Monday - Saturday 9:00 - 6:00  •  Sunday 10:00 - 6:00 1634 Jerrold Ave, San Francisco, CA  •  415.626.7256  •  Contact Us


Outdoor Vertical Gardens
Natural Vertical Gardens

We’ve built  these  beautiful garden towers here at the store, using the most “natural” of all of the vertical gardening techniques. The plants on the towers are thriving and inspire a lot of curiosity among our customers.

It sure is the era of vertical gardens! Patrick Blanc wows the world with his masterpieces of green architecture. And we’ve delighted this past few years in helping our customers to create vertical gardens using Woolly Pockets, succulents, and tillandsia-adorned Thigmotropes. Let’s admit, though, that the effect of clothing structures in greenery has been popular at least since the first ivy was planted at Harvard. And plants have been scaling surfaces long before any gardener was here to cultivate or appreciate them.

All over the planet and in all kinds of climates there are plants that have evolved the aptitude for growing on vertical surfaces. The ones that root themselves on other plants (on trees and shrubs and often on rocks just as well) are called epiphytes. Best known of these naturally vertical-growing epiphytes are the many tropical orchids  that we see domesticated at the market in pots of bark but in the tropics attach their roots to the bark of living trees. Another big group is bromeliads, those pineapple relatives that hold moisture in their leaves, and their subset, tillandsias, the fuzzy air plants and Spanish moss. Plenty of ferns happily grow from even the smallest cracks on a rock face. There are even cactus that grow up on trunks and branches and twigs.

Over time, the folks here at the store have learned and created techniques for giving these naturally vertically growing plants a boost. Once you get the plants started, their natural tendency to cling takes over, and a “natural” vertical garden begins to grow.

Here’s the fun part: We can help you recreate the intricate beauty of natural vertical gardens!  We stock many of the supplies you’ll need to help get the plants going on a vertical surface, and dozens of plants that will happily grow on a wall. And we’re happy to share our know-how – how to select, attach, and arrange these plants, and how to water, prune, and fertilize them. Creating a “natural” vertical garden can be a great solution in a small space that needs to be beautified. You can build your vertical garden on any wall surface, or consider using a tree trunk as a host.


Come visit us to learn more. If you’ve got a spot in mind for one of these gardens, bring along some photos and measurements of the site, and spend a couple of days observing how many hours of sun the spot the gets. We’d be so glad to help you get started!