The ABC of Vertical Gardens

400 plants in a vertical garden in Manhattan photographed by trevor tondro for the ny times

400 plants in a vertical garden in Manhattan photographed by trevor tondro for the ny times

Vertical gardens look amazing and once you know a few tricks, it is not as hard as it seems to make your own vertical garden indoor or outdoor. The size of your garden will determine which techniques can be used to build your own.

Ready to use modular systems are heavy structures since they rely on plastic trays filled with dirt and attached to a wall. Therefore, the ready-made vertical garden kits are usually small; up to 20″x20″ tray. Experts also say that it may be more difficult to keep your plants healthy with ready-made vertical garden kits. In fact, you will probably need to let the plants build a strong root system on an horizontal surface before hanging the plants vertically.

The living walls developed by the French botanists Patrick Blanc are light weighted and can be installed on any wall. Instead of soil, plants are hold in place with felt or cork. Eliminating the soil not only reduce weight but most importantly, it limits the development of the root system. If you water the plants often, plants do not need a big root system to survive. This is why his living walls incorporate an automated irrigation system.

I read the experiences of a few people who adapted the technique of Patrick Blanc to successfully create their own vertical gardens. If you are looking to do-it-yourself, take the time to read the NY Times article since it provides good pointers on what to do and which mistakes to avoid.

Gardens That Grow on Walls on the New York Times – photo by Trevor Tondro
+ Vertical gardens by Patrick Blanc
+ Ready-made modular systems at Flora Grubb Gardens $39 to $125 USD, ELT EasyGreen $39.95 to $59.95 CAD

  • ricardo mori
    April 18, 2012 at 10:50

    like your product, but I would like to know;

    I would like to know the cost per m2 of your product?

    and irrigation, how should I do?

    Thank you for your attention,

    Richard Mori