Gardening - Another Dimension
05 July 2014 - by Lizzy Browne

On Thursday night, a magical, warm, tee shirt wearing evening, by  the light of the headlamps of my car, we shoehorned the last plant into the  Vertical Garden.

Weve laboured so hard in the last few months, working long hours  to produce and maintain our nursery stock, with endless potting, pricking out,  watering, loading and unloading vans, that it was so rewarding to at last be  creative with our plants. Inspired by the vertical gardens of Patrick Blanc, we  wanted to make our own Urban Jungle Vertical Garden and wed been scratching our  heads for some time, pondering the various solutions to keeping plants healthy,  good looking, and needless to say, secure on the vertical rather than the  horizontal plane, when our very own Jamie Spooner hit upon this brilliant and  incredibly simple and inexpensive solution. The more I look at the wall now, not  only am I awe-struck by its beauty but dumbstruck as to why everybody isnt  already at it? Its the obvious solution to anyone wanting a lush green garden  but with limited space for plants, such as a courtyard or balcony, or to cover  an ugly wall.
The Patrick Blanc method uses an ingenious and sophisticated  hydroponics system. Ours is so simple it could easily be knocked up at home and  planted in a weekend.

Customer reaction has been incredible. From complete oblivion   its amazing how many people have walked by and not even noticed it - to those  whove been stopped in their tracks, taken photographs, and asked for precise  instructions on its construction and aftercare, leaving with a promise to send  us their photos once theyve created their own.
The wall measures  approximately 2.5m wide by 4m high and has 24 planting pockets. It faces east  and is in sun until 1pm at this time of year, although the bottom half is shaded  by mid-morning by surrounding plants. Weve planted the top left hand corner  with the most sun-loving plants, working down to the bottom right hand corner  with the shade lovers. Weve squeezed in about 200 hundred plants comprising  about 70% evergreens such as Epimedium, Heuchera, Hellebore, Dryopteris  erythrosora, Myosotidium hortensia, Artemesia, Asplenium scolopendrium and  Fasicularia. We included big leafy stuff in the form of Hostas Sum and Substance  and Blue Angel, Ligularia przwalskii and Bergenia ciliata and are hoping that  when they die back in winter the evergreens will hide the gaps they leave.  Considering its just a few days old, the plants are already doing the talking  and the structure itself isnt blindingly obvious at all. Were hoping that in a  few weeks time all the gaps will have filled in and itll be a wall of verdant  green foliage (and purple, orange and yellow). As for watering, at the moment  were hand watering with a hosepipe, but well no doubt install a simple,  hanging basket-type system.

This is an all weather garden using mostly tough, hardy plants.  After last winter weve cautiously included a few clump forming Cordyline  Purple Sensation and Bilbergia nutens and may consider making some kind of  fleece Roman blind for the winter that can be rolled up on mild days.

We are of course already thinking of the next garden and cant  wait to make one with big, leafy tender exotics and another with succulents and  another thats edible and another

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Direct Link to this Comment David - 24 May 2016 20:30
Can you use this vertical wall indoors as well as outdoors?
Many thanks,

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