Achieving the Best of Both Worlds: A Backyard Granny Flat and Vertical Garden Combo!

Jun 12, 2023Resources & Inspiration

1. Introduction

Have you pondered over introducing a granny flat into your property to accommodate older family members, adult children, or as a rental for some extra income? Maybe renting out a section of your backyard for a tiny home has crossed your mind? A granny flat can elevate your property value, provide additional income, and help alleviate the rental supply shortage, particularly in urban areas.

However, incorporating these housing options often implies forgoing a part of your backyard. Yet, this doesn’t signify forfeiting your dream of a backyard garden. Instead, it paves the way for an innovative solution – vertical gardens. These gardens promise a best-of-both-worlds scenario, letting you enjoy fresh produce and lush greenery while optimising available space.

In this article, we explore the advantages of vertical gardens for those considering a granny flat in their backyard. We provide valuable insights on launching your own vertical garden, transforming a confined area into a vibrant, productive sanctuary. Let’s unravel how to make the most of your space without compromising on nature’s touch.

Traditional Backyard Gardens can Take up a lot of Space

2. Backyard Granny Flat? Here’s Why Vertical Gardens Make Sense

If you’re considering a backyard granny flat but dread sacrificing your green space, vertical gardening offers a novel, space-efficient solution. Going vertical with your greenery means you aren’t limited by the constraints of horizontal space, giving you a unique opportunity to maximise each part of your property creatively. Here are some of the benefits vertical gardening will deliver to your backyard with a granny flat.

Backyard Granny Flat

Adding a Unique Aesthetic Element

Vertical gardens aren’t just space-efficient, they can also significantly enhance the aesthetic appeal of your backyard. They add a touch of nature to structures and fences, turning an ordinary wall into a vibrant canvas of greenery. This can result in a stunning visual feature that captures the admiration of visitors and offers daily enjoyment for those residing in the main house and granny flat.

A Green Solution when Navigating Council Regulations for Granny Flats and Landscaping

When adding a granny flat in your backyard, local council regulations may need to be navigated. These regulations usually include guidelines related to maintaining private open spaces and privacy between the main house and the granny flat. Vertical gardens can help you meet these requirements, acting as a strategic solution to preserve open space, while also enhancing privacy and soundproofing.

Boosting Privacy, Soundproofing and Creating Natural Boundaries: The Added Advantages of Vertical Gardens

Vertical gardens offer more than just a practical solution for limited space; they can also significantly enhance privacy with a backyard granny flat creating a natural living screen between the main house and the granny flat. If you have a shared outdoor area, a vertical garden can beautifully segment this space, creating ‘rooms’ within your backyard. This offers a sense of separation and privacy to occupants which is particularly appreciated by tenants, adult children, or elderly parents.

Moreover, vertical gardens can buffer noise, and assist in controlling noise transmission, contributing to a quieter and more private environment. They can muffle everyday noises such as conversations, television sounds, or kitchen activities that might otherwise travel freely between dwellings. This is especially beneficial if the granny flat is rented out. By integrating vertical gardening into your landscape design, you can promote both an aesthetically pleasing and more private living arrangement.

Practical and Ergonomic: Why Vertical Gardens Shine in a Backyard with a Granny Flat

In a backyard where space becomes a premium due to structures like granny flats, vertical gardening presents a practical and beneficial alternative to traditional gardening. It reduces the time-consuming task of weeding and optimises water use with a gravity-assisted drainage system.

Traditional gardening often involves long hours spent bending over, leading to potential back and joint discomfort. Vertical gardening, on the other hand, brings the garden up to your level. This means you can comfortably plant, prune, and harvest at a comfortable height helping to alleviate undue strain on your back and joints.

Environmental Benefits of Vertical Gardens with Your Backyard Granny Flat

Finally, vertical gardens can have several environmental benefits, such as improving air quality and reducing heat in the surrounding areas. They can act as natural air filters, trapping dust and absorbing pollutants, which can be particularly advantageous in urban areas. The plants in your vertical garden can also help to cool the air around them, providing a natural form of air conditioning and creating a more comfortable microclimate in your backyard. And you get the huge benefit of being able to grow organic produce in them.

In summary, vertical gardens can be a versatile, functional, and visually appealing solution for maximising backyard space, even when part of it is occupied by a granny flat, a tiny home or other structures. They offer numerous benefits ranging from space-saving to privacy enhancement, aesthetic appeal, and even environmental impact.

3. Different Vertical Gardening Systems

The world of vertical gardening offers a variety of systems, each catering to different types of plants and varying backyard spaces. Whether you’re hoping to grow climbing plants, herbs, or an assortment of veggies, there’s a vertical gardening system to meet your needs. Learn more about the range of 

Choosing the Right Vertical Gardening System for Your Backyard Granny Flat

The realm of vertical gardening offers an array of systems, each suited to different types of plants and varying backyard spaces. If you’re considering a granny flat in your backyard, it’s vital to choose a vertical gardening system that not only supports the type of plants you wish to grow but also aids in privacy and noise reduction. Let’s explore some of these systems:

Trellises and Climbing Frames for Privacy and Sound Buffering

If you’re a fan of climbing plants like ivy, clematis, or climbing roses, trellises and climbing frames are excellent vertical gardening systems. Available in various sizes and designs, these structures provide solid support for your climbing plants, enabling them to grow upwards and flourish. 

You can attach these systems to walls, fences, or even freestand them in your backyard as a striking garden feature. When planted with dense climbing plants, they can also serve as an effective privacy screen and noise barrier between your main house and the granny flat.

Stackable Planters for Smaller Plants and Vegetables

If you prefer herbs, strawberries, or other smaller plants, stackable planters might be the best fit. Essentially pots stacked vertically, these allow you to grow different plants on each level. Their compact design makes them ideal for narrow spaces, balconies, or patios – a perfect choice if you’re trying to add a touch of greenery around your backyard granny flat.

Some of the stackable planters are a great option for growing a range of vegetables either for the granny flat or the main home.

Vertical Gardening Walls for Maximum Privacy and Noise Reduction

Vertical gardening walls elevate the concept of vertical gardens. These specialised systems come with a series of pockets or trays where you can plant a variety of greenery, creating a living wall in your backyard. When densely planted, these systems form a thick wall of greenery, providing a high level of privacy and noise reduction. They can accommodate an array of plants, from flowers and ferns to vegetables and herbs, which makes them an excellent option for creating privacy and reducing noise around your backyard granny flat.

Vertical Garden Walls Help Provide Provide and Soundproofing for Backyard Granny Flats 1

We have explored the range of vertical gardening systems and their pros and cons to help you work out what options will best suit you. In conclusion, the type of vertical gardening system you choose for your backyard granny flat will depend on your gardening preferences, space constraints, and your need for privacy and noise reduction. Whether you opt for a trellis, a stackable planter, or a vertical garden wall, each system offers unique benefits and can significantly enhance your backyard space.

4. Optimising Size and Location for Your Vertical Garden

When choosing the right size for your vertical garden, especially in a yard with structures like granny flats or tiny homes, it’s crucial to consider not just the space available but also the specific conditions created by these structures.

Additional buildings in your backyard can create shaded areas that may not be suitable for plants requiring full sun. Therefore, understanding the sunlight patterns in your backyard is vital when deciding on the placement and size of your vertical garden.

Before selecting a location for your garden, observe the sun’s movement and the shadow cast by these buildings throughout the day. If the proposed area receives at least six hours of direct sunlight, it can be considered a sunny location suitable for most plants. However, if the area is often shaded, you might need to choose plants that can tolerate lower light conditions or consider setting up your vertical garden on a portable structure that can be moved according to sunlight availability.

Enhancing Privacy

Another consideration is privacy, particularly between your main house and the additional dwelling unit. Positioning your vertical garden strategically can not only take advantage of the vertical space but also act as a beautiful, living privacy screen.

Choosing tall or climbing plants, like climbing roses, beans, or even tomatoes, can create a green barrier that offers privacy without compromising on aesthetic appeal or the sense of open space. This can be particularly helpful if the windows of the granny flat or tiny home overlook your living areas.

Best Plants for Vertical Gardening in Shaded Spaces

When it comes to vertical gardening in a yard with additional structures, your choice of plants can differ based on available sunlight.

Shade-Tolerant Herbs, Vegetables, and Fruits

In cases where your vertical garden receives less sunlight due to the shade from buildings, opt for herbs, vegetables, and fruits that are shade-tolerant. Some herbs like mint, parsley, and chives, and veggies such as spinach, kale, and lettuce can tolerate partially shaded conditions. For fruits, consider shade-tolerant options appropriate for the area you live in.

Organic Gardening for Close Quarters

With the garden in close proximity to living spaces, it’s more important than ever to opt for organic gardening practices. Avoiding harmful chemicals in your garden ensures healthier produce and a safer environment for those living close to the garden.
Best Plants for Vertical Gardening in Sunny Spaces

Having a sunny backyard is well-suited for a wide range of plants. If your vertical garden receives full sun – that is, six or more hours of direct sunlight each day – you’re in an excellent position to grow a vibrant array of sun-loving plants.

Sun-Loving Herbs, Vegetables, and Fruits

A sunny vertical garden opens up an extensive range of options when it comes to growing your own produce. Here are some plants that thrive in full sun:

  • Herbs: Rosemary, thyme, sage, and oregano are all herbs that thrive in sunny conditions. These herbs not only add flavour to your dishes but also add a lovely aroma to your garden.
  • Vegetables: Several vegetables enjoy full sun, making them excellent candidates for sunny vertical gardens. Tomatoes, capsicum, cucumbers, and zucchinis are all sun-lovers that can be grown vertically with the support of trellises or cages.
  • Fruits: Strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries are all fruits that love the sun and can be grown vertically. These fruit-bearing plants will provide a delicious and healthy harvest that’s right at your fingertips.

Maintaining an Organic Sun-Loving Garden

Just as with a garden in a shaded space, an organic approach is paramount when the garden is close to living spaces. Opt for natural pest control methods for vertical gardens to maintain a healthy and safe environment for both your plants and the people living in your property.

A Green Solution for Your Backyard Granny Flat

In summary, if you’re looking to add a granny flat in your backyard but still want a garden, vertical gardening is the answer. This approach allows you to enjoy the beauty and benefits of a garden, even in a limited space. Not only does it look good, it acts as a living, creating sound barrier that can create a sense of privacy and can even help keep things quiet between the main house and the granny flat.

Plus, a vertical garden can even help you meet local council rules about open space and privacy when adding a granny flat. So, don’t let space limit your love for gardening. Go vertical and enjoy the best of both worlds.


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