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Add Instant Charm With Vibrant Vertical Gardens: 3 Ideas for a Porch, Entrance, or Fence

Bring the eye upward with the vibrance of thriving plants.


Don’t have the lawn space or the energy to garden outside every day? Try vertical gardens instead. They are exactly what you would think: Gardens that grow vertically instead of horizontally (in the ground), and they create eye-level interest by adding trendy “living wall” displays to your outdoor space. The best part? They aren’t that difficult to create. All plants require special care and maintenance, of course, but you won’t have to bend down while you work.

For a Front Porch: Create a Growing Gallery Wall

Growing Gallery wall concept: potted plants in purple frames
GAP Photos

“Planting vertical gardens on walls, fences, gates, and more frees up patio or garden bed space, and the gardens are surprisingly simple to set up,” says Shawna Coronado, author of Grow a Living Wall. In this photo, a gallery wall of potted plants, herbs, and extras adds a welcoming touch to a porch.

To get the look, paint four wooden frames purple, let dry, then hang on exterior wall. Add viola and an ornamental kale plant to two small pots, slip them into mountable flower pot holder rings, and screw into the wall in the center of two frames. To give the illusion that the pots are hanging from the frames, tie string in bows around the pots and frames. Hang a “garland” of herbs and a wood accent in the other frames. Give plants full sun and water regularly.

Near an Entryway: Hang a Lush Welcome Basket

woven basket full of green and yellow plants against purple wall
GAP Photos

“A wreath-like basket of annuals is perfect for adding interest to an entryway area or near a mailbox,” suggests Coronado. Simply hang this vertical garden on a door or fence in place of a seasonal wreath. To get the look: Add well-draining cactus potting mix to a hanging basket planter, like the Rattan Wicker Half-Round Hanging Planter (Buy from Walmart, $14.37). Next, nestle in a variety of sedum plants (like ice plant and stonecrop) and an Irish rose succulent. Hang the basket on a wall and give light sun; water every seven to 10 days.

On a Fence: Craft a Blooming Succulent Frame

succulents in a wooden frame hanging vertically on wooden wall, for a vertical garden
GAP Photos

“A framed living succulent display adds a surprising burst of color to a fence or forgotten wall,” says Coronado. To do: Open a hinged wooden shadowbox with magnetic closure (Buy from Amazon, $17.99), lay it flat and remove the glass from the frame. Lay a cut-to-fit piece of chicken wire on the back of the frame; use a staple gun to secure it in place. Fill the box with cactus soil mix, then add wood glue to the wood edges near the magnetic closure before closing to ensure the box seals shut; let dry. Push roots of echeveria succulents into the soil through the wire. Lay the box in light sun for two weeks so roots can establish, then hang. Remove from the wall to water once weekly.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.

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