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'Garden Up! Smart Vertical Gardening'

August 27, 2011 |  6:00 am

0-Strawberry-PVC-tower 0-Vintage-ladder Vertical gardening remains a trend in every sense of the word, good and bad. Frequent readers of our blog may remember an earlier post, a skeptic's view that some vertical gardens are little more than overpriced plant pockets that waste water.

Authors of “Garden Up! Smart Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Spaces,” however, take a different approach. California designers Susan Morrison and Rebecca Sweet focus on garden surfaces planted in other ways -- many involving materials you already have on hand.

Writer Debra Prinzing offers two ways to join the conversation:

Q&A: "Garden Up!" authors on vertical gardening strategies

Photos: "Garden Up!" featured projects

Left photo: San Francisco gardener Emily Goodman turned PVC pipe into a 5-foot-tall strawberry tower. Photo: Susan Morrison and Rebecca Sweet

Right photo: An old ladder used as a nontraditional trellis provides a nice distraction from Theresa Loe's cinder block wall. A nest for pollinating bees rests on one rung. Photo: Susan Morrison and Rebecca Sweet

Bottom photo: To hide an ugly chain link fence, this gardener bought a standard wood lattice, artfully cut out portions to create a pattern, then stained the whole thing. A tri-fold rattan screen was stained the same color, reflecting light back into the garden and further camouflaging the chain link. Photo: Susan Morrison and Rebecca Sweet


Artichokes ALSO:

Community Gardens: The Times' year-long series

Home of the Times: California design in pictures

The Dry Garden: Our weekly sustainable landscaping column