How to bring colour to your garden with a living wall

Sep 15, 2021    |    Green Walls

Living walls are one of the hottest gardening trends around the world right now. Not only do they offer a wide range of benefits, but they also help to bring your garden to life, adding colour to dull, plain spaces.

As well as being deployed by commercial buildings, both inside and out, there is now a growing trend for people to introduce living walls in residential properties.

They are increasingly being used to cover fences and walls in a way that creates a modern and sophisticated look, as well as introducing colour and softening the overall space.

Making the most of your space

You don’t need a huge amount of space in order to install a living wall. A living wall, or vertical garden as they are sometime referred, can be something as simple as plant pots hung from vertical frames to something more sophisticated with hydroponic panels and automated watering systems.

No matter how much space you have got, or how much you want to spend, living walls are a great way to introduce colour to your garden.

Here are some great ideas for how you can implement a vertical garden around your property.

1.      Introduce colourful seasonal blooms to evergreen staples


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Many people choose to go with low maintenance, evergreen plants that will ensure your living wall retains some colour all year round, however, this can be a little one dimensional and ‘green’. There is no reason why you can’t also introduce some vibrant colour to your garden by planting seasonal blooms that incorporate some really nice colours to your garden, especially during the summer months.

These will take a little more maintenance than some of the living wall staples. Regular deadheading will encourage flowers to keep blooming for longer as well as ensuring your living wall doesn’t start to look more like a ‘dead wall’.

2.      Keep things green and leafy

One of the primary reasons people turn to a living wall solution is to help to soften lard landscaping and exterior walls and fences with a richly planted vertical garden. Whether you choose to grow plants of a frame of opt for a pre-planted modular panel, assorted greenery including ferns and other leaf-based plants can really help to soften any space.

These evergreens also ensure that your space is green all year round. If you go with a modular system ,you can intersperse those colourful blooms we mention above in with the leafy greenery to create a vibrant space all year round.

3.      Surround your courtyard with a vertical garden

No matter the size of your outdoor space, a vertical garden can be deployed pretty much anywhere. If you have a small courtyard or even an enclosed balcony, a vertical garden can really help to conceal walls or fences that can already make the space feel quite oppressive.

Introducing a living wall to a courtyard or balcony can really help to bring the space to life and make it feel much lighter and even more spacious, despite reducing the space by introducing plants to those walls. If you live in a smaller property and you miss the opportunity to grow and look after plants, then a living wall can be a great solution. Many people use living walls to grow herbs and veggies and this is also a great option to intersperse with leafy greenery or colourful blooms.

4.      Embrace New Zealand natives

There is a huge variety of native plants that are very suitable for living walls. These plants typically have fairly low nutrient requirements making them easy to maintain. In humid climates like Auckland, bromeliads are fantastic and work well in the shade. The general rule, when thinking about native plant for a living wall is that if it will grow well in a container, it will also grow well as part of a vertical garden.

If you are planning a climbing living wall, natives such as kaihua, p?huehue (maidenhair vine), puawhananga, and tecomanthe speciosa all work really well.

For modular or container-based vertical gardens, natives like stelia nervosa (mountain astelia), astelia banksii (wharawhara), Fuchsia procumbens (for shady spots), arthropodium cirratum (renga renga), dianella nigra (turutu), and peperomia urvilleana are all excellent plants for a vertical garden.

5.      Encourage climbing plants for a low maintenance living wall


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If you do not want to go down the route of a modular system, with lots of pots to look after, then climbing plants could be a great solution for a living wall. You can easily cover unsightly walls and fences by planting one well supported climber that has the structure on which to grow (a trellis or wire system).

With only one plant to look after (or a series of plants depending on the size of the space), this is a really great, low maintenance way of adding colour to your garden and making the most of your outdoor space.


Living walls are becoming more and more popular here in New Zealand and it’s easy to see why. Whether you are a keen gardener or someone that just wants to introduce some colour without the maintenance, there is a living wall solution to suit every type of garden and every type of gardener.

Learn more about living walls and all our green wall solutions.