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There are a lot of different ways to make a vertical garden, and one of the easiest is to use your existing fence. With a pinch of imagination and a little elbow grease, your boring old fence can become the backbone of a beautiful and productive garden.
You can use your fence to install a vertical garden in various ways:
- Build a trellis on the fence
- Install planters directly on the fence
- Attach a repurposed pallet, using the fence as support.
- Use metal rods or pipe to suspend hanging baskets
- Create a living green wall
Utilizing a fence to create a vertical garden can take a lot of forms. Keep reading for more details to help you decide what will work best in your garden.
Build a Trellis
This method is ideal if you want to cover up an unsightly fence, create more privacy for your garden, or just grow a delicious crop of fresh cucumbers. A trellis is very simple to set up using a few supplies from your local hardware store. Just follow these easy steps:
- Screw eyes into your fence in vertical parallel columns set a couple of feet apart.
- Weave heavy duty twine or wire through the eyes to create a lattice for your plants to grow up. The type of plants that you want to grow will determine how strong you need the trellis to be. Morning Glories, for example, will not require as heavy duty support as a squash plant, which will need extra support for the fruit.
- Plant your seeds or plants at the base of the trellis, then train them as they grow.
If you have a chain link or wire fence, all the work has been done for you! These types of fencing are generally strong enough to support most climbing plant varieties. If you are wanting to create more privacy, choose a very prolific climber like climbing hydrangea or Boston Ivy and your see-through fence will soon be a mass of impenetrable greenery.
Best Plants for a Trellis Vertical Garden
You can grow any kind of climbing or vining plant on a trellis, from flowers to vegetable plants. Some are natural climbers and will send out fingers to grasp the supports as they climb towards the sun.
Other types of plants may need a little help as they grow. These plants will need to be trained to grow upwards, and tied to the trellis with soft twine. Just be careful to leave enough room for the plant to continue to grow.
Some of the more popular plants to grow on a trellis are:
- Morning Glories
- Runner Beans
- Boston Ivy
- Climbing Hydrangea
Installing Planters Directly on the Fence
Mounting planters onto the fence allows the most creativity. You can use all sorts of different items as planters, so long as you secure them to the fence adequately to support their weight filled with damp soil and growing plants.
You can use recycled cans or soda bottles, old mail boxes, repurposed gutters, or window boxes. Almost anything will work. Here are a few examples of for inspiration.
This vertical garden made of gutters mounted on a fence is absolutely adorable. While this one is planted with succulents, you could also fill with flowers or herbs.
Secure ordinary plastic planters to your fence for a pretty pattern of plants. These are better for larger plants that need a little more support for their root systems as well as the plant itself.
Mix up your containers for variety and visual interest. Mix and match colors, sizes and materials to create an eclectic grouping.
You can also purchase commercially available planter kits that can be installed on your fence, like this self watering planter.
This planter can hold up to 36 individual plants, which is ideal if you have plants that have different growing needs. Having a watering system is also beneficial for the busy gardener, as t connects to a standard faucet system. You can even install a timer, which will decrease the amount of time that you need to spend on maintenance. If you live in a particularly arid climate where you need to water more frequently, or during very hot summer months, this can be a lifesaver!
Re-purpose a Pallet
A recycled wooden pallet mounted on a fence makes a wonderful vertical garden. You can purchase pallets online, but check with you local stores to see if they have any that they are got to throw away that you can get for a fraction of the cost, or even free. This is a really great method for growing herbs, or smaller cascading plants like strawberries or wave petunias.
- Staple landscaping fabric to the back, side and bottom of the pallet. This will help hold the soil and water in place.
- Secure the pallet to the fence
- Fill with potting soil.
- Plant in the openings, and before long, your plants will be spilling over the wood.
Use Metal Rods or Pipes to Suspend Hanging Baskets
Create an awesome urban industrial garden look by installing metal pipe in your fence to use as a rod for hanging baskets. This is a fun and easy weekend project, as you can easily pick up the supplies at any home improvement store, or even recycle old pipe that you have leftover from a previous project.
Don;t limit your self just to pipe either! This support was created by using cut branches and rope hung from the fence for a woodsy effect. The planters are halves of painted 2 liter soda bottles. This is such a creative use of recycled items!
Create A Living Green Wall
You have seen them in offices buildings and office spaces, adding a unique touch of green art to the walls. A living green wall is a great way to add character to an otherwise boring expanse of fencing.
These living green walls are a perfect examples of how this type of planting can be used to take a humdrum property partition from boring to amazing. Adding a green wall can dramatically improve the view from inside or add gorgeous curb appeal to your home.
To create a green wall, your best option is to purchase a kit that you can hang on your fence. There are lots of options available depending on the amount of plant, design concept, and budget.
One very economical choice is the Whitelotous 64 Pocket Planter. This felt planter is made from recycled plastic and is a very simple solution for transforming your fence into a wall of greenery.
If you are looking for something on a smaller scale, check out this wall planter from GSKY. Just mount on your fence, and fill with 4inch potted plants of your choice. This is a super easy way to get the look you want without a lot of effort.
Best Plants for a Living Green Wall
While you can create a small living wall garden box with almost any plants, there are some varieties that are better suited to growing this way. These plants tend to have shallow root systems and not be too top heavy or need a lot of sol to grow well. A few of the most commonly used plants for a green wall are:
- Ferns, especially sword fern
Enjoy the Scenery
Using a fence to craft a vertical garden is one of the simplest methods for creating a beautiful and productive garden while maximizing the space that you have. As you can see from the options above, there are many different ways to achieve a garden that is unique and full of personality.