Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Vertical-Hanging Succulent Garden

I love succulents.  They come in all different shapes and sizes and are so, so easy to grow.  They are pretty much the lowest maintenance plant in the world.

I had seen vertical succulent gardens all over the web and at a garden show I went to last year so I decided that this was something I could totally tackle.

I gathered up some supplies: chicken wire, potting soil, various succulents and an old wooden window frame I found at a salvage store for ten bucks.

After Googling around the internet I settled on the easiest approach. We fit chicken wire against the back of the window frame and then my husband built up the window frame by about three inches so that we could put in the soil.  You can see the original frame and then the portion my husband built here:

He then added hanging mechanism to the back. In order to support the weight of the frame and soil he used a cleat type hanging method, kind of like this except it's not a headboard, lol. The concept is exactly the same though......

Basically he screwed pieces of wood to the wall and the back of the window frame.  When the succulent garden is ready to hang, you fit the two pieces of wood together and it's perfectly supported.  This is the piece that is attached to the wall:

And now it was time to make it pretty.  I poured soil into the window frame and packed it in really, really tight.  The tighter the better because once you turn it vertical, gravity wants to pull every thing down and out. Boo.

In order to plant the succulents I used snips to cut open the chicken wire in places, pried it back and then jammed the plants into the soil. Here's the beautiful results:

Now comes the full disclosure: 

One: It sat horizontal for about two months.  I really wanted to make sure that the succulents rooted and the soil was completely packed before I hung it. 

And two: Some of these succulents didn't really work out.  The one with the pretty flowers in the foreground and the large pinkish flower looking one died about four months after I planted them.  I think the problem was they naturally grow pretty high so when I hung them vertically they failed to thrive.  Oh well, the rest of them are doing really well and filled in the holes left by the dead ones.

Eventually I did mount it to the wall.  Over about two weeks, I slowly moved the frame from horizontal to vertical by propping it against the house and adjusting the degree it was leaning.  But my patience paid off and here it is!

This was taken in the dead of winter.  Here's a more recent pic:

It's really filling out nicely.


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