DIY Vertical Garden

Garden walls or ‘vertical gardens’ have gained a lot of notoriety over recent years with designers such as Patrick Blanc setting the standards. Vertical gardens can come in all shapes and sizes, some scaling entire buildings, whilst others sit in offices, gardens or private homes. Below I would like to show you how you can create your own vertical garden using a wooden pallet. This guide was inspired by Fern Richardson (Life on the Balcony) & Stephanie Lawrence (Design*Sponge), and the images are courtesy of  Design*Sponge.

DIY Vertical Garden Wall

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  1. lorrie -

    Cool idea. I really like it.

  2. Summer -

    What happens when a plant dies? Do you just rip it out and replace it with the pallet standing up? I was thinking about keeping pallets straight up permanently but not sure it that’s possible…?

  3. Robert -

    @Lorrie – Thanks! The inspiration to create this came from Fern Richardson (Life on the Balcony) & Stephanie Lawrence (Design*Sponge)

    @Summer – When replanting it would be better to keep the pallet at an angle, other than that is is find to keep the pallet vertical.

    If either of you do this we would love to see images!

  4. Surrey Design -

    Really nice infographic, I spend quite a lot of time reading different blogs and it’s nice to come across something refreshing. Good work.

  5. Lindsey -

    I would love to try this project out this summer. What kinds of plants do you suggest using?

  6. Robert -

    Hi Lindsey, you can plant almost anything you like – but we’d recommend starting off with succulents or perennials.

  7. Christina Cash -

    This works very well for a salad garden. Plant mixed lettuce, a row of sweet radishes, button carrots, etc. On the top plant cucumbers and cherry or grape tomatoes. We call it our (meaning me and my salad stealing family) “the salad wall” mine hangs on the back wall of my fully covered north facing back deck. I hang a few 2 lt soda pop bottles (1/3 bleach, 2/3 water at the edge of the porch). The light refraction is amazing and that is how my plants get all the light they need.

  8. Tiller -

    Wonderful Idea… One thing I would like to offer: If you are considering using this for a salad garden or any edibles, please be sure to know the source of your pallet, or build your own “pallet”. pallets are like sponges, and aside from being treated with crazy chemicals like formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, and the highly toxic chemical called Methyl Bromide, which is used to treat insect infestations. (which can potentially leach into your soil) they are potential breeding grounds for dangerous fluids and bacterium. This includes Listeria, E. coli and salmonella. In fact, the concern about food safety and wooden pallets is well known, and the FDA has gone so far as to forbid the shipment of certain foods via wood pallets.

    1. Robert Bridgman -

      Thanks for raising this point, Tiller.
      You’re right, caution should be exercised when re-using pallets for growing food. A quick Google search returns many articles explaining pallet safety and what to look out for when selecting a pallet.

  9. joy -

    I would really like to do this – I am lost, however. How do you put the landscaping paper on the pallet, AFTER you have fastened the mdf to the back?

    1. Robert Bridgman -

      Hi Joy, thanks for your comment.
      The mdf board should be the same same width and height as the pallet (usually 120 x 100 cm), it can then be nailed onto the rear frames of the pallet. The landscaping paper needs to be larger than the pallet so that it can be stapled to the sides of the pallet – 140 x 120 cm should be ideal. The second from last photo shows how the landscaping paper should look when attached to the pallet.

    2. Reta Russell-Houghton -

      I don’t think you want to use MDF on the back. It will swell and disintegrate when it gets wet. You might do better putting hardware cloth, which is a wire fencing with 1/4-1/2 inch holes or some type of.plywood. i just added more boards in the spaces in between. It does not have to fit perfectly and they can be screwed on.

      i found a pallet that I could cut into 2 sections about 15 inches wide with some left over pieces. The left over pieces fit inside and created the bottoms for my 3 stacked flower boxes.I was able to take another scrap, screw it perpendicular to the side to create a stand to hold it vertical. Because theses stacked flower boxes are smaller than a regular pallet, i can use them on my front porch and they are easy to move.

  10. todd -

    I want to do this, this is very cool!

  11. Shahina Lakhi -

    once it’s mounted vertically, how can one water the plants? is the top side open to allow watering?

  12. Brandelynn -

    I have seen these in my gardening books. They are called hanging gardens in my book. I love the idea, but I am not a big fan of succlents, at any rate I have not had a whole lots of success growing them. Im not sure why, Im usually have quite a green thumb.

  13. Rose :: Fine Craft Guild -

    Thank you for the compliment in your email. Must appreciated. This looks really fabo! Yes, to Brandelynn, this type of deco rating has been around for a while, and I love this. Depending on WHERE you live, succlents are great. In other places hang geraniums would do better. Getting it right, is all about proper placement!!!

  14. Sarah Williams -

    Hello Rose, you’re right ,location plays an important role.
    Thanks for commenting 🙂

  15. Hellen Barlow -

    Fabulous design! Much loved, and especially great for city people with smaller outdoor spaces. Thank you for sharing!

  16. Alexis -

    What herbs would you suggest?

    1. Sarah Williams -

      Hi Alexis,

      thanks for passing by!

      You can use pretty much every plant in a vertical garden!
      The best ones are those that don’t require a lot of soil (grass, strawberries, fern…). Climbing plants would be fine too.
      But I’ll personally recommend to use geraniums: they bring colours and texture to the wall.

  17. Cecilia Romero -

    I would love to start a vertical garden!!! Thanks

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