Living walls: grow up with our vertical growing guide

Whether you want to optimize your growing space, or cover up an unattractive façade, living walls provide a huge range of benefits

Reduced noise pollution, carbon emissions and energy bills, regulated air temperature, trapped pollutant air particles, absorption of rainwater, increased biodiversity not to mention the feel good factor. Living walls do it all.

All things bright and beautiful

Produce a rainbow of colour from your living wall with a selection of bright bedding plants or use colourful pots to liven up verdant shrubs.

B&Q Bursting Busy Lizzie Garden, at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, displayed this concept beautifully, showcasing both colourful pots and plants. Their display won Best Show Garden and Best Construction Award as well as a Gold medal and featured a living wall packed with busy lizzies and ferns galore. To achieve their living wall, the garden used Nurgul Railing Pots, which can be purchased in a variety of colours for £5.

Recreate the look:

  • First, to hold the specially designed pots, you'll need a railing, or thin plank of wood - make sure it's no wider than the gap in the base of the pot
  • Next if working with wood, fix the lateral planks to a sturdy upright frame at both ends
  • Then, all you need to do is plant up the pots and hook them onto your structure - who said living walls were hard?!


Flavoursome and fruity

Train botanicals and edibles near your alfresco dining area, placing delicious morsels and edible embellishments within easy reach. The Entertaining Garden used their living wall to grow cocktail-boosting botanicals, including basil, mint, strawberries, lemon thyme and viola

​In spite of its grand looking appearance, fundamentally, this living wall is a piece of fabric featuring multiple pockets, planted with an eye for style and detail. The garden sourced their living wall from Scotscape but living wall planters are available from many high street and online retailers - including the RHS online shop.

Recreate the look:

  • Fix the hanging fabric pocket sheet to your wall, with screws or nails
  • Finish the living wall with a frame, popular choices are wood and reclaimed metal
  • Grow herbs, botanicals and even vegetables in your living wall and pick them fresh to elevate any drink or plate


Transform your home into a hotel

Build a low maintenance variation of a living wall, without compromising on the benefits they provide, with a wildlife-friendly habitat wall. The Family Garden showcased an 8 x 2m (26 x 6ft) giant bug hotel made primarily of logs and a variety of nesting materials, including bricks and pine cones, to draw wildlife to the garden.

Recreate the look:

  • Begin by staking logs into the ground either end of the living wall or create a solid frame to hold the logs
  • Next stack full with logs, of varying sizes, and fill the spaces in between with smaller twigs and sticks
  • Drill small holes into the end of the logs to create even more space for the creepy crawlies


Green your guttering

Create a simplistic, yet bountiful, living wall using remnants of guttering, as seen at the RHS Grow Your Own with The Raymond Blanc Gardening School Garden. The grow your own garden showcases how to make the most of your small growing spaces with a focus on upcycled and recycled planters.

The green guttering provides a flexible take on the common more structural concept of a living wall and allows for crops and design to be changed quickly and easily.

Recreate the look:

  • Attach end stops and drill holes in the base of your guttering to allow the water to drain out
  • Add gravel to the bottom to raise the pots out of the captured rainwater
  • Fix the guttering to your walls using guttering brackets
  • Add the potted plants to your living wall


Discover our how to profiles, which are step-by-step instructions giving you expert advice

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.