Revision Notes

Exotic Trend: Vertical Flower Beds

Guest post by Holly VicHammond

Green thumbs know that gardening is never just gardening. It’s abstract art. It’s landscape design and architecture. It is about combining the right colours, tones, shades and textures into a stunning visual palette and then fusing that floral palette with the surrounding space. With their colorful Koi ponds, soothing water features and intricate stonework, the Japanese have set the bar for Zen-like outdoor spaces. However, in order to create an innovative garden you don’t need to start sculpting bushes into animals like they do at Disney World, or plant a row of magical seeds like Jack and the Beanstalk. Vertical flowerbeds are a cutting-edge way to make your backyard look like a modernist painting.

Optimising Colour, Texture and Space

From agro-towers to hanging plants, vertical gardening isn’t a new concept. It’s said to have originated sometime during the Roman Empire. Many of the historic palaces and formal gardens in Europe have a vertical feature. I recent years, ‘living walls’ have also begun to make an appearance in many of our towns and cities. While such large installations can be costly and complex to construct, it’s possible to create a small living wall for your garden quite simply with a few basic materials. Whether you have a small garden or just looking to do something artistically innovative, vertical gardens optimize colour, texture and space.

How to Construct a Vertical Flower Bed

Constructing a vertical flowerbed is like assembling a frame for a picture or a painting. First, you need to build the framework out of wood. The shape and dimensions of the bed are up to you. Second, you need to fit and secure a back panel – this should be water resistant to ensure that water from the planting does not have an impact on your wall. After that, use a staple gun to secure a wire mesh screen. Finally, pour compost into the frame and pack it around the wire mesh. Finally, plant the flower bed – you can then hang it up, just like a painting, on the side of your house, garage, fence or whatever outdoor place you see fit. Where you decide to hang the flowerbed will enhance its overall aesthetic effect, as the eye will automatically be drawn to the background as well. In other words, the vertical flowerbed is going to look better hanging on a brick-lined porch than a swath of vinyl siding.

Now What Do You Plant?

If you’ve gone the extra mile to create an exotic flowerbed, then be sure to fill it with plants and flowers that are out of the ordinary. In other words, you might have to specially order some flora and fauna instead of relying on the traditional flowers at the nursery. You can order some breathtaking specimens from around the world; obviously, you’ll need to understand their ideal growth environments and be sure to check the shipping quotes, as certain plant choices may cost more than others. Small succulents would give your flowerbed a desert topiary feel. Traditional nasturtiums would also look beautiful. They have a longish vine and are similar to ivy, but have heads of bursting colour.

The vertical flowerbed is the type of feature that will have all your friends forgetting about the hot dogs and hamburgers at your garden barbecue this summer. They will too busy standing in front of your new exotic design, tilting their heads and contemplating it like a painting in the Museum of Fine Art.

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