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Garden Design

Take Your Spring Planting Vertical for Dramatic Effect

Take Your Spring Planting Vertical for Dramatic Effect
The past few years, I have noticed more and more ways to go vertical in your garden. Bringing your plants and flowers up and away from the ground level not only expands the area available for planting, but greatly increases the interest and visual impact of your space. If you have only ever placed plants in ground level pots or in the soil directly, you may be a little reluctant to explore this vertical space, but there are easy ways to get started. Here are a few.
Install hanging planters
If you have an expanse of fence or a blank wall, that could be a perfect place to install hanging planters and add a beautiful splash of color. Make sure to anchor your planters securely using the proper tools and fasteners for the base material you are working with, be it brick, wood, stucco or another surface.
Take caution when selecting plants, as the raised and exposed surface may be much warmer and more brightly lit than the nearby ground. A brick wall facing west, for example, retains heat long after the sun goes down. You may need to select plants that are better able to handle heat and direct sunlight and water more frequently in order to keep your blooms healthy.
Build a flower tower
You can build a tall, flowering tower of sorts using either large diameter PVC pipe drilled with randomly spaced holes or a cylinder made of sturdy fence lined with black plastic. If you use the fence and plastic, cut X-shaped holes, randomly spaced in the plastic up and down the cylinder.
Fill the cylinder of your choice with potting soil, then plant petunias, impatiens or other bright, spreading flowers in the randomly spaced holes. Plant flowers in the top of the cylinder, too. You can stick with all one color, or place a variety of colors for a more striking effect. The tower will look sparse at first, but with a little water and fertilizer, the flowers will fill in quickly and give you a blooming column of color all summer long.
Climbing vines of color
One of the easiest ways to add color to a porch or trellis is to plant a hardy, climbing vine that flowers all summer long. Morning glories or clematis add gorgeous blossoms within ever climbing greenery, and you can train them to go wherever you want with just a little bit of twine.
Not sure if you want to keep a spreading vine in your garden forever? That’s okay. Just plant it in a large pot, like you would any other seasonal plant, and let it grow for the summer. If you want to do something different the next year, just pull the vines down in the fall and replant with something different in the spring.