Gingerly Made: Hanging Succulent Garden Tutorial

Monday, January 14, 2013

Hanging Succulent Garden Tutorial

So last week was the first week in So You Think You're Crafty competition. Did you guess which project was mine?? It was the Hanging Succulent Garden. I love how the gorgeous bright yellow-greens of the succulents contrast with the walnut stained wood.

I'm going to take you through the tutorial today.

Hanging Succulent Garden

I have awed at and admired vertical gardens since the first time I saw them. But I have been reluctant to make one of my own because I heard they were difficult. Not so!! They do take a little time before you can turn them and hang on your wall, but other than the patience to let them root, I don't think they are much more difficult than other gardens.

The key to a great vertical garden is the frame you hang them in. I was able to build a box frame using a pallet and other wood we already had in our garage. Add good soil and a strip of chicken wire to hold in the soil and you are ready to plant.

You can build one of these frames to any size you want.
To build your frame, you'll need: (use your desired measurements)
a piece of plywood for the back
3 x 2 boards for sides (mine came from an old pallet)
2 x 1/2 hobby boards for the top of the frame
chicken wire
stain or paint

Pallets come in different sizes and use different quality wood. Try to find one with really good interior beams that are approximately 3" x 2". Deconstruct your pallet to get the interior beams to build the frame.

The easiest way to deconstruct the pallet is to use a cinder block. Place it under the top board on your pallet and stomp on it. It may break the top board, but will pull out most of the staples. You can pull out any remaining staples with pliers and some back muscles.

Cut the interior beams to the length and width you need for your sized frame.

Drill pilot holes in the 3" x 2" pallet pieces and then screw them together to make a frame.

Screw your back piece of plywood into the frame you built.

Staple chicken wire over the frame. The chicken wire along with the plant's roots hold in the soil once you turn your frame up.

Cover the cut edges of the wire with 2" x 1/2" board creating a finished frame. Stain or paint.

Now you are ready to plant. Succulents are the easiest to work with because they root well and don't require super frequent watering. I bought several different types and divided them up for planting. Talk to your garden center workers and they can help you pick just the right ones. I chose perennials instead of annuals and also low growing plants. I didn't want to have to prune long vine plants. Hens and chicks (the round flower-like plants) are beautiful, but you will also need some ground cover types to fill in the gaps. Again, just make sure they are low growing, aka short.

I planted the hens and chicks first to make a swirling pattern and then filled in with the rest.

Hens and Chicks
You'll need to let your succulents root. Since you just divided them up, many of the plants probably have very little root. Allow 4 - 12 weeks before you try to hang them on your wall. Water every 10 - 12 days.

If you noticed, my framed garden isn't hanging yet. To take the pictures, I just propped it up. That's because it's only been 4 weeks. I want to let them have a few more weeks to let them root before I put them on the wall permanently.

After about  month or so, you will see your hens and chicks develop pups. (They will start to multiply.) Filling in gaps and growing more and more beautiful. Again, mine haven't started this. Once they start developing pups you can be sure that the plant has built enough of a root system to put it's energy into multiplying and is safe to hang.

This project isn't a quick one, but if you have patience, it is a beautiful one with tons of impact and a definite conversation piece.

And today there is a new project up on So You Think You're Crafty. This week's theme is For the Boys. I have two girls, so this one was tough for me, but I think it turned out pretty cool. Please check it out and vote. Thanks!


Sugar Bee Crafts


Linking up here.

Photobucket

3 comments:

  1. That is gorgeous, I think I will be brave enough to try this now. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. This is such a great idea! We had a lot of succulents in CA but when we moved to TX we didn't bring any. Now that we are settled in our new home, I would love to get more. Thanks for the inspiration; this is beautiful! :)
    You are a Featured Favorite this week on Saturday Show & Tell on Cheerios and Lattes! Thanks so much for sharing with us last week! We can't wait to see what you've been up to this week!
    Have a great weekend!
    Mackenzie :)

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Thanks for taking the time to leave a thoughtful comment. It totally makes my day!

 
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