Who knew there were so many options to create a beautiful and functional living wall? Even one you can nibble from. Check out these 9 gorgeous and versatile vertical garden ideas that’ll put a whole new slant on how you grow flowers, herbs, and veggies.
Gardening on vertical walls takes the right kind of container. Flexible, waterproof pockets hold soil and moisture for plant growth, but protect siding from stains and water damage. Need to water? Simply lean out your window with a short hose or watering can.
The Incredible (and Sometimes Edible) Living WallCommunity Up-Reach
In a community garden, each family has only so much room. You’ll max out your allotment by growing upwards. Metals stakes support tiers of growing pouches for herbs and veggies — a good arrangement for little helpers and gardeners with limited mobility. A 5-pocket pouch holds 2 cubic feet of soil and costs $150.
The Incredible (and Sometimes Edible) Living WallSaving Space
Space is precious in the concrete jungle. Citified gardeners can get their green on by going up — not out. This trellis wall features an embedded growing medium that encourages root growth and holds moisture for ivies and other climbers. Ferns in a planter box create a lush foundation.
The Incredible (and Sometimes Edible) Living WallGreen Screen
With its planter box on wheels and a built-in trellis, this living divider wall ($90-$250) scoots around your house to block views of your laundry room or that mess in your home office. Vining plants are ideal for scaling the trellis; flowering vines add a splash of color.
The Incredible (and Sometimes Edible) Living WallFreshly Picked Flavors
Bring your garden into your kitchen. This DIY hydroponic wall system features an inorganic mat sandwiched between waterpoof PVC panels. Plants grow in slits in the PVC, and a pipe at the top supplies water and nutrients. A skylight or grow lights will keep indoor herbs happy.
Image: Peter Kastan
The Incredible (and Sometimes Edible) Living WallPlant Stand
Living walls include a growing base — an inorganic, waterproof mat that won’t rot. To plant, you cut a hole in the mat and insert the roots; plants quickly develop a root structure that holds them in place. Water and nutrients flow from above; a gutter catches water at the bottom of the mat and a pump recirculates it.
Image: Peter Kastan
The Incredible (and Sometimes Edible) Living WallLiving Privacy
Half fence, half garden, this leafy privacy screen is a cornucopia of smaller plants grown in a series of planter boxes made from water-resistant cypress. You won’t want to seal the boxes — let them drain — and use shallow-rooted plants, such as creeping Jenny, sweet alyssum, and herbs.
The Incredible (and Sometimes Edible) Living WallHi-Tech, High Style
Living wall systems are getting smarter; this system includes a lightweight wall embedded with nutrients that feed plants. The system is hydroponic — no soils are needed, and an automatic watering system provides the right amount of moisture. A smaller (7-by-5-foot) custom indoor wall with grow lights runs $10,000-$15,000.
The Incredible (and Sometimes Edible) Living WallLow-Cost Idea? This One’s a Shoe-In
If you’re looking to grow a few herbs or veggies but don’t want a full-on garden, a simple plastic shoe organizer ($20) lets you stock up on fresh greens while saving space — and cash. Without drain holes, the soil may tend to stay moist, so watch out for overwatering.