By Laura Langston
MEDIA BAKER Y/RF
GARDENERS, BY NATURE, tend to be earth camellia and euonymus, can be espaliered for
focused. We often have our eyes trained so dramatic impact. Many ornamental grasses
firmly on the ground that we forget the ben- (try purple fountain grass or feather reed
efits of adding height to the garden. grass) can be container grown for movement,
Vertical gardening mimics the natural privacy and upright form. Tree-like shrubs
landscape. It adds architectural interest and such as rosemary, bay and wax-leaf privet can
an important structural element. It can also be pruned into small standardized trees and
save space, add shade and privacy, create depth grown on decks.
and intrigue, prevent stooping and, depend- Growing vegetables upright adds interest
ing on what you plant, even help with the and reduces stooping. Pole beans (not bush
grocerybill. beans) will scramble up
While gardening “up” is f ences or a trellis, or even
ideal for people with small The Costco o ther plants. (They’ll pro-
patios or tiny lots, the princi- Connection d uce all summer too, as long
ples can be used in large gar- Most Costco warehouses a s you pick them.) Pod or
dens too. For instance, two and Costco.com carry a vari- s now peas are good climb-
tall containers planted up and ety of plants, pots, trellises e rs; so are traditional vining
flanking a doorway are a and gardening tools to help c ucumbers. Most tomato
well-loved and often-used ver- you create a vertical garden. varieties prefer to be grown
tical accent. o ff the ground, and they’ll
Here are some additional produce heavier crops when
ways to bring height to your garden. staked and grown upright. As a bonus, all of
Consider climbers. These space savers these veggies grow well in pots.
soften lines and create a multitiered effect. Consider adding a stand-alone vertical
They make natural—and beautiful—privacy element in a larger garden. An arbor or a
screens. Clematis, jasmine or honeysuckle can piece of trellis situated by a small seating area
be trellised up a wall, through an arbor or (but away from the main garden) creates
along a fence. Some varieties even do well in intrigue, draws the eye forward and gives the
pots. Annual vines such as sweet peas, black- garden an exclamation point. It also helps
eyed Susans and nasturtiums all thrive in create garden“rooms.”
containers. Even lax-stemmed roses such as Finally, don’t forget hanging baskets.
‘John Cabot’ can be treated as climbers. They are a classic way to add vertical interest
Shrubs, ornamental grasses and small in both large and small spaces. C
trees can act as windbreaks or screen unsightly
views while still drawing the eye up. Shrubs
with loose, open habits, such as pyracantha,
Laura Langston, who writes and gardens in
Victoria, B.C., is finally growing up!
Know the strength of the trellising required
for your plants. Some will be fine with
bamboo tepees or delicate trellises. Others
will require sturdier support.
Always choose the right-size pot. (If you’re
unsure, ask staff for help.)
A small patio corner? Nest three different-size pots into each other—the biggest on
the bottom, the next size up in the middle
and the smallest on top. Plant them up for
instant vertical drama.
Look for products designed for vertical
gardening, including planters with
attached trellises, flat-backed pots,
shelves and living-wall products.