Cool Spaces: Vertical Garden

vertical garden

PHOTO Warren Rasmussen

In between hours spent working in the hospitality industry, Jarrett Swersky connects with nature at his abode in the CBD of Cape Town, where he’s created a mini ecosystem in his vertical garden.

Where did you get the idea?

I’d had enough of staring at an empty concrete space. My mum is a talented gardener and first pointed out vertical gardens to me. From there, we sourced plants around Cape Town, and it has taken just over a year to get the garden to where it is.

How did you select the plants?

I chose herbs and greens that I use in cooking (including rocket, lettuce, basil, thyme, coriander, mint, chives and spinach). The troughs are filled with an assortment of cacti and succulents, focusing on their unique characteristics and qualities.

Is upkeep an issue?

I water the plants in the morning before work and again once it’s dark. It takes 15 minutes, including pulling out the odd weed or slug.

Did space limitations affect the planning?

My courtyard is long and narrow, so the wall-mounted pockets by Vertical Veg are a perfect fit. They provide height, aesthetic appeal and the convenience of fresh, edible plants. They’re easy to install, and good value for money.

Most wonderful thing about your garden?

The plants have completely invigorated the space and made it feel like a home. Since planting my garden, I have butterflies, bees, and birds that frequent my courtyard. It means there are ants and slugs too, but I guess that’s part of the package.

Any advice for others tired of staring at concrete walls?

Just do it! Choose plants that you connect with. I love succulents and cacti, and it’s a bonus that they are low on maintenance. If you enjoy cooking, think of your favourite dishes and plant herbs that complement the foods you enjoy.

This article originally featured in IMAGINE.