Saturday, January 17, 2015

Hanging Succulent Planter - It's Living Art

This is the year of the succulent on my little deck. Gone are the struggling plants which are always parched due to neglect. Because the deck has no automated watering system, these plants only get water carried by hand. That is to say, they rarely get watered. I'm hoping succulents are the answer, and I've been thinking about making the switch, then for Christmas I received two very thoughtful gifts from special people in my life. One is this beautiful driftwood succulent planter given to me by my daughter's boyfriend. 
I adore it, and him. You can read about it here.

The second gift was this vertical succulent planter which was a gift from my dear friend, Ramona.
To know her is to be inspired by her. She is a successful business woman whose boundless energy is contagious. She packs more into a day than you can imagine. In addition to being ambitious she is thoughtful, generous, sincere, athletic, pragmatic and beautiful. Her loving nature makes the world a better place for her family, friends, pets, plants, even the fish in her pretty pond. I just love that woman and am so very lucky to have her as a friend. Oh, the adventures we have had!

Today she is on my mind as I put together this vertical garden. Isn't that one of the best things about gardening? The quiet allows our minds to wander; restful therapy for our overloaded brains. 

The kit came with instructions but I didn't follow them exactly. The back panel slides out. There's a hook for hanging it which is at the bottom of this picture.
The planter has a black cloth barrier that is intended to keep the soil in place. 
I decided to use moss instead, so I removed the black cloth and discarded it.
I replaced the back panel and turned it right side up, then filled it with cactus potting soil. 
Laying the plants out first allowed me to arrange and rearrange them until I was happy with the way it looked. I almost forgot to make sure that the hook was at the top. Good thing I checked because I had it upside down. After fixing that issue, it was time to plant.
The wire grid leaves spaces which are only about 1 inch squares. In order to fit the plants into the squares, I very carefully loosened the soil around the roots to remove as much of the soil as I could. I found that gently tapping the rootball was the best technique for getting the soil to fall away without injuring the tiny roots. 
For the larger plants, I cut away some of the wire to make larger holes.
The smaller plants I just very carefully poked through the gaps.
To keep the soil from falling out when it's hung, I used moss. Soaking the moss in water for a couple of minutes makes it easier to use because it is less dusty and clings together better. Squeeze out the excess water,
then tuck it all around the plants.
I think the moss looks much nicer than the black cloth would have. What pretty little plants!
Thanks, Ramona!

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