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I grew these from seed and sowed the seedlings in a pumpkin patch but they decided to grow into adjoining plant rows and we sometimes found them sitting up in the branches of our proteas! We had too many last year so we sold some at our local markets.

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Comment by Anne Gibson on July 24, 2011 at 7:32
One of the key benefits as I see it to vertical garden structures is the aesthetics they bring to your garden - a talking point, beauty, character - it's all good!  I'm sure you'll enjoy experimenting.
Comment by Lissa on July 24, 2011 at 6:25
All these things add interest to a garden as well. Make it a more pleasurable place to wander in. Will have a look at the blog :)
Comment by Anne Gibson on July 24, 2011 at 6:01

Have just started a new blog on this topic Lissa -  you can find it at Benefits of Vertical Gardens.  Vertical gardening just makes sense on so many levels - BTW you don't need to hire-a-hubby for most of them!!

There really is SO much to discuss and so many solutions for various situations ... I'm sure you'll find at least one idea you can use for your particular situation.  Sometimes we just need a bit of visual inspiration for how others have had to work around similar challenges to find one that works for us. 

Comment by Lissa on July 24, 2011 at 5:49

It's a very interesting concept and opens up all sorts of new possibilities. I would love to see/hear more in a blog topic.

For me, my fence isn't strong enough to support a large growth of anything. It's ancient 6' wood palings which have had to be reinforced a few times over the years and I can't afford to replace at present.

I also don't have a handy husband around to do the heavy and technical work.

I have always loved planting in pots but the fact is pots need a regular supply of water in our hot climate - fence pots would be the same (clever watering system for the lettuces in your pic). For me, I wouldn't be home enough to ensure that.

But I am still very interested in the whole concept! It makes us all think outside the usual box and gives us ideas for the future or someone elses garden.

 

Comment by Anne Gibson on July 24, 2011 at 4:23

I'm happy to keep this conversation going by starting a blog about vertical gardens - it seems there is enough interest and it is a BIG topic.

It's hard to make a generality about the strength of fences as they are all different materials and ages.  You can use the upright posts which are usually spaced at regular intervals and concreted into the ground for structural strength to secure stronger horizontal structures if you think yours won't stand up to additional weight.  This is just one idea but there are LOTS more options that don't mean you have to waste this vital space.  I'll start a blog about this topic and we can take it from there ...

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on July 23, 2011 at 23:05

There's so many good ideas here and they will get lost to later forum members. A blog perhaps with some neat ideas Anne? Then you can add tags for later searchers to find the details.

 

Fences though - are most domestic fences strong enough for these gardens? The crappy wood and light metal fences I have here would fall over with or without the white ants ;-)

Comment by Anne Gibson on July 23, 2011 at 20:53

If you look closely you will see a watering system on the right hand side at the top - it gravity feeds the entire vertical garden 'bed' as the water/nutrient filters down to each gutter below!  I think the water collects at the bottom in a tank water garden and is pumped back up. 

I just love this clever use of vertical space - look how much food is grown off the ground!  If you want a few more photos and ideas for growing vertically like the recycled bag planters on a fence below, there are a series of articles here

 

I think vertical gardening is an under utilised design technique in urban spaces.  There's just SO much we can do to grow more UP with a little creativity!

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on July 23, 2011 at 19:46
Why are those lettuces growing in sloping beds?
Comment by Vanessa Collier on July 23, 2011 at 18:50
Love the idea of a gutter garden!  Adds a whole new dimension to gardening on a flat fence.
Comment by Anne Gibson on July 23, 2011 at 18:05

Giving up your 'stations' Lissa may have to be a compromise if you're really tight for space ... although there are always really creative ideas for vertical gardening like maybe trailing a pumpkin up a 'Gutter Garden'  attached to a fence so you can still grow in soil and make your stations!  Maybe you can start thinking about this sort of concept and come up with your own version - I'm sure there's a solution out there.

 

 

 

 

The photo might inspire you to grow pumpkins 'up' in new ways!

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