5 Ways to Create a Beautiful Outdoor Wall Garden

A unique, personalized, living wall adds so much interest and fun to any exterior design. Here are our favorite ways to create a living wall in your yard and a few tips to help you succeed. 

Premade felt hanger

One of the easiest ways to create a living wall for your outdoor space is to purchase a simple hanging material with pockets for planting. This sturdy material usually comes ready to hang. All you have to do is add soil and plants, and you’re good to go. Though not necessarily as attractive, you can also use an old canvas over-the-door pocket hanger if you don’t want to buy anything and have a fence or rail to hang it over. Choose trailing plants and vines to plant in the pockets, and you’ll be able to cover it up in no time. Avoid plastic or plastic-lined pockets at these will not provide adequate drainage.

Large frame

On the other end of the effort spectrum is the planter frame. Unlike the premade choices, this one is DIY heavy and requires more supplies and a few tools. Search out plans to determine if this project is something you want to tackle. 

Pallet gardens

To save money on supplies, and save time on constructing your own structure, use an old pallet for your wall garden. It can be attached to an existing fence, or you could attach pallets together to create a low, decorative living wall. This is also a great way to help save the environment by using recycled materials. Remember, you will need landscape fabric and wire to help hold the soil in, so keep that in mind as you budget for this project. 

Potted wall

Attaching pots to an existing wall or fence is incredibly simple and may be the best option if you want to grow a variety of plants that don’t do well together. Cluster the pots so that the arrangement seems intentional, not haphazard, and utilize trailing plants to help fill in the gap. Be sure that the pots are removable for ease of planting and replacement.


If you want to encourage vine growth on your fence or garden wall, attach simple wooden ladders to give them something to climb. Plant perennial vines below your wall, and within a few seasons, you’ll have a living garden wall straight out of a fairy tale. 

Tips for a wall garden

Vertical gardening, in general, but wall gardens in particular, are a lot different than traditional container, or in-the-ground gardens. With that said, there are a few things you need to keep in mind while planning and building your living wall. 

Don’t forget about water

Watering is one of the trickiest factors of a wall garden, and figuring it out can prove incredibly frustrating. If your water from the top and let it flow down, the plants on the bottom could become waterlogged; however, it’s often too big to take down and water, which rules out that option. Unfortunately, there’s really no sure answer for watering wall gardens other than installing a drip irrigation system as you build. 

Another idea is to use arid plants such as succulents and desert dwellers. That way, water isn’t as much of a requirement, and you can leave your wall alone for weeks at a time. Or, you can place plants that need more water at the bottom and monitor your arrangements for any signs of root rot. Regardless, when designing your wall garden, drainage and watering are critical factors to take into consideration. 

Consider portability

If you are installing a permanent wall garden, make sure that it is in an ideal spot with adequate sunshine and easy access to water. It may be a good idea to stick to more portable or disposable options at first while you are planning your garden and figuring out what looks best. 

Grow horizontally

Unless you are using a pocket growing method, you’ll want to let your plants grow horizontally for a few weeks to let them establish roots. Otherwise, they may fall out or look weird as they grow with gravity pulling them down.

Don’t be afraid to take chances and try new things in your yard. After all, decorative gardening is all about expressing creativity and letting your personality shine, not about stifling your passion and following set plants. Be daring and bold and search for unique ways to use everyday objects for your new vertical garden.

-Susan Patterson