly garden designs. This way I can move them around. I can bring in the plants that I want to winter over, which sometimes consist of many plants. It’s an easy way to be able to change your mind about vegetation groupings seasonally or anytime you want to use one of your planters as a focal point.
I use lots of vines in my yard too. Along my fences are ornamental kiwi, grapes, Virginia Creepers and a few varieties of Climtas. I have been on the lookout for a Wisteria to add into the mix.
I have several bonsai trees that I put outside during the warmer season and bring into my office and music room in the colder months.
The succulents I use in the planters are recycled into small inside gardens if they aren’t able to survive outside in the gardens during the winter.
However you chose to garden, having at least one vertical option, has added to my enjoyment of nature’s bounty.
I am lucky to have a vertical green thumb!