Vertical Gardening

Vertical Gardening in its Simplest Form
Vertical gardening functions as sculpture.  It adds square footage to a small planting footprint, thus functions as a small garden solution.  It also functions to enable people with limited range of motion to garden.  Vertical gardens can take many forms.  Some forms include plants growing up and over pergolas, trees with multiple unique fruit bearing grafts, vines climbing up buildings and gardens on top of buildings.

Ferns and Moss Growing on a Stacked Stone Wall

A Hanging Garden



Rebar Trellis
Woolypockets have a vertical garden component system that includes irrigation and is very simple to install, really quite ingenious and contemporary.  They also help schools fund their own WoolyschoolgardensPlants on Walls have unique wall hanging systems and a handsome freestanding Floraframe RECIR system on casters. 

Vertical Garden Designer Links
The Dry Garden:  A Skeptic's View of Vertical Gardens

The Nuts and Bolts of Living Walls


University of San Francisco Landscape Architecture Lecture Series, Spring 2011

University of San Francisco Landscape Architecture Lecture Series, Spring 2011

All lectures are Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in Xavier Chapel in Fromm Hall.  Fromm Hall is at the corner of Parker and Golden Gate Avenue.

February 9th Anne Fougeron
February 23rd Stan Field, Field Architects
March 30th Owen Kennerly
April 13th David Darling, Aidlin Darling Design
April 27th Willett Moss, CMG Landscape Architecture

Humboldt Botanical Garden--Eureka, California

Lower Gardens Near Entrance

Phormium from Red Garden

At Top, Site of Future Visitors' Center

I took some quick snapshots today of the Humboldt Botanical Garden.  The hardscape is exceptional.  The garden is an impressive addition to Humboldt County and I am thankful it exists, thankful also that my art class is just next door.  A lot can be gleaned from a stroll through the garden, many of the plants were selected based on design requirements and local hardiness, making them good choices for local residential gardens and commercial landscapes.  I've been at the garden several times over the past few years, once, artists had installed art and sculpture the garden, transforming the garden into an art gallery.  Further up and into the garden, there is a landscape, literally, a sculpted mound referred to as a ziggurat and a labyrinth, that is pretty incredible.  The piece is called All Happy Now and was designed by Peter Santino.  On the day of the art in the garden party there was a band playing and beer pouring about the ziggurat, it was really enjoyable.

Concrete and stone work does not get much more contemporary and elegant.  The runnels collect water from a swale above and channels it down the hillside until it enters a basin around the wall where it pours out the pipes extruding from the base of the wall.  It is an amazing site to view on a rainy day.  Mercer-Fraser Company donated time, equipment and materials to fulfill much of the HBGF design including earthwork, the above mentioned concrete work photographed below, swale design and installation, pathways, the Mercer-Fraser Autogarden and more.

I really love the rustic finish and contemporary style of the hand rails especially in contrast to the runnel edge and the smooth concrete finish.  The use of rustic materials in a very contemporary way carry out a rather formal design with a modest yet elegant refinement. 


There have been several successful events here, but no weddings thus far.  The space can totally handle a wedding as is, granted with tents and outhouses.  Regardless, this venue is a perfect site for a wedding ceremony and reception.  The wedding itself could be held on or about the main axis of the garden as seen below where there are many relatively flat, graded areas.  The party could be staged up above about the All Happy Now ziggurat.  The greenhouse might function at some level for the event as well. 

Very zen gravel path

Sun Valley Group Greenhouse

The greenhouse photographed above has a proposed use as a butterfly garden.  I think it could also or alternatively function in a more Victorian manner as a tropical and exotic plant house like at Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago.  The greenhouse was generously donated by the Sun Valley Group

Garfield Park Conservatory

The greenhouse reminds me of Frosty the Snowman and the greenhouse where Frosty melts.  Which makes me think, this greenhouse could be decked out at Christmastime and serve as an enchanted place for kids to visit Santa.
Headwaters Fund Native Plant Walk

Below are a few photographs from the Lost Coast Brewery Native Plant Garden.  Lost Coast Brewery is consistent supporter of the botanical garden and is usually present in kind at most garden fundraisers and events.

Dormant, Native Spice Bush Calycanthus occidentalis

Bearberry Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Bearberry Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Coastal Strawberry Fragaria chiloensis

Coast Silk Tassel Garrya elliptica

Rose Garden

There are plenty of opportunities to learn about plants through the HBGF Education Series.  Plant Identification, Part 1 will take place at the garden Thursday, February 24th.  Geology of the Humboldt Botanical Garden on March 17th.

A Garden with Many Vistas and Views

A Simple Yet Contemporary Deer Fence

Contemporary Gate Latch Love It!

Visit Humboldt Botanical Gardens

Local Landscape Design History Lecture Series

The Revealing Landscape Narratives lecture series is part of the City of Arcata Historic Survey Project.  Lectures take place Thursdays from 7-8:30 p. m. Feb. 10th-Mar. 10th.  For more information, contact the Historical Resourses Survey Project Office 825-2044.


Pierson Park Community Gardeners

Pierson Park Community Garden

It is time to renew your Pierson Park Community Garden plot leases with MCSD.  Several plots are available for new applicants, best hurry!  They go fast. 

A community vegetable garden will be added behind the existing garden this year, join in the planting!