Moving on up

GemLife Highfields residents

Living walls and vertical gardens on the rise


Tony and Michelle moved into their GemLife Highfields home 18 months ago. As soon as they moved in, Tony started a new project.

“I’m a tradie and have always built things,” Tony said. “I’ve mostly worked with metal, but my hobby has been renovating houses so the vertical trellis garden idea was a new project I could take on while giving my wife something beautiful to look at. The whole garden took six months to construct.”

The aesthetics of a vertical garden, together with space saving in mind, is what attracted Tony to build one in their backyard.

“I wanted to create an enjoyable space for Michelle with a bit of colour while utilising our yard to a maximum level,” he told us. “The garden has been a benefit for both of us, plus it keeps me occupied as there is always something new to add.”

Tony’s plantings are inspired by the four seasons.

“I have plenty of perennials growing but am looking forward to planting some new flowering plants too, because the colours are magnificent in spring,” he said. “The garden has been a benefit for both of us and a great hobby for me that keeps me busy.”

Tony used treated pine, mesh and stainless-steel wire to run creepers along the beds he created and steel mesh panels on the back fence for creepers to go up and over, plus a waterfall construction.

“All materials came from Bunnings, and I just experimented with them, keeping it in the confines so everything was up to standard and am very satisfied with the finished result,” he said. “I barely water it up here apart from the hanging pots a couple of times a week as it mostly takes care of itself and, once weather permits, I’ll be adding some colour for the spring season.

Tony has created Michelle her very own secret garden.


Grow more in less space

Growing upwards saves space and provides extra garden room in small yards. Maze verticals are good to grow herbs in small spaces, and not only look good but save ground space.

Better circulation and exposure

Plants receive better sunlight exposure and air circulation in vertical formations rather than clustered together on the ground.

Less pests

Bugs and insects, which are mostly ground crawlers and burrowers, find it more difficult to get into vertical gardens. Infestations are easier to control when pests are at eye level.

Compensates for poor soil

Vertical gardens help with soil irrigation as air and water exposure is more viable.

Easier access and weed control

Weeds are better spotted in vertical gardens, making weeding easier not just on the eyes, but the knees. Accessing plants is also simpler.

Creates microclimates

Just as terrariums create their own microclimates due to moisture, so do vertical gardens. The restricted areas provide different climate opportunities.

Provides shelter, protection and privacy

Depending on how you construct your living walls and vertical gardens, your design can create shelter from the sun, protection from wind, as well as desired privacy.

Easier and cleaner harvest

Plant vines like cucumbers which are vertical climbers. Keeping vegetables off the ground decreases risk of rotting and damaged flesh.


Living walls and vertical gardens are stunning to look at due to their architectural design.