Heading South or Staying North, get ready to mix it up a little in the RV Park?
The popularity of container gardening among travel trailer owners is easy to understand. Containers are transportable, flexible and inexpensive. A container can easily be moved to fill in an empty space, add a splash of color or block an unsightly view. Since most containers can be filled with a combination of three or four plants, they are great for impulse buys at the garden center. Planting inexpensive annuals, interspersed with some winter salad greens make container bowls look lush and fresh. However, too many containers can quickly make your patio look cluttered or worse – like you are starting your own nursery supply store.
Instead of taking up your patio floor space with pots, why not take up some of your airspace by adding some eye-level visual interest and creating some privacy? Vertical gardens have been popping up everywhere – in restaurants, lobbies and rooftop gardens, why not on your patio? Growing vertical has the added advantage of minimal stooping or bending since you can do most of your gardening standing up! Plus, a beautiful green wall can be the perfect backdrop for the pops of color that traditional container gardening is so good at providing.
For gardeners with some experience and DIY skills, Sunset Magazine has a great tutorial on how to create succulent boxes using ready-made frames and plant starts from Succulent Gardens.
For those of us wanting instant vertical gratification, Woolly Packets comes to the rescue! These plant pockets come with everything you need to hang them to a vertical surface like a wall or trellis. They are designed to efficiently absorb water and distribute it to the plants’ roots, allowing for less watering and better growth. Plants on Walls also manufactures a pocket planting system that incorporates a soaking hose that can be incorporated into your irrigation system.
Vertical gardens have another advantage when it comes to winter months in that they are easy to protect from cold nights – add a low wattage light and you have a “hot house” producing fresh greens all winter.
Here are some suggestions to create beautiful living walls:
- For a foliage shade garden choose plants with great color and texture such as: Golden Japanese Forest Grass; blue spiky Little Rev™ Flax Lily; and purple Silver Scrolls Coral Bells .
- For a sunny exposure, try: flowering Day lilies, Princess Lilies and Blue and Gold Spiderwort. Vines like Clematis will trail down the wall with a profusion of blooms.
- To create a drought-tolerant, texture rich sedum wall, incorporate plants of varying size and colors such as: Sempervivum arachnoideum, Sempervivum calcareum, Echeveria secunda and ‘Pearl von Nuremburg’. Most garden centers will carry a limited selection of sedums. For a broader selection, you may have to order through specialty nurseries.
- For a rich, green backdrop seed multiple pockets with plants that offer a variety of leaf types. Peperomia and Pothos are two plant varieties that have both variegated and solid leaf options.
- Don’t forget your winter greens and herbs!
If you are ready to go vertical, but need a little help getting started, you may want to grab The Winter Harvest
by Eliot Colman and scale it to fit your needs.