Container Gardening, Garden Design, Gardening, Guest Posts, How To, Indoor, Planters

While you may have had a good-sized home with great landscaping both indoors and out, now you have downsized and moved to a much smaller apartment. Outdoor landscaping is not your domain anymore, and you have to now deal with a small indoor space. You do want it to look larger, you don’t want to infringe upon your living areas, but you really want lots of plants. What’s the answer to this dilemma? An indoor vertical garden!

What’s a Vertical Garden?

A vertical garden is a garden that grows upward (vertically) using a trellis or other support system, rather than on the ground (horizontally).

There are many ways to install a vertical garden in your small apartments and following are some of our favorites. Whether you live in a small Auburn, Alabama apartment or a huge city like London, you can still find ways to make it work!

Pallet

While Mississippi John Hurt wrote a famous song called “Make Me a Pallet on the Floor,” we want you to use a recycled pallet and install in on a wall. Then, cut our small areas and insert plants. This won’t take up much space but will add a nice splash of green to the wall it’s installed upon.

Leather or Wood Garden

You construct this by using a piece of plywood and either leaving it natural or covering it with leather—or plastic if you choose—and installing it floor to ceiling. Then, add a triangular expanding trellis and place small potted plants at nice intervals. This really adds outdoor charm indoors.

Wall Frame Garden

An old square wooden frame can be fixed to a wall and succulents that don’t use much water can be planted in it. You may need some netting or a screen behind the frame, but a lot of multicolored succulents can help hold in the soil and add cheeriness to the room.

Mesh

Steel mesh that you buy at a big-box home improvement center is another great option. Just run this from floor to ceiling also, get some hooks, and hang pre-potted greenery wherever it looks appropriate. Even sparsely covered mesh adds green to your room.

Vertical Air Plant Garden

To make one of these, place a three-quarter inch piece of plywood on a wall. Then hammer in nails in a triangular or square pattern and connect them with string. Next, buy a plant like tillandsia that can get most of its nutrients from the air without being planted in soil. With this scheme, you’ll have living plants that need little care, hardly any water and little further maintenance, but they will make your wall come alive with beautiful green hues.

Shelves

Wooden shelves that look like outdoor planter boxes are a favorite of ours. If you have a little more space, you can extend these out a few inches. If not, they can be installed close to the wall with enough room for a couple inches of soil. Philodendrons will look very since in this setup.

Shoe-hanger Garden

OK, so you aren’t good at building things, you don’t do well with hammers, and you have no idea how to pound in patterned nails and attach string. Don’t worry, though, because something called a shoe-hanger that you can buy at a charity shop will come to your rescue. Instead of hanging shoes on it, however, fill the pouches with soil and plant appropriate indoor plants. You can get this job done in minutes and you’ll have a wonderful indoor garden.

Are You Crafty?

If you are, check out this idea. Buy some two-liter soft drink bottles, and after you emptied them, cut them off about four inches from the top. Place the cut-off bottles neck-down on a wood rectangle and fasten them with a modified twisty-tie to the wood. Make sure you leave some room between them. Next, place soil into the bottles—they should look sort of like a funnel—and plant herbs like cilantro and parsley in them.  Now, mount the wood on a wall and water very carefully so that you don’t get your floors wet. You’ve got an inexpensive and nice-looking vertical garden that will make you smile.

Vertical gardening is an excellent way to save space in your small apartment. Primrose can help you choose the right plants as you explain exactly what you are doing, and you’ll see that for a very small investment you can bring outdoor beauty indoors.

Love these ideas, but not the hassle of making them? Primrose has an excellent range of quirky indoor planters, in all the trendy colours from copper to matt white.

Container Gardening, Guest Posts, How To, Planters, Plants

When it comes to making the all-important house move, the prospect of parting with plants that have required your attention for years can leave you filled with dread. Whether you’re moving down the road or are packing up your belongings and taking them across the country, transporting both your rooted and potted plants can seem like a hassle that many aren’t able to commit to.

Courtesy of the packaging experts at R+R Packaging, we’re providing you with some simple tips right from the preparations phase through to settling your plants down into their new home. Considering the journey, lighting, storage and so much more, there are plenty of ways your plants can travel to your new destination if done in a contained and careful way.

packing up plants

Before the big move

First things first, before deciding to dig up your plants from their own home in the ground, it’s worth checking in with your removals company to see whether they accommodate plant removals. Due to their fragility and the, therefore, additional risk of damage, many companies choose not to move plants – particularly if there are quite a few that require relocating at the same time.

If they’re happy to do this, the next stage in preparing your plants for the big move is to ensure the conditions your plants are living in before they enter their unknown surroundings are stable enough to see them through to their new home. The end of autumn and beginning of spring are the best periods of time to make this move due to most shrubs being dormant. However, as with many house moves, if circumstances can’t accommodate this then make sure to give your plants plenty of shade a couple of days before their travels so that their dark journey doesn’t come as too much of a surprise.

Finally, just before the big move, repot your plants from their beautiful stone homes into more practical and resilient plastic pots to absorb any bumps your plants may encounter along the way.

On the day

As arguably the most fragile items on the removals van, place your plants in the vehicle last to avoid any snapped branches or bruised buds. By making sure your plants are properly packaged, you’ll eliminate the prospect of damage on their journey. Therefore, when getting your plants ready for their next adventure, make sure you carefully plan out where they’ll sit and inside what.

Another thing to bear in mind during your home (and plant) relocation is how well protected your individual plants are, not only from other boxes but from one another. For plants in plastic pots, curl hard paper funnels around their base up to the middle of the shrub for the best protection. Alternatively, for the large cherry tree you weren’t able to swap from clay pot to plastic, ensure you place plenty of damp newspaper around its stand, lining dry paper around it afterwards. Additionally, for small pots tightly packed together in one container, make sure you pop enough newspaper between each pot and line the base with paper to soak up any excess water that may have the potential to dampen and ruin your transporting container.

Settling in

Don’t let yourself be fooled when the removals van pulls into the drive and a glance into the box tells you your plants have survived – you still need to replant and repot them! For taller shrubs, lift the packaging box up and away from the plant instead of the other way round, this will reduce the risk of last-minute damage and will keep the flower stable for longer.

Like with any new home, once your plants have been placed into their surroundings don’t overwhelm them and give them time to settle in with a little drink and slight, gradual introductions to light.

moving soil

Don’t let the fear of moving your plants taint the excitement of creating a new base for both them and yourself in a new home. Unlike other moving preparations, don’t be afraid to leave your plants until the last minute. As long as they’re given the opportunity to adjust to changes of light and are fed in enough time between their move and their replanting, they’re sure to brighten up your new home no matter the seasonal conditions.

ElizabethElizabeth Raw works for R+R Packaging, providers of biodegradable and eco-friendly packaging materials for businesses within a wide variety of industries.

Container Gardening, Garden Design, Gardening, How To, Megan

Balcony Gardening

With a rapidly increasing population especially in urban areas, many people now live in high rise flats with no garden. Fear not! Just because you are limited to a balcony, doesn’t mean you can’t have your very own green outdoor space. We’ve put together some balcony gardening tips for those who love the outdoors but lack a large back garden.

Assessing Your Environment

Balcony Gardening

Before you get started buying plants, have a think about what you want your balcony garden to look like and how you would like it to function. Here are some important questions to ask yourself:

  • Is there an outdoor tap? If not, think about how many plants you’re happy to manage by using a watering can – how many trips can you make in and out your flat?
  • How much weight can your balcony hold? This is very important due to safety. The weakest point of your balcony tends to be the centre, so it’s a good idea to keep heavier planters around the edges.
  • How much sunlight and wind does your balcony get? It is important to work within the conditions you’re given as well as make the most of them. If it’s windy, create a windbreak. If it’s very sunny, bring in some shade. Choose plants that will suit the environment.

Start Simple

With balcony gardening, it is best to start small and build your way up, especially if you are new to gardening. If you start with too many plants it can get overwhelming, and of course the key to keeping any garden looking its best is regular love. Don’t bite off more than you can chew! Starting with a few smaller, easy to care for plants and adding a few decorative items will be a lot more manageable and you’ll be able to build your confidence and add more plants later on.

Keep It Contained

Obviously with only a balcony, you will be planting in containers. We have a full post on container gardening which you can check out here, but if you just want the fundamentals, we’ve summarised them for you below.

Planters

Balcony Gardening

There are loads of different planters on the market and you are sure to find one to suit your individual style and needs. Be sure to pick one that is big enough to allow expansion of your plants’ roots. It is also important to ensure your plant has adequate drainage; you can do this by making sure your planter has a hole in the bottom and create a layer of large stones underneath the compost.

With the limiting amount of space that comes with balcony gardening, it is a good idea to consider vertical planters. These will help you make the most out of the space you have. A variety of vertical planters are available, from wall planters you can fix on the outside of your flat or railings, to shelving with multiple levels for you to place plant pots.

For more on plant pots, check out our complete guide to plant pot sizes.

Plants

Balcony Gardening

Just because you are limited to planting in containers with balcony gardening, doesn’t mean you won’t be able to grow a diverse range of colourful and attractive plants. Depending on your colour scheme and how much time you want to put into your balcony garden, there are a number of plants that will flourish in containers.

These include:

  • Annuals such as petunia, sweet peas and pansies
  • Perennials such as lavender, lilies and magnolias
  • Succulents
  • Topiary
  • Grasses

Make It Beautiful

Balcony Gardening

Your small space shouldn’t limit you in terms of garden design. Have a think about what colour scheme and materials you want in your balcony garden. It is best to stick to three colours, including green to ensure your space doesn’t seem to busy and is relaxing on the eyes.

As mentioned previously, when thinking about what materials to use be sure to consider the weight of your planters. Although materials such as concrete have started to find their place in the garden design world, it may not be suitable for balconies due to its heavy weight. Even the traditional terracotta is considered quite a heavy material. It is better to stick to lightweight materials such as wood, fibreglass and even recycled rubber.

Of course your balcony garden does not have to be limited to just plants in containers. You can decorate with other items, such as outdoor rugs, solar lights and other decorative features such as garden clocks.

We hope this post has enthused you about starting your very own balcony garden!

Megan at PrimroseMegan works in the Primrose marketing team. When she is not at her desk you will find her half way up a hill in the Chilterns
or enjoying the latest thriller series on Netflix. Megan also enjoys cooking vegetarian feasts with veggies from her auntie’s vegetable garden.

See all of Megan’s posts.