Vertical Succulent Garden

How to create a sturdy frame for planting a vertical succulent garden #diy #succulents #gardening

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
  • Screws
  • Staple gun
  • Light soil suitable for succulents (our instructed recommended this soil mixed with crushed shells)
  • Succulent plants

 Here are the steps we followed:

How to create a sturdy frame for planting a vertical succulent garden #diy #succulents #gardening

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:

How to create a sturdy frame for planting a vertical succulent garden #diy #succulents #gardening

 

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.

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Favorite Places: Dallas Arboretum

Jenna and I stopped by the Dallas Arboretum last weekend to see the Small Houses of Great Artists installations, but I think we ended up spending more time exploring the glass sculptures by artist Dale Chihuly – some pretty spectacular sights in an already beautiful environment. Jenna was especially fond of the “giant yellow feathers.”

The Chihuly installations are on display until November 5th, so I have a feeling we’ll be visiting again soon – hopefully when it’s a bit cooler. For anyone in the DFW area, I highly recommend a visit.

Chihuly Sculptures

Small Houses of Great Artists