Vertical gardening is the latest gardening trend taking TikTok by storm, with videos on the topic being viewed over 38 million times. With the promise to transform typically unutilised space and maximise small gardens with no need for gardening expertise or a big budget, it's easy to see why.
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Carlos Real, Gardening Expert and Managing Director of TotalLawn, has shared his top tips on how to reach new heights of creativity in your garden, and it would be the perfect bank holiday DIY project.
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What is vertical gardening?
"Vertical gardening is what it says on the tin – it's a means of growing plants up rather than horizontally as you normally would," Carlos says. "Vertical gardening provides the perfect solution to maximising small areas, by using fencing as a backdrop to create space your neighbours will be envious of."
How to create your own vertical garden
1. Choosing a structure
Your garden should be versatile, so you want to choose a structure that can be added to or adapted. We'd recommend starting small and adding to it as you go along – after all, the last thing you want to do is overwhelm your space.
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Wooden pallets are fairly easy to get hold of and can be personalised to your vibe - add a varnish for a vintage feel or a bold, statement paint to add a splash of colour. Or alternatively you can upcycle empty cans and paint them for a budget-friendly approach to keep adding to. TikTok influencer @SpicyMoustache re-uses plastic bottles in his garden, while @FaithHopeHome recommends using a fabric shoe rack – who knew!
Lots of different structures can be used to create a vertical garden
2. Consider your plant choices carefully
The size and shape of your space will impact the plant choices you make. Getting enough sunlight is often the biggest issue with vertical gardens - think about whether you have a north or south facing space and choose your plants accordingly. Plants that don't require much sunlight to add a splash of colour to your garden include bromeliads, bird of paradise, and calathea, or dracaena, dumb cane and maidenhair fern will add foliage to fill it out.
Make sure to select a combination of colourful and trailing plants to add variety, but ensure they grow at the same speed and enjoy the same conditions to avoid an uncoordinated disaster.
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3. Make it edible
You could use a living wall to grow salad and vegetables
If you are wanting to make the most of your space, consider growing edibles – they take up less space and are easier to maintain. Shallow-root vegetables such as carrots, basil and lettuce don’t require much space to grow.
If you’re hoping to add some colour, tomatoes, pumpkins or squash and melons are also fruit/vegetables that you can grow vertically, as recommended by @RootedHeartGarden.
4. Positioning is key
Vertical gardens are incredibly popular on TikTok
Whether you've got flowers, vegetables, or a combination of the two, it's important to think strategically about where to place everything. Consider what requires the most sunlight and the most maintenance to grow, and alternate between trailing and vertical-growing plants to add style.
5. Add the 'wow' factor
If you're really looking to add the 'wow' factor to your space, hang up garden accessories such as signs and mirrors to add different dimensions. Mirrors are a great way to reflect any natural light and create an illusion of space.
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