Strands of Fairy Lights

 Pruning and shaping a lush green wall of roses, ferns, ivy and herbs. Strands of fairy lights weave through the plants, illuminated for the holidays

The Tower

The tower contains rosemary, thyme, sage and other herbs, as well as trailing ivy and winter-blooming pansies. She winds fairy lights through the vegetation.

Hip Holidays 

A mid-century modern style vertical garden with a geometric metal frame and built-in LED grow lights. The garden contains a mix of succulents and air plants as well as festive poinsettia and Christmas pepper plants, decorated with baubles and ribbon.

Holiday Trimming

How to Prune and Shape a Festive Vertical Garden

One of the keys to maintaining a beautiful vertical garden is regular pruning and shaping. Strategic trimming keeps plants healthy while maximizing fullness and visual appeal. Use these tips to prune your vertical garden for the holidays:

Start with a Vision

Before you prune, have an end goal in mind. Do you want to highlight certain plants, create shapes or silhouettes, or just tidy growth? Make note of problem areas and plants needing reshaping.

Gather Proper Tools

Arm yourself with sharp, clean pruners, scissors, and gloves. Small snippers allow for detail work. Have step stools or ladders ready to reach upper areas safely.

Remove Damaged/Dead Growth

First assess plants and cut out any diseased, pest-infested, or dead stems, leaves and flowers. This encourages regeneration of healthy new growth.

Shape Plants Evenly

Trim plants like roses, herbs and ivy to evenly shaped forms. Round shapes work well for fuller cascading effects. Remove inward growing stems and “leggy” portions.

Cut Back Overgrown Areas

Identify congested or overgrown patches and selectively trim and thin stems to open them up. Improve light penetration and air circulation.

Edge Designs and Silhouettes

Define edges and create silhouettes by trimming background plants shorter than foreground focal points. Highlight drapes, spirals or topiaries.

Incorporate Lighting Accents

Strategically wind fairy lights through plants as you prune. Outline shapes, trails and foliage textures. Hide extension cords in back.

Step Back and Evaluate

Frequently step back to visualize your overall shaping and placement of lights. Make adjustments until you achieve the desired holiday styling.

With mindful, selective pruning you can train your vertical garden into a showstopping holiday focal point. Just be careful not to over trim - leave healthy stems to encourage more flowering and fruiting.

Herbal Holiday

 How to Make a Vertical Garden for an Apartment Balcony

If you live in an apartment, don't let limited outdoor space stop you from creating a vertical garden! Your balcony is the perfect spot for a vertical herb and flower tower that adds fresh flavor and decor all holiday season. Follow these steps:

Choose a Sturdy Tower

Select a vertical planter made of weather-resistant material like galvanized steel or high-grade plastic. Look for a columnar shape at least 3-4 feet tall to hold ample plants.

Position Near a Railing

Place the tower next to a balcony railing or wall where it can be securely fastened in place using zip ties or brackets. This prevents tipping from winds.

Fill Bottom with Foam

Line the bottom of the tower with packing foam to allow for drainage. Poke a few small holes through the foam if needed. Avoid soil spilling over the edge.

Add High Quality Potting Mix

Fill the planter about three quarters full with a mix designed for containers, like half potting soil and half compost or coco coir. This will nourish plants and retain moisture.

Plant Herbs and Trailing Flowers

Choose a mix of herbs like rosemary, thyme and sage combined with trailing ivy and winter bloomers like pansies. Plant densely for fullness but leave a gap between soil level and tower rim.

Attach Trellises for Vines

Use plant Velcro or ties to attach short trellises around the inside so ivy and vines can climb up. This creates pretty drapes and cascades for the holidays.

Wind Fairy Lights Throughout

Incorporate string lights, winding them around and through the tower. Weave lights into the trellises and vegetation to create a magical glow.

Water and Fertilize Often

Plants in vertical gardens need more frequent water and nutrients. Check soil daily and water when the top few inches are dry. Use a balanced liquid fertilizer every 2-3 weeks.



Hip Holidays

 Crafting a Mid-Century Modern Vertical Garden

This season, embrace a retro-chic style for your indoor vertical garden! With a sleek geometric frame, built-in lighting, and eclectic plants, you can cultivate a showstopping wall garden with mid-century modern flair. Follow these steps:

Construct a Metal Frame

Use black steel rods to assemble a frame in a zig-zag, diamond, circular, or square shape. Weld or bolt joints together and affix to the wall securely. Paint if desired for a bold accent color.

Add Custom Shelving

Cut shelving to fit the frame from wood, glass, or metal in various shapes and sizes to add depth. Paint or stain shelves to complement the frame and wall color.

Install Discrete LED Grow Lights

Choose low profile LED light panels or strips that emit a full light spectrum. Mount them to shelves or the rear of the frame. Conceal wiring cleanly along the back.

Line with Leakproof Barrier

Before adding any plants and soil, cover the back and shelves with plastic sheeting or moisture resistant padding. This prevents water damage to your wall over time.

Plant Variety of Textures

Mix airy ferns, trailing ivy, and colorful bromeliads with low maintenance succulents like echeveria and aloe. Incorporate festive poinsettias and Christmas cactus too.

Style with Ornaments

Weave ribbon through the frame and shelves, allowing ends to trail gracefully. Tuck in baubles, pinecones, and poinsettia sprigs among the greenery for pops of Christmas charm.

Display with Pride

Add the final touch by placing your mid-century modern vertical garden in a spot with soft ambient lighting. Mist plants regularly and watch your retro wall garden thrive!

With its chic style and unique silhouette, this project makes a fabulous focal point for any room. Let your plants show off their holiday spirit in botanical splendor!

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