If you've got a postage stamp for a yard or you're such an avid gardener that you've filled all your space, it's time to explore new gardening territory with vertical gardening. Follow the tips below for a few traditional and innovative ways to add new foliage to your small or plant-packed garden.
Vines are growing machines. Some of them can grow to 50 feet in length. If you have a fence or wall in need of livening up, try vines. Clematis is tame, while trumpet vines are more adventurous and can tear up your siding, so be sure to pick a variety that's suitable to your setting. You can put up a trellis on your wall or fence for your vine to follow, or build an arbor or pergola. Either way, you can create a stunning assortment of flowers and greenery with vines alone, and attracts birds and butterflies to your yard.
With planters, you can create your own version of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Put containers along balconies or ledges and add trailing plants such as petunias or million bells, which will create a green and flowery curtain that sways in the breeze. Your hanging garden can also provide some much-needed shade during a hot summer.
Grow plants on your interior or exterior walls using a hanging structure like ELT's living walls. You can use just about any kind of plant that has shallow roots to create beautiful designs that look more like a tapestry than a garden. ELT's vertical garden system is a 20 by 24 inch rectangular plastic structure that has 25 containers in which to place your plants. You can fasten any number of rectangles together to cover any surface you want. They also make a vertical garden for interiors, either on the floor or as a frame on the wall. If you have a sloped roof that's exposed to sun all day, you can put some rectangles up to create an inexpensive green roof. Green roofs are becoming popular in Europe as a means of slowing down runoff and cooling buildings without air conditioning.
Patrick Blanc is a pioneer in modern vertical gardening, and has designed some creative and innovation installations around the world. Explore Blanc's walls on his website to get some ideas for your own garden.