Magazine article Sunset

Vertical Gardens

Magazine article Sunset

Vertical Gardens

Article excerpt

How to decorate and disguise backyard walls

If your garden has a boring wall, think of it as an opportunity to extend your outdoor space. Enhanced with vines, colorful plants, and decorative objects, that daunting expanse becomes an interesting vertical garden.

Jerry and Geri Thirloway planted creeping fig (Ficus pumila) against the sump-stone wall of their garden in Solana Beach, California (pictured above). Ornamental pear trees grow in front, their evenly spaced trunks punctuating the leafy expanse. In keeping with the English-inspired flower garden, the Thirloways hung flat-backed planters on the wall, using heavy-duty masonry screws, then filled them with tuberous begonias and trailing lobelia. Each planter is 20 inches wide at the top and 19 inches deep and is watered by drip-irrigation tubing concealed amid the vines.

To add color and texture to an otherwise plain white wall, Olga Gattolico of Poway, California, displays her collection of birdhouses against a 3-foot-wide by 7-foot-tall trellis (pictured above). Each birdhouse has a hole in the back and hangs on a hook on the trellis. Olga's husband, Mike, attached the trellis to the cement-fiber wall with galvanized screws. The peaked roofs, solid colors, and simple shapes of the birdhouses lend continuity to the design. Magenta blooms of fuchsia growing at the base of the trellis echo the red birdhouse above.

To visually connect the display to the garden, Olga trained vines around the birdhouses. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.