This weekend I attended a class on vertical succulent gardening at the Dallas Arboretum. I don’t think I would have figured out how to create a structure strong enough to support sideways plants and soil, so I was pretty excited to have an expert walk me through step-by-step. And I haven’t yet installed my garden along a wall, but when I turn it sideways, it seems to stay in place pretty well.
We started with the following materials:
- Wooden Frame (our instructor made his own out of fence wood)
- Flat piece of wood cut to the size of your frame
- Plastic fence netting (I’ve also seen chicken wire used)
- Black mesh fabric
- Staple gun
- Light soil suitable for succulents (our instructed recommended this soil mixed with crushed shells)
- Succulent plants
Here are the steps we followed:
Step 1: To create a strong framework, we cut the plastic netting and black mesh into rectangles that were slightly larger than the size of our frames. We pressed the plastic netting into the frame and stapled it along the inside of the frame; we repeated this step with the mesh fabric and trimmed both so that there wasn’t any extra coming out of the frame.
Step 2: Fill the frame with soil. We used a mix of lightweight soil and crushed shells. While sand is often mixed into soil for succulents, our instructor cautioned against this because it adds extra weight to the structure.
Step 3: Secure the flat piece of wood to the frame using screws.
Step 4: Once the framework was complete, we selected our succulents and arranged our design by setting the plants on top of the grid before we started planting.
Step 5: To plant each succulent, we cut a small square out of the netting and mesh – cutting an almost 2-inch square per 3 inch plant. Inserting each plant into the grid was the hardest part. We had to push all of the soil in the frame out of the way and then push the plant in, using a pencil to help push the base of the plant further into the soil.
This is my final garden:
I haven’t installed it vertically yet. Some tutorials suggest letting the roots take hold for a few weeks before hanging it, but our instructor said this wouldn’t be necessary.
I’ve been seeing lots of garden and outdoor accessories in a very pale shade of green, and I’m thinking about incorporating the color in our backyard. I love how it blends with the surrounding plants.
Sources: Inspiration Photo / Dream Bench / Sunglasses / Basket Tote / Glasses / Watering Can
Since moving into our new home, I’ve had an ‘outdoors in’ approach to decorating. This is especially true in our formal living room, where an indoor garden of greenery has emerged over the past few months. Today, in my Forever Home series on Modern Parents, Messy Kids, I’m sharing some ideas for incorporating plants, especially easy-to-care-for succulents, into your home decor.
I may be going a little overboard with the plants in our house. At last count, we had 32 plants (including Jenna’s indoor flower and vegetable garden). That’s a lot of plants, but the truly amazing part is that I’m keeping them alive. And as my plant collection grows, so too must my planter collection. I’m always on the lookout for simple, beautiful containers to add to my collection.
Some of my favorite dream planters above: cube, hanging, vintage, cement, geometric, retro stand, mid-century, garden box.
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As part of the ongoing series The Forever Home on Modern Parents, Messy Kids, I’m sharing tips for creating a kids closet space that is part storage, part dress-up play space.
Last night I joined a flower workshop with the amazing team at Bows and Arrows. I’ve admired their work via Instagram for awhile, so it was great to learn a few tricks from these talented folks. If you’re in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, I highly recommend taking a workshop – they have a photography and flower class coming up this weekend and a two-day workshop in Marfa this summer.
I’ve never been great at arranging flowers, but I was pretty impressed with the look I was able to create last night (photo above). A few things I learned:
- It takes some time to style an arrangement. In the past, I’ve always spent 15 mins or so on an arrangement. During the workshop, I spent over an hour creating my masterpiece. While this won’t always be possible, starting early and allowing lots of time is definitely key.
- Always use floral foam to hold the stems in place and make sure the foam is tightly placed within the container. After soaking the foam, you can press it gently against the top of your container to make an impression and then cut along those lines to create a perfect fit.
- Start by defining ‘the bones’ of the arrangement: a tall piece and a low extending piece, for example.
- Don’t be afraid to mix heights. In the past, I’ve always tried to cut each stem the exact same length. In looking at the Bows and Arrows arrangements, I realized that they have a mix of shorter and taller stems, giving the overall piece some movement as well as the quirkiness I love.
Here are a few more scenes of the floral awesomeness from last night:
I’ve been working on Jenna’s closet for an upcoming post on Modern Parents, Messy Kids, and one of the items in need of an update was her mirror. It’s a basic, tall, white-framed mirror that we most likely purchased at Target or IKEA years ago. It’s held up pretty well, but it just didn’t fit the girly look I was going for.
My solution: add a border of paper half circles to create a scalloped frame.
Here’s how I did it. For a more sturdy and permanent solution, you could also use balsam wood circles (found at many craft stores) painted in any color.