Create a vertical garden with guttering
- Cost50-100 £
- Duration1-3 h
Vertical gardens are ideal for those who want to get green-fingered on their balconies or terraces, but don’t have a lot of room to play with. Who said that gardens always have to be planted horizontally? Exactly: no one. So why not repurpose a few lengths of guttering to create a fragrant garden wall, offering plenty of room for different herbs, wild flowers and even lettuce.
- pocket rule
- 5 wooden boards, rough from sawing and waterproofed: 3 m x 120 mm x 21 mm, in spruce
- 10 countersunk wood screws: 5 mm x 70 mm
- 10 wall plugs: 8 mm
- 30 round head wood screws for the guttering brackets: 4 mm x 18 mm
- 5 semi-circular lengths of guttering, e.g. in white: 1 m long
- 10 guttering brackets
- 10 guttering caps
- potting soil
Let's go - step by step
Clean the wall and pre-drill the boards
You need: wooden boards
Now things are going to get a bit dirty! To help accentuate your garden wall, you first need to clean your chosen area – very thoroughly. For the best results, we recommend using a high-pressure washer, which will clean gently, yet thoroughly, removing even the most stubborn marks and stains. Before you move onto the next step – drilling holes into the wall – first drill holes in the centre of the boards, around 20 cm from the edge. We recommend drilling two holes per board, ideally with a 4 mm wood drill bit. Repeat this step for all five boards. The cordless combi drill is the perfect tool for the job, as you can also use it afterwards to drill into the brick wall.
Drill holes into the wall and insert the wall plugs
Now position the boards on the wall. Use a spirit level or laser rangefinder to check that the boards are straight. Mark the drill holes on the wall in pencil. Then, drill the holes using an 8 mm masonry drill bit, starting with the bottom board. The boards should be spaced around 30 cm apart and should start about 35 cm above the ground. Finally, insert the wall plugs into the holes to secure your vertical garden in place.
Screw on the boards and secure the brackets
Once you’ve inserted all the wall plugs into the holes, it’s time to screw on the boards. To do this, use the cordless combi drill again. While you’re working hard screwing things in, this is the perfect time to secure the guttering brackets. You have to make sure that your vertical garden is stable, which means each length of guttering needs to be supported by the brackets you’ll fix to the boards in this step. Screw in the guttering brackets around 25 cm from the edge of each board using the cordless combi drill.
Drill drainage holes
You can now transform the guttering into planters to create your vertical garden. To make sure your plants can really flourish in their future home, you still have a little bit more preparation to do, namely by making sure that excess water can drain from the guttering planters. To do this, use the 8 mm drill bit to drill five holes in each length of guttering. These holes will form a drainage system and help to avoid waterlogging and prevent rotting and mould. For metal guttering, we recommend that you use a metal drill bit, while a wood or metal drill bit will make short work of plastic guttering. Then, attach the end caps and potentially seal them with hot glue to make them watertight (guttering systems vary – some are already watertight on purchase).
Congratulations! Your first vertical garden is finished!
If you add small stones or pottery fragments to your guttering before filling it with soil, make sure that you don’t block the drainage holes.
Plant your vertical garden
You need: potting soil, your choice of plants
So, you’ve created your vertical garden, but it’s looking a bit sparse. Do you prefer rosemary, lamb’s lettuce or lavender? You can plant your vertical garden to suit your own botanical tastes – according to the season and your mood. We recommend that you fill the guttering with nutrient-rich potting soil, then add your chosen plants, ideally with enough room between seedlings for them to grow and flourish. Then lightly water them. You can now place the planted guttering into the guttering brackets – and your vertical garden is complete!