Great Vertical Gardening Inspiration and Information

by Fern on March 28, 2011

in Book Review

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If you enjoy clever vertical gardening ideas (like planting a pallet garden) then I am sure you will enjoy a great book I was given called Garden Up! by Susan Morrison and Rebecca Sweet. It is chock full of useful advice from two very talented garden designers. Susan and Rebecca walk you step by step through the vertical garden design process, and offer all sorts of great tips for solving common problems, like how to hide an ugly air conditioning unit, or unsightly electrical boxes.

This is totally the kind of book that you flip through in the bookstore and say “ooh, I want to do that,” and “wow, that’s so clever!” After saying those sorts of things so many times to yourself, you end up buying a copy for yourself and another for a friend whose birthday is coming up (and whose patio could use some of the tips in the book! ;-)).

The Kind of Awesomeness You Can Expect in Garden Up!

Garden Up! is broken down into eight chapters that cover things like design ideas for skinny spaces, solutions for disguising eyesores, how to create a living wall, and plant suggestions for tackling specific vertical gardening projects (to name a few). Sprinkled throughout are charming sketches that explain design concepts, and sidebars that take a closer look at a particular garden’s vertical gardening ideas.

Oh, and always important in a gardening book, the photos show all sorts of gardens that you wish were yours, like a fire escape that looks more like an English country garden, and a small patio with shutters that double as a succulent planters.

Love strawberries? You’ll definitely want to flip to page 134 and 135 to see the PVC pipe turned strawberry pot, hanging from a wall (it’s right next to the DIY upside down tomato planter). I bet it is actually better than traditional strawberry pots at keeping the strawberries well watered because there are no awkward pockets to miss with the watering can.

You’ll also find lots of clever trellis/fencing ideas. I loved the re-use of these old gates as trellises to soften a cinder block wall. There was another really awesome idea on page 75 to upgrade basic lattice into something really special. I don’t have a photo of that one, so you’ll just have to take my word on it and buy the book to see for yourself. šŸ˜‰ I think I am going to try something similar the next time I need a trellis.

Did you know that grapes can be trained into patio trees? Me neither. That is, until I saw one in all its glory on page 131. Last week I noticed that my local garden center is selling all sorts of wine grapes, like merlot and pinot noir. How awesome would it be to have a pot with a grape “tree” that you can use to make your own wine? Susan and Rebecca have several other ideas for edible plants that can be trained into small trees, perfect for adding height to small spaces.

If you want to see more photos from the book, check out the official Garden Up Flickr stream.

Still Hungry for More Vertical Garden Deliciousness?

Tune in on Wednesday for Garden Up! co-author Susan Morrison’s guest post. A while back, Susan shared the bird’s eye view sketch of a small patio courtyard she had designed for a client. I knew it would be awesome, and asked Susan if she would share some of her small-space gardenĀ ideas in a guest post. Lucky for all of us, she agreed! I’ve already read the post and drooled over the photos of that completed courtyard, so I know you guys will love it!

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