Having recently purchased an older home in an urban neighborhood, I’m learning all about the value of growing up — not out. With tight space and lots of walls on the house, the detached garage, the fence between properties, it makes sense to grow plants vertically. Fortunately, there are lots of vertical gardening options, both for ornamental and edible gardens.
Vines, whether perennial, such as clematis or climbing roses, are great ornamentation for large stretches of black wall. (Check out this article on vines from a recent issue of Northern Gardener.) Pole beans are one of my favorite vegetable to grow because they produce a huge crop in a very small space. You can also grow fruits, such as strawberries, in hanging baskets or herbs in containers mounted on a wall.
The key to vertical gardening is matching the plant to the structure on which it will be growing. For some vines, a very sturdy trellis is necessary. Other plants (mandevilla vine comes to mind) can be grown in a container with smaller, decorative structure. Other plants can be grown in hanging baskets, with long streaks of foliage hanging down to add the element of vertical gardening. Whatever the vertical structure, make sure the plant gets adequate water and enough fertilizer to grow well.
What’s your favorite way to add vertical structure to your garden?