The South West London Gardener

What is Vertical Gardening and Why is it Important in London?

vertical gardening

Have you ever walked through the bustling streets of London and stumbled upon a lush wall of greenery, rising up amidst the concrete jungle?

Welcome to the world of vertical gardening, an innovative approach that’s changing the landscape of cities like this.

Here at The Southwest London Gardener, we have worked on many different projects throughout the capital, and anywhere space was limited, we have often chosen vertical gardening as an efficient and attractive method of adding a feature.

In this blog, we’ll dive into just what vertical gardening is and how it can be a useful method in many gardens across Southwest London and beyond.

Let’s take a look.

Understanding Vertical Gardening

Let’s start right at the beginning.

Vertical gardening is a technique where plants are grown on vertical surfaces, such as walls, fences, or trellises.

This is a great method for areas with limited ground space, as you can still fill a garden with nature and colour, without things feeling too cramped.

This isn’t a new method by any means and was in fact used in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, thousands of years ago.

There are now many more ways you can hang plants, and the knowledge of which species work best is growing, making it all the easier to add exciting and vibrant decorations to your outside space.

The Benefits of Vertical Gardening

Space Efficiency

In London, where space is at a premium, vertical gardens offer a way to cultivate plants without needing vast horizontal spaces.

They’re perfect for small balconies, patios, or even indoor areas.

Gardens in London are 26% smaller than the national average, which means that there isn’t always the space to get in all of the natural wonders available to the owner.

The solution? Build up instead of down, and vertical gardening is the ideal way of doing this.

Aesthetic Appeal

Vertical gardens can transform dull urban facades into vibrant, living art installations. They contribute significantly to the aesthetic improvement of the city.

Plants and flowers are perfect for bringing a natural burst of life and colour to a garden, so if you can fit them in this way then it always adds a lovely touch.

The fact that they are covering walls and other structures such as pergolas, also adds another element, and in some cases you can watch them grow and spread even further.

Environmental Benefits

Vertical garden provides a design element that is not just beautiful, but also environmentally beneficial.

There are many reasons for this.

Firstly, it adds more space for plants in your garden, which is ideal for natural air filtration and reducing urban heat island effect, which is common in built up urban areas such as London.

They also promote biodiversity and wildlife entering your outside space and absorb rainwater.

Added to the fact it looks great, this makes vertical gardening a real win-win situation, for you and the planet.

Ergonomic Effects

Anyone who has found themselves in a garden for hours digging up plants will know it can sometimes lead to back-ache.

Vertical gardening eradicates this problem, leaving your plants and flowers at a comfortable height for you to tend to.

This is ideal for older people who may struggle to handle long periods bent over.

It also makes spotting issues and making quick fixes quick and easy, which is great for people on a tight schedule.

Setting Up a Vertical Garden

You may be reading this blog thinking now is the time to set up your own vertical garden, and here are some key steps to help you along the way.

  • Choose the Right Location – It all starts with picking the right spot. Try and find somewhere that gets plenty of sunlight and makes caring for your plants simple.
  • Select Your Structure – There are several structures to choose from, including freestanding systems, trellises, frames, containers, or wall-mounted planters. Assess your location and choose the right fit for you and your garden.
  • Pick the Right Plants – Consider the environment where you will be placing your vertical garden, as well as your garden theme and chosen colours to ensure you always choose the right plants. Of course, they need to be well-suited for vertical planting as well.
  • Think About Watering – Consider installing a drip irrigation system to ensure watering your vertical garden is always easy, and also efficiently covers each plant.
  • Maintenance Needs – As with all plants, you must perform regular checks for pests or disease, as well as checking your structures are always in good condition and well-fastened to walls and fences.

And the final step is to enjoy your new garden feature. It’s great fun to watch your garden transform as normal walls are turned into natural wonders.

Challenges of Vertical Gardening

There are some challenges that can cause issues to vertical gardens in London. Firstly, the climate.

It is always a good idea to choose hardy plants that can withstand hot weather in the summer and colder temperatures in the winter.

You should also think about weight limitations of your structures. Plants can get surprisingly heavy when fully grown, so ensure whatever they are growing on is attached securely to something strong enough to hold their weight, or they may come crashing down.

Our Vertical Gardening Examples

Our team love adding vertical gardens to many of the projects in our ever growing portfolio, and you can see examples of this in some of our most recent ones.

Take this garden in Worcester Park for example, in which we adding plenty of plants, some rising vertically up fences and trellises to really add an abundance of greenery. The aim of this project was to create something that caught the eye but was also practical and we achieved that with these methods.

You can also see examples of vertical gardening in this project in Wimbledon, in which we added trellises to the side of the house on which delightful plants could grow in the sun.

All of these combined with other important aspects to create a successful project.

The Southwest London Gardener

Vertical gardening is more than just a trend; it’s a practical and beautiful solution to urban environmental challenges.

In London, it’s transforming how we interact with nature in our daily urban lives. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a curious beginner, consider the vertical approach to bring a piece of nature into your urban space.

If you want to know more or would like to discuss a project with our team, then get in touch today.