Category: Do-it-yourself (Page 3 of 3)

A Vision Of Green: Key Steps to Creating A European Style Vertical Garden

Growing vertical is in vogue. Wander European streets and you will stumble upon beautiful gardens and magnificent living walls which leave you breathless and envious. The Europeans know how to make the best use of the limited space they have with their vertical gardens.

But, even when space saving isn’t the objective, the vertical gardens are about beauty. Europe is covered with plants.  Ivy weaves and crawls up walls creating dazzling textures. Buildings and balconies are covered with fruit vines – shade is created. Plants have been turned into artwork. The garden is the draw card for many boutique restaurants. These European vertical gardens have turned restaurants into secret havens. They’ve become places of wonderment, where tourists sit awed and dream. If you have your own vision of a vertical lush green garden then read on – it’s easy to create.


The creation of your living wall needs a few things:

  1. Wall or railing (inside or out) for you hang your living garden
  2. Living wall panel cells (planter)
  3. Plants
  4. Creative Design
  5. Soil


The steps to your living wall masterpiece:

Step One:

Identify the space where you want your living wall. Remember, you can have create them inside or outside. It’s becoming quite fashionable (if there is enough light) for an office to have living wall.


Step Two:

Measure how big you want your living wall. It is possible to buy living wall panels or cells. They often come in 10 or 45 cells and depending on the garden size, you can buy multiple panels. GroVert provides several options for you.  

Lets refer to this as planter cells to avoid confusion. The planter cells is a series of individual spaces to place your plants. You can see it here.


The planter cells also come with angled slats which enables the plants you select to grow vertically. Also, the angled slats enable the water to trickle down and go inside of each planter.


Step Three:

It’s important to choose the right plants and remember to look at the area where you are going to hang your living wall. Assess the amount of sun that you are going to get as this will help determine the type of plants suitable for the wall. Remember, when choosing plants don’t select them if they have a large roots system. If there is a lot of sun perhaps choose succulents. However, if your wall is shady then ferns or ivy would be more appropriate..


Step Four:

Once you have chosen the plants, it is best to break them apart and add them to the individual planter cells. This is where your creativity and fun comes in. Design your garden, and create shapes or weaves or simply mix and match the textures that you have selected. The design is completely up to you!


Step Five:

Add the soil and ensure you have filled all the openings. You are almost done.


Step Six:

The planter will come with a mechanism to attach or hang easily to the wall. Remember, you can attach it to a wall or a railing.




Remember, if you’re not going to Europe why not create it and bring it to you! After the six easy steps, remember to sit back and enjoy the piece of paradise that you have created! All these accessories for living walls are available from

Good luck and have fun!

DIY – Create a Living Wall in Your Home or Office

Maybe you have a small space that needs decorating? Or you live in an apartment and having a garden seems impossible? But, it’s time to dream – and now your dream can become a reality as a garden is possible in a small space. No longer are you restricted or limited to horizontal landscape designs. It’s easy to create upwards by designing your very own vertical garden. So, get creative with easy to use, simple, modern vertical wall systems. It’s time to have fun with new textures. When designing vertically you are creating something truly special –  it’s alive, it’s breathing, it’s environmentally friendly – your new stunning living wall.


Office Living Wall

Don’t be deterred by the installation process, it’s easy and with the fifteen easy steps listed below you too can create something remarkable in your home or office.  Look at the diagram below, as it helps to be able to visualise how the wall ends up being put together.





  1. Take a tape measure and determine the exact location for the metal spacers.
  2. Place the spacers vertically at each mark and screw them directly into the wall.
  3. Attach the drain trays along the bottom edge of the spacers.
  4. Assemble the side and top trays, and attach them along the top edge.
  5. Lift into place by starting with the side panels.
  6. Insert the centre panel to finish the lower half of the walling system.
  7. Lift the panels one and one half inches from the bottom of the bottom tray and screw this into place using washers to make sure it is secure.
  8. Put the upper panels into place, make sure you start off at the side panels and then end with the centre panel.
  9. Once the panels are screwed into place, ensure that you fold the felt seam correctly to prevent water dripping onto the floor. The purpose of the felt seam is to help direct moisture within the panel system into the right place. Tuck the upper flap into the panel below and fold the lower flap up.
  10. Ensure that the bottom flap is then tucked into the bottom tray to direct moisture into the lower tray, ensuring that it is drained away.
  11. Use a ‘drain to waste’ irrigation system which helps drain away any extra water which is not absorbed by the plants. This can be done by using quarter inch soaker hoses threaded between the pockets and pulling them securely.
  12. Automate the watering system by installing hoses in every forth row as this will ensure even watering.
  13. Connect the watering system to a digital hose timer that is located outside.
  14. Now that the wall is fully installed and irrigation tubing is in place have fun by designing your own garden. Look at the diagram below of how you would insert plants. Remember to  think about the look you want, whether you want an instant grown-in-the wall look or not.
  15.  Remember to wrap the roots of your plants with pre-moistened felt squares to protect the roots and keep the installation tidy. You can then simply insert the plants into the pockets creating the wonderful living wall.

Do-it-yourself living wall installation by Matt

Matt and his Vertical garden

Matt has a detailed video here of how he created a living wall Patrick Blanc style. You can visit his site for more information about how he made his living wall. First, here’s the video of how it was made:

Below are some details that Matt so generously provided about his indoor living wall installation in his New York apartment:

  • The first layer is the frame. Usually that’s made of aluminum or wood. Then there’s a waterproof layer of plastic. Lately I have been using recycled corrugated polyethylene sheeting; 2 sheets 6mm thick layered to make 12mm.
  • The seams  of the plastic were sealed with silicone. So were the screws. Just a dab of silicone on the screw head keeps the water from escaping out the back. Our basin was made from PVC ( a material I wouldn’t use again due to it’s environmental impact). It was glued together with special glue. The shape is quite unusual because it ducks under our cabinet at one point. Also it’s curved to match the shape of the wall. Most basins will be much simpler.
  • The felt is 3/16″ thick and in his experience has been thick enough. I have seen some Blanc walls that have used an even thinner material. The material is stapled to to the plastic in two layers. The cuts for pockets are only made to the first layer.
  • We cut 5 inch pockets separated by only 2 inches in between. Then we staggered the rows vertically and separated them by 4 inches. The plants we used were from 3 inch pots.
  • The dirt from the pot is left around the roots when planting, but no extra dirt is added.
  • It’s important to have a filter on your irrigation system. Mine never really had one and I wasn’t very good at keeping dirt and plant matter out of my basin. Periodically I would have to take down my irrigation hose and clean out the clogged holes with a paperclip while running water through it. This was a time consuming process… so I added a filter.
  • The pump waters the vertical garden 7 times (every 2 hours) a day for 2 minutes per watering.
  • I use compact fluorescent bulbs. They are NOT full spectrum. I think they may be “cool white”. From “Ecology of the planted aquarium” by Diane Walstad she shows that “cool white” is almost as good as full spectrum for growing plants.

living wall

Living wall

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