In just two weeks, Australia’s largest horticultural event, the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, will be kicking off. Over four days (Wednesday 23 March – Sunday 29 March 2015), there will be more floral displays, landscaping ideas and DIY gardening tips than you can poke a daisy at!
To give you taster of the handy green thumb advice you can pick up at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, I caught up with one of the exhibitors, Leigh Nicholson, CEO of Hanging Gardens, so he could give us the lowdown on creating a vertical garden. Whether you’re short on space or just looking for a way to give your home a unique green statement, vertical gardens are big news…and surprisingly easy to create.
Easy Tips for Growing A Vertical Garden
What do you need to create a vertical garden?
“Plants need deep pockets,” explains Leigh. So, despite what Pinterest might tell you, packing crates won’t work!
While there are lots of products on the market that have been designed specifically for vertical gardens, very few work. Some dry out too quickly while others waterlog plants due to a lack of drainage.
You also want to be able to move plants around without having to dig plants out. This helps you create the arrangement you’re after. It’s also a very nifty design feature of Hanging Gardens – the only product in the world that has removable felt pockets
Which plants work best in a vertical garden?
“Any plant that you can grow in a hanging basket, a pot or a container will do just fine,” explains Leigh, “But they will do way better than in a pot, because the pockets retain moisture for the plants and the hanging garden creates its own microclimate which seems to make the plants grow better than in the garden.”
How do you maintain a vertical garden?
Leigh has three very simple tips for maintaining your vertical garden:
- Keep the moisture level up unless you are growing succulents.
- If you are growing prize begonias, add a fertiliser tablet or spray with Nitrosol or liquid fertiliser from time to time.
- Use a good quality potting soil or container mix to start with.
What are some of the mistakes people make when creating a vertical garden at home?
“Make sure make sure you chose the right plants for the situation,” says Leigh. So, keep shade loving plants out of the sun and vice versa.
“If you are making a large green wall, remember to overlap the Hanging Gardens as the pockets bulge when planted, so by overlapping the gardens by about 10cm you don’t get gaps,” add Leigh.
Oh, and if you are planting vegetable, remember that they get eaten! So you will have gaps. Leigh recommends getting around this by planting two plants in each pocket, one to eat soon and one to grow, or mix in a few flowers so you don’t have a bare garden.
Melbourne International Flower and Garden show is taking place from Wednesday 25 March – Sunday 29 March 2015 at the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens, Carlton // You can purchase your tickets here //