Gone are the days when sticking a pot plant in a corner sufficed: green walls are now the must-have, inside or out
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Wall planters – whether specially created pockets that self-irrigate or a simple shelf stacked with pot plants – are a big trend for both indoors and outside. Why not pack the whole house and garden with these clever ideas?
Create a bookcase display
A well-stocked bookshelf is a fine feature to behold, but it can be massively improved with the addition of a few pot plants dotted among the tomes. For best effect, use an odd number of plants (it looks more natural than an even number), and choose ones that won’t need too much watering – splashes and paperbacks don’t make good bedfellows.
Here, you can also see the visual power of using the same plant over and over.
Mimic Victorian style
Perfect for a courtyard garden, this arrangement works brilliantly in a rustic or boho-style kitchen, too. All you’ll need is a stack of small terracotta pots (you can buy new ones, paint them with natural yogurt, and leave them outdoors for a week or two and they’ll quickly age naturally), as well as a bell jar or two and a good combination of trailing, flowering and taller plants.
Plant an indoor garden
Want to soften the effect of a plain wall or merge indoor and outdoor spaces? Planted pockets, designed especially for indoor gardens, make a living wall possible for the least green-fingered among us.
Cultivate a mixture of different leaf colours or herbs and salad leaves – and have an irrigation system installed if you’re likely to forget to water them.
Browse indoor plants and pots in the Houzz Shop
Make a mossy splashback
If you’re planning a bathroom with a difference, a living wall will be: a) an unexpected touch of drama, and b) happy to thrive in its damp conditions.
Of course, as with any of the designs in this story, you needn’t use real plants. There’s a whole array of convincing faux foliage you can pass off as the real thing – specialist companies will provide preserved moss panels, for example – and they only need dusting.
Hang a foliage frame
A simple wooden frame, which you could make from a cheap pine ladder, can be hung from a rafter to suspend a succession of pots. What to consider? Choose plants that need little watering or don’t mind sitting in water, since the pots won’t have drainage holes in the bottom; spider plants, ivy and ferns are ideal.
If entering your garden means climbing steps from a basement, why not create the effect of a wall with a staircase of planters? This low-maintenance idea adds a splash of verdant foliage from indoors and cleverly draws the eye upwards into the garden beyond. It looks great from above, too.
You can pick up old shutters pretty easily online and, given a lick of tough exterior paint, a solid backing – perhaps of marine ply – and a handful of soil and gravel, they make the perfect environment for plants with shallow roots, such as mini succulents. Then all you need to do is add hooks on the back and hang them on the wall.
Maximise space with vertical planting
Tall fences might be unavoidable in your garden, whether for privacy or because your courtyard is sunk to basement level. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll want to see the timber – which is where living walls come in handy. Plus, if your garden is on the small side, wall planters might be the only place you can realistically fit in any foliage.
Raid skips (with permission)
This just goes to show that even the most overlooked piece of building rubbish can be converted into a cute wall planter. Simply add a backing to the pallet just like you would to the shutter planters, then fill the gaps with pretty blooms in narrow pots. There should even be enough depth to stand a row of flowers on the top, too. (It’s not advisable to grow edibles in pallets, since the wood may have contaminants in it.)
11 good-looking ways to repurpose a pallet
If simplicity – and minimal time spent gardening – is key, put plants that are very difficult to kill on a stack of glass shelves. Orchids enjoy being ignored and will love the steamy atmosphere of a bright bathroom. Once the flowers die off, set the plant aside on a windowsill for a few months and it will bloom again.
Where could you grow a collection of plants against a wall in your home? Share your ideas (or plant tips) in the Comments section.