Student needing help on a vertical garden

2 years ago

Hi, I'm a UK art student whose always been interested in gardening but has never had the opportunity to pursue it. I recently moved into a new house near my uni and in the process of redecorating my room decided I would build a feature piece in the form of a free standing vertical garden above my desk. So far the entire project has been done on a tight budget using only what I could acquire cheap or free. Left overs from the sculpture studio namely pallets, old decking, screws, wood glue and equipment on lease, have made up most the structure.

[current state of self standing vertical garden, waiting to be painted before the waterproof lining is installed followed by the pockets. The gaps at the bottom are for my laptop and printer to fit in once its installed on top of my desk.]

Once the structure is finished it should have enough pockets to hold 24 plants and two 600mm troughs at the bottom. I plan on using the troughs for my ever expanding carnivorous plant collection and would like the vertical section to follow in an accordingly rainforest/tropical fashion

[example photo; I'm particularly interested in displaying a different variety of plants, focusing on leaf size, shape, colour, texture and the way they fall. However I would also like a couple of feature plants with vibrant colour: Orchids, Bird of Paradise Plants, Ginger Lily, Wandering Jew Plant and Red Croton all spring to mind]

However I have very little knowledge on the names or types of plants that would go well together to achieve this. The room this shall be installed in only has one north facing window which boasts a highly obstructed view of the house next door. As a result my room receives little daylight although being next to the boiler is always warm and I would be happy to adapt the current structure to hold artificial lighting if it were an issue. Although as a student budget is a huge issue, currently the entire project has cost me around £25 and realistically speaking I only have another £30-£40 to spend.

Therefore I'm looking to answer the following questions;

  1. What plants should I be looking at buying?
  2. Where could I cheaply source such plants?

Thanks in advance for any help, its much appreciated

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