Commercial planters for a green wall (Photo: Cat Dorey)

Greens walls, also known as vertical gardens, are a great way to maximise space for growing plants. They are especially good for small balcony gardens. They can also reduce the use of water and help insulate buildings.

Vertical gardens are not just for vines. Any vegetable, fruit or herb that you can grow in a container can grow on a vertical wall system. You can even use fully-shaded wall spaces for growing herbs like mint, Thai basil, watercress, and lemon balm.

There are a wide variety of commercial systems you can buy to attach to walls. Or you can get creative with a wide variety of free materials, like old hanging baskets, shelves, trellises, wooden pallets, PET bottles, guttering, or PVC pipes.

The best designs also reduce the use of water by using wicking systems or catching and reusing any water that runs out the bottom of the vertical garden.

So why not make the best use of your walls and fences and cover them in plants? You can also create additional vertical spaces with things like trellises and bamboo teepees. Don’t forget the space under roofs and awnings for attaching things like hanging baskets and vines.

Our garden hosts Nevin and Linda have lots of ideas on their website and Milkwood has collected some attractive and creative options.