Book Review and Giveaway – Shawna Coronado’s Grow a Living Wall!


Shawna Coronado – Grow a Living Wall (2015, Cool Springs Press/Quarto Publishing Group USA, Quayside Publishing Group)

According to the book’s subtitle, Shawna Coronado’s Grow a Living Wall focuses on “vertical gardens with purpose” – and, boy, does it ever, with imaginative style and flair.  Featuring twenty themed designs, including walls for bees and other pollinators, veggies and herbs, and aromatherapy, I was instantly taken with the sumptuous photography and the creativity of the ideas.  There is a vertical garden here for every size and space:  fabric pocket gardens, mini gardens for instant curb appeal, and moss and fern arrangements for shady spots.  There are gardens made from old pallets and sparkling glass mason jars – and my personal favourite, a repurposed bookcase mounted on a fence (I do work at a library, after all!).  🙂 You’ll find a therapeutic herb garden, a mixologist’s dream garden, one with houseplants for the indoor office, and several plans ideal for the patio or deck or a glamourous outdoor room.  Coronado does a fantastic job of offering clear, easy to follow, step-by-step building instructions, recipes for plant selection and complete care and maintenance tips.  If you have a small space or just want to grow “up,” you’ll love the designs and ideas in Grow a Living Wall.

(The publisher generously provided copies of Grow a Living Wall for me to review, but I was not compensated for my opinion).

I have one extra copy of Shawna Coronado’s Grow a Living Wall to give away!  If you’re interested, please leave me a comment below – you can tell me what type of living wall you’d like to create (or have created!) in your garden, or just drop me a “count me in,” or “yes,” for your chance to win.  Contest closes at midnight, MST, on Friday, May 15, 2015. (And yes, it is open to everyone!).  I will announce the winner on Monday, May 18, 2015. 


  1. This sounds like quite the interesting book to get some good ideas out of, and the directions of how-to as well. I would be interested in receiving a copy if possible. My hubby Steve and I are trying to redo our backyard garden this summer and need an idea for not only that living area but for the side of the garage, if these living wall gardens would work on the side of a garage.

  2. I’m looking at putting some picket fences in the front yard so I can grow up them – pretty much the only full sun place we’ll have after the new fence goes in. I’d like to make something for the bees – other than leaving the dandelions in the back yard to flower! I even have a source for some milkweed seed – who cares if it’s not perennial hardy here in zone 00000000!

    • I planted milkweed last year…would have to look up the species, I can’t recall which one it was, but it didn’t germinate. I got the seed from Manitoba. It would be nice to do a bit of a pollinator garden – I really love your picket fence idea. Will be very pretty.

      • The picket fence got shoved into next year’s plan (why am I not independently wealthy???) so I’m looking at other things to do in the front. I’m not sure what kind of milkweed I’m getting, Lisa signed up for some at work and she’s going to give it to me. If it lives, I’ll save you some seeds. If it doesn’t, there’s always dandelions!

        • Thanks! That is such a funny coincidence…I had a promotions rep from Lisa’s work contact me about what types of milkweed were not invasive in Canada. So I have a feeling I know which ones you WON’T be getting…. 🙂 I have to see if I kept the package of the ones I planted last year.

          And yep there are a zillion dandelions!

  3. My frame is complete and now to add soil and succulents to create a living wall garden. I’m excited to see the results. Please count me in on the chance to win this book.

    • Oh, you’ll definitely have to let me know how that turns out – I love those succulent frames! They are so pretty. So many gorgeous plants to choose from, all those textures and colours. 🙂

  4. Ha, Count me in…the Walker Boys (my sons) have a very nice appartment in Toronto and would like to start growing plants on their balcony. I think this book would be perfect for them! Thank you for organizing this Sheryl! xo Johanna

  5. I have been intrigued with living walls for a while now and when I saw Shawna had written this book, I thought eventually I would read it and get some ideas. I think a living herb wall close to the house or maybe a cutting garden wall.

  6. I have a fence…6 ft. tall in a corner that hardly gets any sun…I need ideas of what to do to make this area more comfy looking, instead of so stark. I love ideas for walls….so count me in my friend.


  7. My chap has made a pallet garden for my lettuce 🙂 painted sea green – its lovely-id like a herb garden on the fence by the kitchen

  8. wow, that’s really pretty. I don’t exactly know what kind of wall I’d grow but most likely some kind of colourful annual. Do you need carpenter skills and tools? I think it could replace a gate, you could walk around it instead of opening a gate. I have a spot in mind but the hubby is always reluctant to ‘projects’……like, ‘nobody moves and nobody get’s hurt’…LOL

    • Some of the projects might need a few hand tools, but nothing huge like power saws, LOL. I think you’d really like the fact that a lot of these designs incorporate repurposed objects, like picture frames and screens etc..

  9. Thanks for the book review – it’s much appreciated! It was really important to me to show readers how to do something creative and useful that inspires fun and health. 🙂 🙂

  10. Now that’s my kind of book. I look at garden books all the time for ideas for my small space. I’ll see if my library has it. I sure hope so because it sounds like a great book.

  11. I just noticed your list of books in the margin. Why did I not see that before??? I love books. I may have to give Ray Bradbury a whirl. Not much for poetry and definitely no insects. I’d never go to sleep again. 🙂

  12. What a neat-sounding book–you can count me in, too! I have a very long stockade fence that is just screaming for something vertical to break up the monotony. Which ones are you going to do in your garden?

  13. Count me in! At the little house in the big woods, we are always looking for another project 😉 In all seriousness, I love the idea of the shady vertical garden. We have lots of shade and lots of moss here.

  14. I LOVE vertical gardening-only way to go on my small city lot:-) I have read her stuff in other place, had not idea she did a book. Sounds interesting:-)

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