Is vertical gardening going to be the next big thing?

As Ball Colegrave is about to launch Vertigro, HW asked attendees at the company's open day for their opinions.

YES - Ian Cole, supplier relations manager, Ball Colegrave

"Over the past few years people have started to talk about vertical gardening, inspired by Patrick Blanc's work. As people are losing space they have to build up if they can't build out.

"At Ball we've been working with Ian Wolfedon, director of the LBS Group, who has constructed our stands before, to help develop a small unit that can be used by the consumer as well as commercially. We've been developing it since April and plan to launch the Vertigro system at Glee in September.

We're also looking at vertical gardening from the floor up, with our Colour Blocks system."

YES - Steve Bradley, Garden writer

"After window boxes and hanging baskets this could be the next big thing.

"For the smaller garden, if you can't garden outwards you might as well garden upwards. With more and more people living in high-rise apartments they have to use whatever space they've got.

"This year it's really taken off. I think it's because now they have got the watering sorted out.At Chelsea and Hampton Court our vertical garden displays had adjustable nozzles that delivered more water to the top and less as you go down. It will take off in garden centres because Ball Colegrave's kits have modular panels."

YES - Patrick Fairweather, managing director, Fairweather's

"The Vertigro system is a great idea. The only thing that worried me is how quickly it has materialised from conception to market.

"It's a very clever idea and if they can sort out all the components, I think it will do well. The price sounds right and (Vertigro) would look great along benches at the garden centre or on the walls of a restaurant.

"If I had one myself I would probably use it to grow herbs."

YES - Andy McIndoe, managing director, Hillier

"I think it's a very good idea.It's expecially good for those who don't want the hassle of a hanging basket but want to put colour on the wall.

"It's a shame that it's devalued (retail price £19.99) before the appearance has been decided on. If the panel is made from wicker it would look good from day one, but if it's made from black plastic it could look ugly at first.

"The market needs a replacement for the traditional hanging basket because it is dying. On our drive here today we were playing 'spot the hanging basket' and they were few and far between."


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