How to build an outdoor living wall.
Outdoor living walls are popping up everywhere from city centres to balconies and rooftops, and it's no wonder as they keep buildings cool, improve air quality, reduce noise and attract wildlife to urban areas. If you've ever wondered how you could create a stunning living wall in your garden space then it’s never been easier.
Living / green walls or vertical gardens were once considered bespoke installations that only large businesses and commercial sites could afford. Well, now they have become a must-have stunning design solution for residential homes and gardens, especially those with limited space.
Many people have now considered living walls as a viable option to cover imposing structures in shaded areas, garage walls and outbuildings can now be transformed and create bespoke spaces that were once left to ruin. Creating a vertical garden takes a little bit of planning.
01 Pick a space.
Try and put your living wall in the space where you are most likely to enjoy it. They can be used to enhance an outdoor dining space, cover an unsightly wall or make a statement at an entrance.
Think about the light that it will be exposed to, as this will affect the types of plants that you’ll be able to use. If it gets less than 6 hours of sunshine per day then this would be classed as a shady spot. Over 6 hours would mean you’re looking for plants that enjoy a sunny spot.
You'll also need to measure the spot you've considered. We added a simple calculator on our product pages so that you can add your measurements and tells you how many boxes you'll need.
02 Pick a system.
We found that our system has many key benefits over other products:
- Comes with an inbuilt water reservoir that holds up to 2 weeks' worth of water, no complicated irrigation system is required.
- Gives the plants the most amount of space, vs the Wonderwall system which needs 40% more plants per sq m and doesn't have the water storage.
- Made in the UK from fully recycled plastic and is fully recyclable. Nominated for RHS Chelsea Sustainable Product of the Year 2021
03 Pick your plants.
Here are a few tips when it comes to picking plants.
Look for varieties that aren’t going to exceed a maximum spread of 50cm, they're more likely to be happy neighbours.
- Try and repeat your planting as much as you can, it’s one of the golden rules of garden design, vertical gardens are no different.
- Try to identify plants that will offer your different things at different times of the year. So some may flower in May and some may have berries through the Winter or stunning autumn colours.
You'll also need to consider how much sunlight your plants will get:
Planting in the shade
Pick the faster growing varieties as they will take longer to grow typically, and look for plants with white flowers that will brighten up a shady corner.
Planting in the sun
Pick the slower growing v so that nothing is going to take over too quickly. Also remember to add in additional d to your soil, either with grit or a product such as perlite. Perlite is available at most good garden centres.
That said, to help take the stress out of finding and sourcing plants our experts at Garden in a Box have sourced and hand pick the perfect plant bundles for all our outdoor living wall kits and collections.
04 Building a living wall.
Using our kits you first need to build the boxes. These will snap together in a matter of minutes. All the individual parts snap together, no screwdriver is required.
Then it's just the matter of stacking and snapping them on top of each other and positioning and marking the surface you want to attach them. They can be held using a wall plug and screw if going into brick, concrete or wood.
Each box has x2 holes at the back where you can fasten your screws to make sure they are safe and secure. The kits allow you to stack them up in different combinations.
05 Planting up a living wall.
Putting your plants in is the fun bit and where your wall will literally come to life.
Think about the soil mix that you want to put in and make sure it’s going to have enough nutrients to support the plants. We supply you with a dehydrated block of the fantastic peat free, coco coir growing medium. It comes compact and fantastic for living walls. Any all purpose compost will do , always try to make sure that this peat free.
All you do is place the dehydrated block in a bucket and add water, as if by magic it expands to create enough compost to fill your boxes.
Deciding how to plant up your living wall can be tricky but we recommend when planting to plant 4 plants per box. This means that you'll get great coverage from the plants as they've got enough room to flourish. Our handy planting guides are supplied with all kits and collections.
05 Watering your living wall.
Watering the plants is quick and simple. Starting from the top the water trickles down and fills up each reservoir. It even tells you how full each one is, with it's handy yellow indicator. So, no more daily watering because each planting trough has a 1.8 litre water reservoir. That’s enough for 1 or 2 weeks, depending on location, weather and how thirsty the plants are. The reservoir and wicking-felt means that plants take up water as they need it, so you don’t need to worry about over-watering.
We hope this article has helped you get a really good understanding of how to design and build up your very own living wall. If you need any other help or advice our team is available on chat 9 am - 9 pm every day or visit our contact page.