Stringing Up the Garden

If you walk into a garden done in the style of Fedor van der Valk, you had better be prepared to gawk. These magnificent suspended gardens are a new and popular trend in the horticultural world. They have all the allure and the beauty of hanging gardens –but without the pots and baskets.

Hanging Gardens

Every gardener loves to put a hanging basket or two out on the front porch during the summer season. They add beauty and charm to even the dullest house façade. Visitors love to come to a house that has these dangling beauties out front.

What van der Valk has done is come up with a way to suspend plants using strings rather pots and chains. His gardens

Photo Courtesy of Garden Design

are almost impossible to describe. Imagine dozens or even hundred of plants, all suspended in mid-air using only thin and delicate-looking strings. None of them have pots. Some of these plants are arranged in intricate and fascinating designs.

This amazing Dutch gardener has perfected his method on several different kinds of plants. There are now string gardens filled with not just annuals and perennials, but shrubs and small trees! He has also made an orchid garden using this method, which anyone who has ever tried to grow an orchid knows is no small feat. In addition, he has built a string garden filled with carnivorous plants like the Venus fly trap.

Getting Rid of the Pots

Photo courtesy of Garden Design

The key to the success of these string gardens is getting rid of the pots. Pots are heavy and take up a lot of room. They could never be suspended in such a way. Strings would snap under the heavy burden. Al plants have to have a root ball surrounded by dirt to survive, however, and these plants are no exception.

Mr. van der Valk managed to come up with another way to hold the root balls of his plants together, again using strings. He wraps strings in complex patterns to form a cocoon that will hold in the dirt and roots. Once this cocoon is finished it is filled with dirt, planted and suspended. He recently gave an interview describing his methods to Casa Sugar. A number of photographs are also posted on the site.

A Growing Trend

String gardens have rapidly gained in popularity during the last few years as urban gardening has taken off. A lot of people don’t have the room to grow a traditional garden and string gardens are a good substitute and an interesting alternative to the

Photo Courtesy of Garden Design

traditional container garden. The web is exploding with pictures of these interesting gardens. Most of these gardens are homemade, as it is difficult to purchase them outside the Netherlands. There is a Facebook page and a Youtube Channel for String Gardens.

If you like to find out how to make a string garden, you can visit one of the above pages or go the official website for String Gardens.


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