Your Modern Garden: Succulent Wall Garden

Perhaps you love the idea of "greening" up your patio or just want to grow anything without killing it.  Today we have the solution for you... a succulent wall garden.  Get out your gloves...this is going to be fun.

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Succulents are a great addition to any modern garden or patio.  Their shape and structure sometimes makes them look more like sculpture than plants.  You can group like varieties together for impact or gather together many different varieties for contrast and interest.

Part of the reason they have become so popular is because they are easy to maintain.  By nature, they are drought tolerant and thrive in the desert.  This means they are comfortable in hot conditions ,but, also, most are more cold hearty than you might imagine.  Temperatures can drop dramatically at night in the desert.

Caring for succulents, or fat plants as they are sometimes called, is simple.  They require bright light although not always direct sunlight.  Most of these plants would be best suited for south facing sun.  Keep in mind that some plants may react adversely to direct sunlight.  Check the leaves for browning from scorching or white splotches from being bleached out by the sun.

Watering succulents is easy, as well.  They store water in their stems, leaves and roots.  They have adapted to desert conditions by keeping their root structure close to the surface.  This allows them to gain water from the slightest shower or even dew. You should let soil for succulents dry almost completely before watering.  Be careful not to over water as this leads to root rot which is a common mistake in succulent gardening.

Cut watering back to every other month in the winter.

You should fertilize as you would any houseplant during the summer, but cut out fertilizing all together during the winter.

Moving on to the wall garden...

This is such a terrific project.  You get your hands dirty and make something living and beautiful to see.  This is perfect for a small patio to add warmth and color, but it would spectacular done on a larger scale.  Once you put it together it requires very little maintenance.  If a plant does go south or you change your mind about the layout, however, it is very easy to change.  This is the perfect plant solution for someone trying to turn their brown thumb green.

savour... living art

Get the rest after the jump...

Succulent Wall Garden

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Before you start:

I added some old metal grids to the front of our planters.  These are actually part of a bed frame from Ikea that got saved from the landfill.  They add a modern element to the planters that I really enjoy.  You could choose a traditional frame to go around your planter or leave it as is.

The vertical garden planters are becoming more and more popular.  I found mine at my local home improvement center.  If you can't find it there check a nursery.

Follow the instructions provided with your kit.

It is not necessary to fill each section of the planter.  Leave some space between groupings as you see fit.

Handle with care.  Some of these plants are very delicate and may snap if handled too roughly.

This is a two person job.  Someone must hold the planter while you attach to the wall.

Be sure to fill the planter with soil before hanging it.  You may have to scoop some out to move plants around after you see it hung, but that is easier than trying to fill it after it is already hung.

Choose a soil that is fast-draining and meant for desert plants.  If you cannot find it consider adding perlite to your soil.  You should be able to find one or both at your home improvement center or nursery. 

What you will need:

Potting soil

Succulent plants (variety and quantity will be based on preference and scale of your project)

Vertical garden planters (kit usually includes hardware)

Trowel or spade

Water

Moss

Drill (optional)

Level

Screwdriver

Frame (optional)

The steps:

  1. Determine placement and configuration of planters (measure beforehand).
  2. Place plants in planter.
  3. Fill with soil.
  4. Cover entire surface with moss.
  5. Water generously.
  6. Hang planter on the wall (use a level).
  7. Frame as desired
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