Set the mood outdoors with a vertical planter
Luxurious, achievable and eco-friendly; vertical planters are the latest botanical trend. Create instant ambience with your own living wall…
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
It's best to position your vertical planter on the side of a fence or uncovered outdoor wall, rather than beneath a veranda. Tempting as it may be, it's not recommended to hang a vertical planter on an exterior house wall as the created moisture can be damaging.
Keep in mind the site of the nearest tap and the load bearing points where your planter will hang from. Practicality aside, vertical planters make for a stunning backdrop or centrepiece in an outdoor space.
PICK A PLANTER
Hit Google and you'll find there's a vertical planting solution for every surface – from troughs to individual pots, hanging pocket planters and frames. The versatile and contemporary pocket planter is the new kid on the block and paired with the right plants, will create a rich vertical garden that looks immediately established.
Apart from making your design decision totally green, if you choose a planter made from recycled materials, you'll reap the benefits of greater water retention.
Overall there are many different varieties of vertical planter available, and depending on the width of your wall, it may be possible to fit several planters of various pocket number and height alongside each other for a less structured aesthetic.
PLANTING FOR EASE AND EFFECT
The annual vs perennial dilemma really comes down to just one thing – how much do you like gardening?
If you don't mind repotting your planter relatively often, seasonal and annual plants provide fabulous colour and mean that you can update the look of your outdoor space with the same rhythm as your wardrobe.
If you're looking for low maintenance, perennial plants and sturdy succulents and grasses are best.
For a lush aesthetic that's full of depth, layer flowering plants amid draping greenery. Spreading varieties are best to plant in the bottom sections, whilst dry resistant plants are best at the top in full sun.
For example, in a five section vertical planter, plant succulents in the top layer as this area will dry out the quickest, Lilac Nemesia for colour in layer two, a softly fragrant flowering moss like Bacopa Scopia or Spanish Moss in layer three, Petunias or Pelargonium for a larger colour injection in layer four, and a hardy Carex grass or beautifully trailing Golden Creeping Jenny at the base.
GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY
After securing your planter in position, you'll need high-quality potting mix, a hand trowel and gardening gloves. Wearing gardening gloves will not only protect your manicure, but provide an extra layer of protection against potential infections from bacteria in the soil. Legionnaire's disease is a real and scary possibility, so cover up any scratches or cuts before you begin.
Plant from the bottom section up, making sure that the soil is pushed down firmly around the edges of the pockets, then christen your planter with its first watering. Make sure to wash your hands, then relax and enjoy…
CARE IS KEY
It sounds foolishly simple, but watering your plants regularly is crucial or they will die. Due to increased air movement, a vertical planter will dry out quicker than regular flower pots or garden beds.
A good way to ensure you remember to water your garden is to tie the ritual in with another activity. For example, always water your planter in the morning while the kids are eating breakfast or in the evening as soon as you return home.