What is vertical gardening?

UK Home Improvement

What Is Vertical Gardening?

Vertical gardening is an emerging trend in landscape garden design and provides an elegant and attractive way of displaying climbing plants, flowers and vines on a feature wall or other vertical surfaces rather than in traditional horizontal garden beds or containers.

Increasingly, gardeners are finding that vertical gardening is a game-changer when it comes to space management. Instead of giving up a whole corner of the garden to a horizontal bed or container, vertical gardening allows you to use every inch of space available, and is especially useful for those with smaller outdoor spaces or indeed city dwellers who want to make the most of their urban garden space.

Here are a few tips to help you when it comes to planning and installing your vertical gardening feature.


You can create your vertical garden using a variety of structures. Trellises and pergolas are specifically designed to allow climbing plants the space and height to grow and thrive. Otherwise, you can tempt your creeper to climb up a wall or fence. 

You will also need some kind of container to hold your plants at the bottom. You can buy pots that are designed for this very purpose, and these can be attached to the vertical structure or arranged in a modular system to allow for enough space in between each plant.

Choose your plants

Many different types of plants can be grown vertically, including flowers, herbs, vegetables, and even small fruit trees. The choice of plants depends on factors like the available space, lighting conditions, and the desired aesthetic. Traditional climbing vines and ivy are popular, as well as flower varieties such as sweet peas which tend to cling on to and grow around vertical support structures such as trellises.

The trick with finding the right plant is assessing the environment first. Things you need to look out for are sunlight hours, wind, shade and your desired ‘look’. Take all that into consideration and talk to a professional if you’re unsure.

Watering and maintenance

Watering your vertical plant can differ from that of a traditional ground-level plant. Many gardeners opt for drip irrigation systems or self-watering planters to ensure the plants get enough moisture. Water can also be poured from the top so that it can trickle down the plants and into the soil containers. 

As well as watering, you need to keep your vertical plant in check by pruning frequently, keeping the soil fertilised and checking for pests and diseases. Vertical plants may be more exposed to the elements and so will generally need more care than regular plants.


Not only do vertical plants give your garden a lush feel, but they also use space efficiently and reduce weed growth due to their distance from the soil. They are ideal for creating a lush green sanctuary in urban environments or locations where outdoor garden space is limited, which is why they’re the perfect addition to a small balcony or yard. The positioning of the plants also allows for increased air circulation around the plants and reduced weed growth, which contributes to a better level of plant health overall.


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