As you might remember, back in early spring I built myself a vertical garden on the side of my garage. When I first unveiled it, the plants were pretty small and unimpressive. But over the last couple of months, they’ve really taken off, and I love it!

To jog your memory, here’s the side of the garage, before:

Here’s the vertical wall, right after I built it:

And here it is now:
DIY vertical garden

Big change, right? Clearly our grass is now in its dormant phase (aka completely unwatered unless it rains), but isn’t it crazy how different this wall looks?

vertical garden 2

I just love the interplay between the many different types of leaves and flowers.

DIY vertical gardenI kind of can’t believe how much the plants have grown without much attention. There are a few changes I’ve made, which I detail near the end of the post.

vertical garden 5

One of my favorite things about this project is how much the plants have surprised me. I love ferns, but for variety, I added other types of plants. And now some of the things that I mostly considered filler have become some of my favorites. I planted several different types of heuchera, and their flowers and foliage are just lovely.

DIY vertical garden

And look at this cute little flower. I planted this epimedium for its foliage, but it turns out to have pretty flowers, too.
DIY vertical garden

Even things that I didn’t even think had flowers, like black mondo grass, have produced a few.
DIY vertical garden

Since I put this up, I’ve made a few tweaks. The big one is that I added a drip irrigation system. It’s pretty unobtrusive, but if you look closely, it’s the black lines you can see running behind the plants. Even early in the summer I noticed that some of the ferns weren’t getting enough water, and I knew that it would be a real problem during the hotter days ahead. Using this starter kit, I had already put together a system for my raised vegetable garden, so I just extended it to my vertical garden. It makes it really easy to keep everything watered.

Another change is that I added some vines to the ground to grow up the trellises. I planted akebia plants with two different colors of flowers, so I’m looking forward to seeing them bloom (and possibly even produce fruit!). I also replaced two plants that died. They were both Corydalis flexuosa, and I assume that the conditions just didn’t quite suit them.

Aside from the two I just mentioned, everything else is doing well. Some of them, like the  creeping jenny (which I may need to prune to keep it from taking over), and the bleeding heart, have really exploded, while others, like some of the ferns, are slower growers. So I assume that this garden will continue to grow and change over the coming months and years, but even after only a few months, I’m loving its progress.

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4 Responses to Vertical Garden Update

  1. Richard Snodgrass says:

    it’s beautiful. A vast improvement over a plain looking surface. Depth, and varying colors give it a certain sparkle. The contrasting colors are great also.

  2. Steven says:

    Wow, thanks for posting the comparison shots! It really is amazing how much nicer it looks than the old bare wall, and the amount the the plants has grown is just incredible! Looks wonderful.

  3. Ann Jacks says:

    Really incredible how much this has changed in such a short time. Nice you added the water system.

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