For many of us, the concept of an ideal home probably includes a grassy lawn dotted with rows of flowering plants, a couple of fruit trees, and possibly a kitchen garden replete with herbs. But, modern-day urban living has sadly taken out this consideration from the equation as apartments rule the roost instead of detached houses.
Shalini and Manav, too, missed this feature when they moved into their new apartment on the 9th floor. The balcony wasn’t very spacious, and somehow, potted plants couldn’t provide the green relief they longed for. Then they saw a Facebook ad by a freelance architect and interior designer, which introduced them to the possibility of vertical gardens. The couple is now proud of their small green space.
The ‘Biophilia’ Trend
The concept of biophilic spaces has gained a lot of traction recently. In both residential and commercial areas, biophilic design is one of the hottest trends over the past few years. But man always knew that greenery provides us with relaxation and stress relief. In the form of gardens, lawns, or even indoor plants, we try to keep some greenery near us. Plants help us enhance our mood, and they are natural healers when it comes to the fast-paced urban lifestyle of today. Therefore, incorporating them in our changed accommodations is only a natural extension of our affinity for nature.
Living spaces and lifestyles have changed, so should the style of inclusion of greenery. So, enter the unique and creative concept of vertical gardens that transform small spaces into blissful green environments.
What is a Vertical Garden?
A vertical garden — as the name suggests — is the process of growing plants vertically as opposed to horizontally. Perfect for places where space is at a premium, these gardens utilize the unused vertical spaces and transform them into living green walls through clever design.
The green patch is generally built by attaching plant containers to walls directly or suspending them on a wall panel. But the coolest thing is, you can build such gardens anywhere in your home — balconies, terraces, and even inside the living quarters.
Set-Up and Maintenance
A vertical garden sounds infinitely better when it comes to adding greenery to small spaces and transforming barren walls and the interior décor of houses. However, it is vital to enlist the services of a professional gardener, designer, or horticulturalist to install a vertical garden. A lot of factors come into play when creating a thriving vertical garden, which includes space, location, exposure to the elements, etc. Maintenance is equally important to ensure a lively and prospering vertical garden.
Here are some useful tips for keeping a vertical garden:
- The wall or the framework to be used as the base for holding plants and containers should be sturdy enough to hold the combined weight. While setting up your garden, calculate the possibility of adding new plants or ornamentation in the future.
- Choose plants for your vertical garden based on your location and home plan. If you have a balcony than gets an ample dose of sunlight, you can grow a wide range of plants. But if your home is not well-lit, herbs and indoor plants would be your best bet. Here are some plants that can thrive indoors with minimal care.
- If you want to grow edible produce, you should ideally plan your vertical garden outdoors. But if you don’t have enough outdoor space, you can still have a small kitchen garden indoors. In fact, most herbs and microgreens will happily survive inside your home. You can grow them in small pots and they are quite easy to maintain.
- Plan the range of plants to be potted and buy pots proportionate in size. Unmatched sizes of plants and containers can interfere with healthy growth.
- Readymade frameworks are easy to install, but keep in mind the watering needs. If your vertical garden has considerable height, watering them would require a proper irrigation system that will efficiently use water.
- Regular maintenance in the form of pruning, trimming, weeding, and pest control in periodic intervals is necessary to keep your vertical garden healthy.
- Start with low maintenance plants and move on to advanced garden varieties to test your garden engagement and maintenance skills.
- If your vertical garden is indoors, plan to install them near windows or skylights for reflected sunlight to aid their growth.
- Be creative in setting your vertical garden, experiment with patterns and colours. You can also use clay pots, tin cans, plastic bottles, old boots, bulbs, etc. to give a recycled vibe to your garden.
- Take regular care in cleaning and watering according to schedules. Keep track of fertilizers and medicines that need to be added in the right dosages.
Vertical Gardens Are Easy To Own
Green walls can be an efficient and relaxing addition to a small space. A vertical garden will transform your living space, bringing a much-needed touch of greenery into your lives and also that of your guests. Shalini and Manav swear by their upright planting option, as it helped introduce greenery into their small living space without too much commitment to maintenance.
The possibilities of a vertical garden are numerous. From creative planters to designer pots, you can choose a style that is best suited to your décor. You can start from simple herbs to flowering shrubs, succulents, or sturdy annuals — the choices are as endless as the designs.
If you’re a small space dweller craving for some greenery, you can own a comforting piece of green oasis through vertical gardening. The above tips will help you get started on the right foot.