Garden Photo of the Day

Vertical Gardening

Growing up instead of out

Hi – Brenda Tripp here in good ole southern Illinois! It’s a bit cold today and not one of my favorite times to be outside, so I thought I would sit in the warmth of my computer room and garden via computer with you.

This snow-covered scene is in a section of my veggie garden that I call my Vertical Garden. I’m retired, so you can guess my age, and I built this area of trellis for the garden after I retired.

It was a tussle, as there are twelve cattle panels that I folded over and wedged in between four steel fence posts. I stood on a 5-gallon bucket to hammer the steel posts into the ground.

I did this in about six days, seven years ago. I paced myself by doing two or three of the arches each day.

The Vertical Garden is a wonderful place to hang out.

It has been a great area to grow gourds and also a wonderful place for pole beans (all kinds), blackberries, and clematis, and now I’m trying to get kiwi to grow and produce—though I am having trouble getting both the male and female plants to grow.

A harvest of gourds from the Vertical Garden.

Tromboncino squash growing in the Vertical Garden. This unusual squash can be harvest immature and eaten like a summer squash, or you can let it mature and enjoy it like a butternut squash.

Hubby and I live in the country, and sometimes it works well to make do with what you have. We just have to get a little creative. I purchased a couple of Japanese red maples, and the hostas and yellow moss I had elsewhere and dug up chunks for here. There was an old crabapple stump that I left and covered with the white upside down planter, which I topped off with an old satellite dish that I spray-painted blue. Then I put all the dirt the dish would hold, patted in some yellow moss, and added the blue gazing ball. The hosta took off, and the yellow moss has done great too. This was a fun project, as all of my garden projects are.


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/19/2019

    You sound like a fun person, Brenda, who's enjoying retirement with gumption, gusto and a nice helping of creativity. And, to read your description "I paced myself by doing two or three of the arches each day." sounds pretty darned impressive. I adore the picture of your harvest of gourds...what a kick to have such colorful beauties to pick at your leisure for decorative uses in other areas... whether inside or out.

  2. User avater
    treasuresmom 02/19/2019

    Love that idea of using the cattle panels. Really like someone who can diy things in the garden. Love it all!

  3. Chris_N 02/19/2019

    I am always amazed by people who can take mundane objects, like your old satellite dish, and turn them into garden art. Your entire garden is impressive, Brenda.

  4. cheryl_c 02/19/2019

    Brenda, what a creative and energetic gardener you are! Have never heard of using a discarded satellite dish in this way - all the recycle stores will become depleted of satellite dishes because of your post! I love your vertical gardening and cannot comprehend that you could drive a t-bar into the ground while standing on a 5 gallon bucket!!! You are amazing!

  5. user-783091 02/19/2019

    Love those DIY arches you built! Interested to know how you attached the panels to the posts. You wrote that you "wedged" them in between the posts. Sounds simple. Can you explain? Thanks!

  6. wittyone 02/19/2019

    Your makeshift moss container is really beautiful and who would realize how crafty you were in constructing it unless you told them. The color combination of the blue dish, gazing ball and the chartreuse moss is just gorgeous.

  7. User avater
    simplesue 02/19/2019

    That arched vertical! I can just imagine how cool it is to walk through. I'm super impressed to read how you built it yourself a little at a time. That is the same approach I take to a big project...then you not only have a finished project but the feeling of accomplishment!

  8. 18bees 02/19/2019

    The satellite dish is perfect for your moss and the gazing blue is a wonderful complement! We turned ours into a bird bath. Your vertical garden must a a delightful place to take a stroll in the summer.

  9. Musette1 02/19/2019

    Brenda, that tunnel is absolutely amazing! I have an old cattle panel that DH cut in half (for a rose trellis) - even with that it's a lot of hauling and handling and so I am totally aware of how much work it is to bend those dawgs over! I'm super-impressed, especially that you stood on a 5gal to hammer the stakes in! Be careful!

    A glorious garden! Thanks for sharing!

  10. btucker9675 02/19/2019

    Creative and wonderful garden! The photo of the gourd harvest is so beautiful - brightened up a dreary, rainy, chilly day here in NC.

  11. mainer59 02/19/2019

    Thank you for posting and for explaining how you made the arches and what you grow on them. This is an idea I might try! You are inspirational!

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