Creating Abundant and Verdant Gardens in Urban Jungles


Living in the city offers one all the conveniences that are authentic to an urban environment – being close to your favourite coffee shop, the short drive to work (especially useful for those days that you sleep through the alarm and leap out of bed 30 minutes later than you should have), and of course the gorgeous cityscape visible from your apartment balcony.  However, one does tend to miss the soft green surrounds and gentle aromas of a suburban garden.

A growing trend that is the solution to every urban gardener’s need for green is the introduction of vertical gardens. These gardens are designed and landscaped alongside walls and, depending on the plants, can be showcased inside and outside the home – something that truly allows homeowners to bring nature inside.

The concept of vertical gardens seems complicated (and it can be!), however there are very manageable ways of creating them at home. To start with, you need a bare wall that needs a burst of design inspiration. Then you need to choose plants that will work well in the environment you choose – plants that reduce Volatile Organic Chemicals (and are perfect for Vertical Gardens) include Nephrolepis exaltata, Hedera helix, Liriope sp, Chlorophytum comosum, Epipremnum aureum, Spathiphyllum cochlearispathum and Sansevieria sp.

Vertical Garden


For the structure, you will need PVC pipe and four-way joint (this is always the better option as metal adds more weight to the structure and wood requires special protection against moisture). You will also need a strong fabric (like felt carpet padding) which will be where your plants live and where the water is stored. An irrigation system is extremely important as your fertiliser will also be added to this and it will be the system that keeps your plants green and luscious.


Once you have all your materials – let’s get started!

Attach the plastic sheeting to the frame: the plastic acts as a backing layer for the fabric layer and keeps the water off the wall.

  • Attach the fabric layer to the plastic sheeting: this is where your plants will live.
  • Set up the irrigation system: this will provide your plants with moisture throughout the fabric layer.
  • Add a fertiliser injection and irrigation to a water source: this will send liquid fertiliser into the irrigation system.
  • Choose your plants: make sure that these are plants that reduce Volatile Organic Chemicals and are perfect for vertical gardens.
  • Insert plants: insert the plants into the outer layer of the fabric.
  • And now for the fun part – plan your design: the possibilities are endless!

Lastly and the most important:

You will need patience as it will take time to perfect – a good reference source is The Vertical Garden by Patrick Blanc that will help you to bide the time while you wait.

Why indoor gardens are beneficial in an urban environment:

Apart from the fact that they will add an element of sophistication and elegance to your home, vertical gardens also absorb unwanted gasses in the air, improve air circulation and stabilise outdoor and indoor air temperatures.

Also, for those urban dwellers that choose to live in the city centre, vertical gardens add another green element to their urban environment.

Using plastic bottles is another brilliant way to create a worthy vertical garden!




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