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How I built my vertical garden

Darren
Experienced Contributor

How I built my vertical garden

Before-After2_web.jpg

I like vertical gardens. Problem is I don’t particularly like the plastic ones that are everywhere at the moment; and I can’t afford to pay someone to build me one. So I decided to make my own – here’s how I did it, screw ups (there were plenty) and all.

 

The wall

This wall is at the rear of our house, it’s part of an extension built sometime during the 80s. Since we recently built a new deck we’re spending more time outside and this plain wall has become a bit of an eyesore. It needed something.

 

The plan

Originally I wanted to use reinforced mesh for the structure – it looks great and it’s durable. But then I realised that I can’t weld and gaffer tape and cable ties aren’t exactly rock solid, so mesh was out.

 

Timber, however, is a different story. I ended up settling on a simple design – some shelves with 17 cm terracotta pots. Supporting the shelves I used some L brackets – these ones came in a nice satin black, which ties in perfectly with our fascia, guttering and window frames.

 

Shelf-with-measurements_web.jpg

 

Measure up

‘Measure twice, cut once’ they say. I tried that but I still messed it up. Turns out the pot that I was basing my measurements on was a slightly different diameter to the bulk lot of pots (30 in all) that I bought. So, the 30 holes I cut with the jigsaw? Wrong. All wrong. I ended up having to make them all a bit bigger to accommodate the slightly larger pots. Lesson learnt.

 

So I started re-cutting the holes. It was at this point that I snapped my one and only jigsaw blade while re-cutting the first hole. No back up blade? Yep, another rookie mistake. I’m now an expert with a jigsaw and I have a big packet of blades so I’ll never run out mid-way through a job again.

 

You can check out the measurements I used (above), hopefully it saves you some time.

 

oiling-shelves.jpg

 

Oil vs Paint

Recently I oiled our deck and it turned out pretty good (just don’t mention the drips down the side). So I figured I’d oil the shelves – what could go wrong? Plenty.

 

First, I bought a cheap brush (mistake No.1), then I rushed the job (mistake No.2) and ended up with drips and some areas darker than others. It looked bad. I knew it looked bad because when I asked my wife what she thought she just kind of nodded, smiled and walked off. Never a good sign.

 

So to cover my gaffe I undercoated with an oil-based undercoat then carefully applied two coats of satin black paint with a roller. An expensive roller.

 

The finish was much better, check it out in the picture below.

 

black-and-white-shelves_web.jpg

 

A little support

Next step was to screw the brackets to the brick wall. I used a 6mm masonry bit, two to be exact – half way through drilling holes I managed to snap the first one. It’s still embedded about an inch in the wall. I also used some 5mm plastic spaghetti and some 75mm screws.

 

The trickiest part here was getting the brackets lined up in a straight line. To do this I clamped a couple of stakes either side of the first L bracket to ensure the one above it was held securely in place while I drilled the holes (see below).

 

clamps-and-brackets_web.jpg

 

Get it together

Now for the fun part. I attached the shelves with some 18mm screws, added a packer between the bracket and the shelf where necessary to get them perfectly horizontal, and dropped in the pots.

 

Done.

 

I still haven’t quite decided what to plant in the pots – any suggestions?

 

final_web.jpg

 

What’s the damage?

All up it cost around $200 (plants will cost more and I already had the paint). It took me a couple of days to build but no doubt you could do it much quicker by avoiding the mistakes I made!

 

Here’s what I used:

5mm plastic spaghetti

6mm masonry bit

75mm screws

18mm screws

Packers

235 x 19mm x 1.8m Premium Grade Dressed Pine x 5

150x175x25x6mm angle brackets x 6

17 cm terracotta pot x 30

Undercoat

Black paint

Roller 

 

 

timjeffries
Established Contributor

Re: How I built my vertical garden

Strawbs?

Darren
Experienced Contributor

Re: How I built my vertical garden

Hi @greygardener I have been experimenting with some different plants due to the position of the garden. As it's under the eaves I want to make sure that what I plant will survive in this space.

So far we have some small Yucca Elephantipes in the centre row, Lomandra 'Lime Tuff' above the yuccas and Lomandra longifolia 'Little Con' below.

For the very top and bottom row I'm planning to plant agave attenuatas - I'm just searching for some the right size. When it's all planted out I'll post a pic!

Jason
Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: How I built my vertical garden

Thanks for sharing @Darren. Looking forward to seeing your photos.

 

Jason

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QuailFlock
Experienced Contributor

Re: How I built my vertical garden

Agree with @timjeffries, strawberry will look great in the pots.

Imagine in summer you will have a row or two red strawberries and some white flowers hanging down from the pot!

Adding in lettuces, spinach, rainbow chards and kales will also give you some interesting colors during winter.

Enjoy the great home-grown veggies!

Darren
Experienced Contributor

Re: How I built my vertical garden

Thanks @QuailFlock - some great suggestions and very tough decisions to make!

AHoy
Experienced Contributor

Re: How I built my vertical garden

Good job, it looks great.

Re: How I built my vertical garden

Great start :), i would love to see more photos with plants
Jason
Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: How I built my vertical garden

Thanks for joining in the discussion and making your first post @Tompson. Let me also extend a very warm welcome to Workshop. I hope you find the community to be informative, inspirational and plenty of fun. Please let me know if you need a hand getting the most from the site.

 

Jason

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Anan
New Contributor

Re: How I built my vertical garden

Wow, looks tidy Darren on the wall esp the choice of terracott pots.

I love the idea of anyone using vertical space for gardening. Congrats.

I was wondering about watering such pot plants in height, not easy to reach fora short person like me esp during summer months, there are hoses available no doubt to reach tall.

But while consrtucitng this project did you think about tray level drip irrigation via crates or tubes that can carry/ run watering tubes to ech plant or set up a shower from the top  to down.

What do you think?

 

Jason
Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: How I built my vertical garden

Welcome to Workshop @Anan and thanks for joining in the discussion. I will tag @Darren so he is notified about your reply.

 

I trust you will receive lots of helpful advice and inspiration for your projects from our community members. Please let me know if you ever need a hand getting the most from the site.

 

Jason

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