Vertical gardening is a design technique that can be used not only in gardens. To turn balconies into real summer oases, it is not at all necessary to be limited only to balcony drawers and a potted garden. With the help of design methods that take up minimal space, but create beautiful flowering walls, you can achieve an amazing effect of immersion in wonderful colors and aromas. Growing ordinary annual vines, placing a large number of ampels on the wall or creating a real green fur wall - there are plenty of options for decorating balconies with flowers.Using vertical gardening in summer, the balcony can be turned into a real garden.
When creating vertical gardens and landscaping the walls of the balcony, you can either create neutral background compositions, or try to plant plants in such a way as to get a lushly flowering and bright canopy. The color scheme can be changed and selected to your liking, combining flowering and decorative foliage plants in such a way as to achieve maximum effect.
Harmonious pastel colors, bright monochrome compositions or contrasts between the main garden colors - only you can choose the balcony design options. The main thing to remember is that plants should complement and emphasize each other's beauty, contrast in leaves and flower shape, while maintaining their individuality.
Seedlings for growing summers or colorful vines can be grown yourself or buy ready-made, already blooming, healthy seedlings. With the latter option, it is better to choose plants in containers, carefully assessing the condition of the leaves for traces of pests and the consequences of improper maintenance.Plants of a vertical balcony garden should complement and emphasize each other's beauty
The main methods of organizing vertical landscaping of balconies
With vertical landscaping of balconies today, it uses three design methods:
- Create a vertical canopy, screen or screen from vines.
- Creating a vertically located pot garden - placement on a stand or directly on the wall with the help of a series of pot and ampel plant mounts.
- Creating flowering walls using hydroponic methods or growing on a fur wall.
Each of the options for balcony design has its advantages and disadvantages. If you like tinkering and experimenting, you can allocate a larger budget, you can also afford a hydroponic wall. If you need the least time-consuming and difficult option, then it is worth stopping at the vines. And if you like Italian, Scandinavian and Spanish motifs, then you can think of the colorful potted gardens on the wall.
Classical vertical gardening with vines
A simple stretched mesh of wire, twine or a fixed trellis lattice made of different materials (metal, wood, plastic), boxes for growing pilots with installed grilles are the most traditional way to create verticals on the balcony. Green and blooming screens, which will create continuous screens on such a support, will make it possible to make full use of landscaping opportunities without losing valuable space.
The creation of such a blooming wall comes down to laying drainage, filling the container with substrate and planting plants, the shoots of which will need to be guided and tied up.
For southern and partially southern balconies, the selection of annual vines is especially rich. Here you can use a modest in nature, but dazzling in colors nasturtium, and exotic kobe, air azarin, and romantic sweet peas, and the inimitable black-eyed winged tangbergia or quamoklit, fashionable today.
If you like original fruits, you can recall decorative pumpkins. As a container plant, you can also grow clematis or climbing roses, but in this case you will have to take care of the proper wintering of the vines.
Creepers for shady balconies are a rarity. For this purpose, ivy and vineyard are usually used, which are taken to fresh air for the summer. But sweet peas are also growing well on the northern balcony, especially if he receives the right care. Another liana that demonstrates amazing unpretentiousness is morning glory, bright gramophone and no less bright greens of which on the balcony look more elegant than in gardens.Ivy, like a liana, is ideal for use on shady balconies.
Vertical pot garden
Having fixed fasteners for flower pots on the wall of the balcony, using multi-level supports, different variations of suspended multi-level shelves, you can create a flowering wall of dozens of pots on the balcony wall.
Today, the choice of "attached" designs is very large. Narrow racks, ladders, shelves, racks, which are often a work of art with forged elements, old stepladders or whatnots will help to place plants no worse than “hooks” and brackets with circles-stands for pots, other mounted holders of different sizes and shapes. You can place a series of plants not in containers, but in bags made of canvas or dense fabric, in improvised containers (for example, old tins or an old service).
Of course, in the possibilities of placing flowerpots in large quantities on the wall there are purely practically limitations - from the possibility of using reliable fasteners to the stability of materials and the ability to drill holes. Attached shelves simplify the process, but they also need to be provided with a secure mount that prevents the structure from tipping over.
Not every balcony will allow hanging a dozen pots on the wall. For this option of vertical gardening, medium-sized, light containers and a very light substrate and drainage are sure to be selected to reduce the maximum load on the structure.For potted vertical gardening, medium-sized, lightweight containers are sure to be selected.
Selection of plants for a vertical pot garden
Petunias, pansies and marigolds are the undisputed favorites in the design of balconies. But with vertical gardening, it is worth considering the form of plant growth. Ampelic plants with drooping shoots capable of creating beautiful cascades are the best choice. Today, even marigolds, pelargoniums, balsamins, as well as begonias have such varieties.
To achieve a particularly vivid effect, it is worth combining ampelous plants with bushy plants in complex combinations that will give an additional volume to a flowering wall from different pots.
For the walls made up of several hanging balcony boxes located one below the other, staggered pots with flyers or a pot garden located on a narrow shelf - the selection of crops is carried out based on lighting conditions:
- On the eastern and western balconies, a charming vertical garden can be created from pelargonium, balsam, begonias, petunias, lobelia, browllia, bacopa, diasia. Here, any indoor plants that can be taken out in the open air in the summer will feel great.
- On southern balconies heather and eric, catharanthus, gerbera, ampoule viola, marigolds, nasturtium, left-handed, ageratum, cloves, phlox, the same pelargoniums and petunias of hardy small-colored varieties are more appropriate. Even ampelous varieties of strawberries will be able to perform a spectacular vertical task. From indoor plants, you can take out and use cacti, dracaena, yucca, agave, laurels, citrus fruits, aloe in a vertical garden on a rack or stand.
- On the cooler north side of the house, on the balcony for a vertical pot garden, it is better to choose shade-loving indoor plants - ferns, fuchsias, tradescans, ivies, laurel cherries, aspidistra, cissus. But only the choice is not limited to them. Forget-me-nots and Reseda, begonias and marigolds, balsamins and coleuses will grow on the northern balcony.
If you decide to decorate a vertical balcony with a vertical pot garden that does not have wind protection, special attention should be paid to the stability of structures. But the pilots also need to be selected more carefully. Calendulas, ageratums, begonias, verbena, annual asters, chrysanthemums, gazanias grow well on windy balconies.
In order for such a prefabricated pot garden, not placed in the horizontal but in the vertical plane, to remain attractive throughout the year, one must not forget to introduce pot accents to the main summers. Onion and small onion, for example, crocuses, hyacinths, tulips and daffodils, which are sold after them, evening primrose, forget-me-nots, daisies and violets will help to wait for the beginning of flowering of the main summer stars. And in the fall, asters, chrysanthemums, several bushes of cereals and bright decorative and deciduous crops should be added to such a kindergarten.For vertical potted gardens on open balconies, particular attention must be paid to the stability of structures
Flowering hydroponic walls
On the balconies, you can also use various methods of growing plants not by the traditional method - not in the soil, but in special substrates that hold nutrient solutions.
Growing without soil allows not only to make the process “cleaner”, to reduce the real load on the construction of the balcony, but also opens up new prospects for care: after all, such plants, as a rule, do not require such complicated care. On the balcony, hydroponics and containers with automatic irrigation are used both for ordinary plants and for searching for new ideas in the design of vertical elements.
For vertical gardening of balconies, you can use several options for hydroponic "walls":
- vertical moss walls with hanging gardens broken on them;
- the use of a bag or a hanging soft wall, a "canvas" with sewn pockets into which plants are planted (usually their base is made of waterproof, durable fabrics - tarps, burlap with complex impregnation);
- planting plants in plastic pipes with holes;
- creation of a vertical garden in pallets (pallets) converted into a “wall”;
- planting plants in converted tubs, cans and barrels with drilled holes for planting plants.
Organization of vertical structures in hydroponics
The most perfect type of flowering walls on balconies are structures that migrated to balconies from interiors (phytowalls). This is a special narrow design with an automatic watering system, and often also a backlight, in which plants are planted in clean peat or an ionic substrate.
The essence of all such walls is the same: the base (structure) is selected or remade, which will hold the moisture-absorbing substrate in an upright position, with holes or pockets for planting. In fact, this is a balcony version of vertical beds and strawberry gardens. Sometimes, as an insulating layer, the space is lined with a film.
Any base in which openings with a diameter of 4-5 cm are located at a distance of about 15-20 cm is suitable. An opening for water drainage should be provided at the bottom of the wall, container, pipe. They fill the structure in the same way as any container - from the drainage layer below to completely fill the space with the selected filler substrate and install capillaries, conductors for the aqueous nutrient solution — thin tubes or branches that will help maintain high permeability. The addition of hydrogel and disintegrants is welcome.
For vertical walls on the balcony, ionite soil, expanded clay, coconut fiber, peat are used. But the best choice, especially for hot balconies, is still moss. As a filler, it not only provides much more effective moisture retention, but also protects plants from overheating. The main requirements for the filler are a combination of a coarse texture with large particles, the ability to retain water, resistance to any decomposition and rot, neutral reaction and non-toxicity.
Growing flowering walls on the principle of hydroponic plants is possible only when using nutrient solutions for hydroponic crops. Strictly observing the manufacturer's instructions on the concentration and frequency of treatments, solutions for hydroponics contribute less often than conventional crops are watered and fed.
To create flowering walls on the balcony using the hydroponic method, you can use both annual and perennial plants. The main thing is that the selected species densely bush, be able to grow, create a continuous coating, or develop in the form of compact but curly bushes. Periwinkles and anemones, marigolds, pansies, verbena, alissum, begonias, gamolepis, cloves, godetsia, ivy, lobelia, balsamins, armeria and all kinds of annual ampelous plants are planted in such walls.
Maybe you already have a vertical flowering wall on your balcony? Tell us about her in the comments to the article. What plants are planted there? How much attention do they require?