DIY and Crafts

How to build your own vertical garden

Two planks of wood and four plastic troughs is all it takes to create your own vertical garden for a visual statement, indoors or out


Tools you will need 

Fine-blade hacksaw; square; 600mm level; pencil; Phillips screwdriver; measuring tape; sanding block, hand saw. This project uses plastic troughs from Bunnings (pictured below) as the basis for this vertical garden.


Begin the project with plastic troughs, $20.99 each, from Bunnings.

How to make a vertical garden

  • Step 1: Take a plastic trough and, using a fine-blade hacksaw, cut off the overhanging lips at either end, leaving intact a 45mm-long piece from the front of the trough at each end. Repeat this for all 4 planter boxes.
  • Step 2: Lying everything on the floor, space the troughs along the pine planks, measuring 400mm apart from the top edge of each trough and evenly spaced at the top and bottom. Attach the planter boxes to the pine by only putting the front 15mm screw in at either side (to allow for levelling later).

Step 3

  • Step 3: Lean the ladder frame against the wall, pulling the base of the frame out 350mm from the wall. To make both top and bottom sit flush against the wall, scribe (mark with a pencil) each leg of the frame and cut with a hand saw. Give all edges and corners a good sand.

Step 4

  • Step 4: Stand frame against the wall, and level the boxes from front to back at either side, then fix the back 15mm screws to strengthen.

Step 5

  • Step 5: Stain or paint the wood your choice of colour, making sure to mask off the troughs so that the paint or stain will not stick to the plastic.
  • Step 6: Fill with plants and enjoy!

This vertical garden is a visual statement that’s perfect for indoor or outdoor use.

Top tips

  • Depending on your choice of plant you can drill holes in the bottom of the top three containers so the water drains down to each one.
  • This can be used indoors and out – just make sure you use treated wood for outdoors and choose plants and paint accordingly.
  • Paint the wood to suit your decor and remember there are also other container options available.
  • To better secure the planter to the position you choose, you can use brackets to fix the top and bottom of the wood to the wall and floor.


4 troughs $83.96; 2 pine planks (120 x 20 x 1800mm) $39.44; 16 x 15m screws $5.74; paint/stain $22.37; masking tape $4.65.

TOTAL: $156.16

Get the look

Roger stool, $399.99, from Alex & Corban. Deadly Ponies garden bag, $105, and Tajika flower shears, $95.50, both from Everyday Needs. Wall painted in Resene ‘Swirl’.

Created by: Catherine Wilkinson and Martin Laidlaw.

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