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Vertical gardening – a new way to look at your garden

We are all constantly looking for new, innovative ways of making our gardens look more attractive. We strive to make the best of the land space we have, leaving open areas in and around fences and walls bare. Now there is a solution to that dull, boring brick wall in your front yard, or that unsightly wooden fence between your neighbour and you. The answer is vertical gardening.
Originally developed in cities for people who are garden enthusiasts had nowhere to indulge their passions, vertical gardening provided not only a solution but beautified the surroundings at the same time.

What is vertical gardening?

Vertical gardening is more than growing wisteria on an elaborate arbour or hanging a basket of petunias from the eaves—it adds a whole new dimension to your landscape. I t also offer you the opportunity to provide privacy, shade, define garden “rooms” or simply add a focal point to a flower bed.

Vertical gardens are convenient and can be accessed by all gardeners, regardless of their abilities. The plants are at eye level, making it easier to prune, check for pests, and harvest fruit and vegetables. Beautiful blooms and fragrant flowers are more enjoyable when you don't have to get down on your hands and knees.

Growing up can be good for your plants, too. Air can circulate better around them, which can mean less disease, mildew, and fungus. Some pests don't crawl vertically, so you may be able to avoid them. Vegetables and fruits that are not lying on the ground will be cleaner and less likely to rot; and yield per square foot of garden space will be greatly increased.

Many gardeners who grow plants vertically do so by using some type of structure or container. Commonly used structures include trellises, pyramids or tripods, arches and arbours, gazebos, walls, fences, and wire cages. Choose your support structure based on the type of plants you want to grow on it.

To add vertical elements to your landscape without using structures, try upright narrow plants or columnar evergreen trees. Or plant tall-growing ornamental grasses or columnar apple trees.

There are several things to keep in mind when choosing plants for vertical gardening: exposure, size, and maintenance. It seems obvious, but you need to select plants that will thrive in the conditions they will encounter in your garden. Also consider how long the plants will live and what their mature size will be.

Experiment with different sizes and shapes of both structures and plants. Even if you're limited to a 3—foot—wide strip along a fence, you'll be amazed at the amount of vertical gardening you can do. You will soon be telling others to "just grow up"!

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