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Photo Frame Vertical Garden

Updated on June 9, 2014

What is a Vertical Garden?

A vertical garden is a garden that is planted on a vertical surface, usually a wall. Due to the lack of horizontal surfaces in urban areas, vertical gardens are becoming more popular both as a way to introduce greenery as well as beautifying a vertical surface.

I happen to have a covered air well in my house which is designed to bring in sunlight to my living room area. It is 2 stories high and I have been thinking of what I can do to decorate this area for quite some time now. I have come across vertical gardens and I thought it would be a great idea to place one on the air well walls.

However, as you can imagine, creating and maintaining a vertical garden is not an easy task as you require a irrigation system for the plants. The other big obstacle to my vertical garden idea is that I have to admit I know almost next to nothing about gardening so I am going to cheat by using artificial plants.

It took me awhile but after throwing some ideas around, I decided to create mini artificial vertical gardens using a couple of photo frames and artificial plants that I picked up from a home decor shop. All in all, I spent less than US$25 on this project.

(All images by Roy Yap unless otherwise noted)

Items and Tools to build your very own Vertical Garden

I made a pair of photo frame vertical gardens but here are the items and tools you will require to make just one of them:

  1. An A3 sized photo frame (about 12in x 17in). You can choose any size you want but I managed to find a couple of quite nice looking A3 sized photo frames at a bargain for about US$3.50 each. The back of the frame that I got has an edge about an inch deep which I figured is just the right height to frame the garden plants within.

  2. A couple of artificial grass carpet mats about 10" x 10" in size. The ones that I got have tiny plants that are attached to a plastic grid mat. I chose this because the grid allows me to easily insert the other plants and the grid will hold them in place without the need to glue or nail them down. The number of mats you require will depend on the size of the frame.

  3. Artificial plants that you are going to use to decorate your vertical garden. I used mostly ferns as they are common where I come from. I also used a couple of other plants plus a few tiny white flowers to accentuate the piece. You may choose whatever plants that you like.

  4. Last but not least, here are some tools that you need. A pair of scissors, a wire cutter and a tube of strong adhesive.

10in Sq. X 2in H Artificial Grass Mat
10in Sq. X 2in H Artificial Grass Mat

This is very similar to what I used but the grass texture is different.

Jardin Aquarium Artificial Grass Lawn Decoration, 24.4-Inch by 17-Inch, Green
Jardin Aquarium Artificial Grass Lawn Decoration, 24.4-Inch by 17-Inch, Green

The grass texture on this looks very similar to mine but the mat size is bigger.

Jardin Plastic Aquarium Grass Lawn Artificial Landscape, Green
Jardin Plastic Aquarium Grass Lawn Artificial Landscape, Green

This is another grass texture with a bigger mat size.


Step 1: Cut out and glue the artificial grass mat

Cut the grass mats to size to fit in the frame
Cut the grass mats to size to fit in the frame

Measure out the photo frame and cut up the artificial grass mat to make the pieces fit and cover up the entire frame. Once you are happy with the pieces, use the strong adhesive and glue the pieces to the base on the back of the photo frame.

Let the adhesive dry and make sure that the mat is sticking properly to the photo frame before continuing to the next step.

Step 2: Decorate your vertical garden

If needed, cut the plant pieces to size with a wire cutter
If needed, cut the plant pieces to size with a wire cutter

This is the fun part. Using a wire cutter, I cut up the pieces of artificial plants that I got into smaller pieces and attach them to the artificial grass mat by slipping the wire ends in between the plastic grid.

You can bend the wires on the artificial leaves to make the arrangement look more natural. Add the plants and arrange until you are happy with the look.

Once you are done, place the frame vertically to make sure that everything stays in place once you move it into a vertical position. If your plants are not staying in place, you may need additional means to secure them like using a stapler or thumbtacks. Mine had no problems staying in place.

Step 3: Hang it up

Hang on the wall and you're done
Hang on the wall and you're done

You are just about done. All you have to do now is to hang up your photo frame vertical garden. The plants that I used are quite cheap and therefore are not highly realistic at close range. However, since I am hanging them up quite high up, they are good enough for my purpose.

It only took me less than 10 minutes to prepare each frame and all in all, it took me about half an hour to complete both frames and hang them up as well.

Please post your comments here

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    • ComfortsOfHome profile image


      5 years ago

      This is very clever, Roy!

    • Sara Dowling profile image

      Sara Dowling 

      5 years ago

      What a unique idea ... love it ... thank you for giving me some new ideas.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Beautiful lens and informative too! This is my kind of garden!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Beautiful lens and informative too! This is my kind of garden!

    • Radcliff LM profile image

      Radcliff LM 

      5 years ago

      This is a cool idea!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      What a great idea! Lovely illustrations and straight-forward tutorial. I should consider artificial gardening, since I'm not too good at watering the real ones (probably because I'm on the computer so much, hee hee). Take care!

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 

      5 years ago from Alabama USA

      I love to garden, these are nice.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this, and it saves having to water them too. As you say by having them up high you may get away with the fact that they not real plants. Have bookmarked this.

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 

      6 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      This is a really good idea. Easy enough.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice touch with the artificial grass too!

    • kislanyk profile image


      6 years ago from Cyprus

      Great idea here, never thought of it. The pictures you've taken are perfect. With blessings.


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