Maggie Barry is inspired
by the courtyards of Cordoba, Spain, and creates a vertical garden
month I looked at the gardens of Morocco and Spain. Such a hardship,
I know! But it's great to see what others are doing because you
come back with all sorts of ideas.
I saw the courtyards
of Cordoba and the way they clothed their walls with pelargoniums,
and I thought, 'I want one.' So that's what we've created here.
With pelargoniums now,
you are spoilt for choice. It's not just the red and pink and whites;
there's any number now.
at this colour range, for example. We've got mauves and deep, dark
colours. There's Black Passion from Israel. It was in quarantine
last year, but has now been released in NZ.
The colour range is excellent,
and the size of plants is also extraordinary.
They may be quite small
when you buy them in the shops and you might be tempted to put a
couple in your pot. Don't, because they grow quite big in just a
couple of months.
pelargoniums are quite compact, free-flowering and disease resistant.
They tolerate dry conditions, which, let's face it, is what you
need with pots on walls like here.
As well as the new ones,
there's the good old Regal pelargoniums as well. Lovely range of
colours again. As they get bigger, you can take cuttings off them.
Don't forget to deadhead,
because that keeps the appearance of them neat and keeps the bush
big challenge when hanging things on a wall is to hang them up properly.
You could do the Kiwi number eight wire and nail it up or
nail your can straight to the wall or use a NZ-made invention
called Leyland's Latches. They're very simple, very ingenious, and
they hold a very heavy weight. These pots are heavy, and with watering
they get even heavier.
With the latches, you
have to use a pot with a lip. You slide it up and under like so,
and it's not going anywhere in a hurry.
isn't too complicated, but you must be thorough. You can buy special
devices for this. Every couple of days you squirt away and ensure
it's properly saturated.
These devices are handy
because you don't get water on the leaves, so you reduce the chance
of fungal disease. Pelargonium leaves are on the hairy side and
hold water, and that can harbour disease.
Or do what they do in
Cordoba. The cheap-and-cheery approach get your hose and
tape it to the hoe so you can reach up high so that your top plants
don't dry out and die.
There you have it
horizontal gardening a la the Cordoba courtyard. It's a beautiful
thing and a good way to use small spaces.