So…What is a Vertical Garden?

Wikipedia defines a vertical garden as a garden where “ plants are rooted in fibrous material anchored to a wall. Water trickles down between the sheets and feeds moss, vines and other plants. Bacteria on the roots of the plants metabolize air impurities such as volatile organic compounds…”.

In 2005, Patrick Blanc, a French botanist, gained world-wide recognition when he created an extraordinary vertical garden on the exterior of Musée du quai Branly in Paris. ( photo left)
Since then his living art has been installed in Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, Middle East, and in North America: Washington, California, Wisconsin, New York, and North Carolina.

In 2007, Phil Yates, Master Gardener, and owner of Singer Hill Café & Gardens in Oregon City, was inspired when he visited Patrick Blanc’s five-story leafy art work in Madrid Spain. Back home in Oregon, Yates started experimenting with vertical gardens. He built smalls gardens, large-scale gardens and unusual gardens. He built so many vertical gardens Singer Hill now boasts they have the most square footage of vertical gardens on the west coast. Yates continues to build and add vertical gardens at Singer Hill, his creations can be seen in the Art Garden located beside his café. Yates has also established, The Vertical Garden Institute, where his goal is to educate the public on vertical gardens and the beautification of unsightly walls.

On Singer Hill’s web-site you can see Phil’s creations and read his posts called, “Lessons Learned”, these are helpful hints for people who are just getting into this “new” concept of gardening.

Singer Hill Cafe, Oregon City Singer Hill
Art Garden Designer: Phil Yates

Carlotta Lucas
AGC Blog Editor

For more on vertical gardens click below:

Vertical Garden Institute
Director: Phil Yates

Video on how to build a vertical garden:

Video on a vertical garden in Portland: