Vertical gardens soften dull walls and breathe life into concrete-heavy urban spaces. Grasses, succulents and small perinnial shrubs thrive in this one created by . Click through for 10 of our favourite plants to use in vertical gardens.
Photographer: Pippi's Plants
1. Begonias (Begonia spp.) come in many shapes and sizes: cane, trailing, compact Thousand Wonder and variegated (above). All thrive in a vertical garden and make a splash with colourful leaves and pink, white or apricot flowers.
2. Hostas (Hosta spp.) need shade and a cool climate. They have striking green, patterned or variegated leaves and sprays of white and lavender flowers in summer. Plants die back in winter but regrow in spring.
3. Japanese iris (Iris japonica) are favoured by vertical garden designers including the world-renowned Patrick Blanc. Their strappy green leaves cascade in a green waterfall. Grows in bright light to part shade. Sprays of small pale blue iris flowers appear in spring.
4. Hoya (Hoya carnosa) is an Australian trailing plant with long-lasting waxy flowers in white or pink. It thrives in a shaded spot outdoors or with bright light indoors.
5. Orchids, including Dendrobium (above) and Oncidium spp. (next page) cascade with exotic flowers and strappy leaves making a lush statement in a vertical garden. Best in bright light but not direct sunlight.
6. Baby’s tears or helxine (Soleirolia soleirolii) is a dainty, spreading mat-like plant with tiny, round, bright green leaves. It loves a moist spot with low light.
7. Bromeliads (including Aechmea, Billbergia, Guzmania spp.) suit vertical gardens as they grow in little soil. Long-lasting, colourful flowers and patterned leaves add to their appeal.
8. Ferns (Adiantum, Asplenium, Davallia, Nephrolepis, Platycerium and more) thrive in vertical gardens especially in moist shade. Some trail, others form rosettes. Hart’s-tongue (Asplenium scolopendrium, pictured) spreads by wiry rhizomes. Mix and match contrasting fronds and plant shapes.
9. Ivy geranium (Pelargonium peltatum) adds bright flower colour to sunny vertical gardens. Prune in early autumn to renew.