So you live in a high rise and would love to get your fix of toiling in the dirt. Your outdoor space is the size of a postage stamp yet you yearn for a fresh grown tomato. Your balcony has a nice view but it lacks that peaceful feeling you get from being surrounded by flowers and greenery. Fret no more, having a nice garden in a small space is entirely possible with a vertical garden.
People tend to forget that walls can be used for an abundant and spectacular garden. A horizontal plane is not the only way to increase your green surroundings. Grow the veggies up instead of out. Who says you need to grow in the traditional manner? There are new applications to the process and gardeners are becoming more innovative in their choices of a base to support the vegetation.
Condo owners and apartment dwellers are picking up on the trend to dress up terraces and small outdoor spaces. Vertical gardens can be used to create drama, serenity and wonder all at the same time. With a living wall, you can block an undesirable view and enhance the air quality at the same time. Fresh and pesticide free, produce can be a two second trip to the balcony instead of a fifteen minute drive to the grocery store.
Some ambitious gardeners are building living walls that consist of a series of modules, the modules have cells, some with the bottom of each cell tilted up at 30 degrees to hold the soil and plants in. The modules can be rigged with a drip irrigation system, such as a hose or tubes riddled with small holes, the plants can be easily watered and fed with liquid fertilizer. The cells are filled with soil and planted. Some systems have a timer and a recirculating pump attached for an almost maintainence free garden. The modules attach easily to a wall, fence, railing or post. Some vertical gardening systems are made for indoors and have a water catchment resevoir at the bottom and a wall protecting layer in the back. If the square module system doesn’t appeal to you, a cylander shaped flower tower might be just the thing for an eye popping array of floral gorgeousness. These systems also work great for growing herbs, strawberries, lettuce and other veggies. What’s better than meandering out to the terrace for a little fresh basil to harvest and toss into a perfect summer salsa.
This other version of growing in a vertical manner is also a space saver and a drama inspirer. The cylindrical towers are filled with dirt and have holes for plants to pop through. These towers have internal water pathways or soaker hoses that provide an effective route for water to get to the roots of every plant in the tower. When in full bloom the tower is covered with the vegetation and not visable, resulting in an awesome array of flowers or plants that appear to be supported by nothing and in a tower formation.
One more way of jazzing up your walls with vegetation is to use a Woolly Pocket. These are soft textile pockets made of recycled tires. They have a liner that serves as a water barrier to your wall and also forms a reservoir for the “tongue” to lick water from as the plants need it. They are easy to install, come in different colors and different widths. There is an indoor version and an outdoor version. Woolly Pockets put plants at eye level where they are likely to get admired more. When plants are on a wall they won’t be taking up needed floor space.