We’re ready to get outside. And stay there. Here’s a tip: gather a few friends for a fun afternoon that secretly has them redesigning your outdoor space! Feed them some of these jalapeno cocktails and they’ll never be the wiser.
This succulent wall DIY comes from Cherie Marquez of La Fleur Kitchen. She recently hosted a workshop at Communal LA and we’re picking up her tips to share with you. Check out more Communal workshops here and then get that garden growing!
Living walls help to produce more oxygen in your space just like any other plant but also naturally removes the toxins in the air we breathe. Its also a great focal point and quite the conversation starter while entertaining guests in your home or having clients come to your business. Living walls are fairly easy to create once you have all the materials, all it requires is patience. To create your living garden, start off small and work your way up to a bigger piece…
Step 1: Create your box
The most common way for beginners is to build their own out of an old vintage wooden frame. With unused wood from your home or from your local reclaimed lumber yard, use scraps to build out from the back of your frame to create a shadow box effect about 2″ – 3″ deep. Do not fasten to the frame just yet. Cut a piece of chicken wire and weed guard (found at your local gardening and hardware store lightly bigger than the opening of your shadow box and staple that between your frame and shadow box. Fill with 2 parts cactus mix and 1 part potting soil. Now attach the shadow box to the frame. Now close the back of your shadow box with a thin piece of plywood.
Here are the layers of your box:
Layer 1: vintage frame
Layer 2: chicken wire
Layer 3: weed guard
Layer 4: 2″ – 3″ shadow box (filled with soil)
Layer 5: back cover
Step 2: Flip Your Frame
Flip your frame so that the shadow box is down and you’re looking at your frame. Now you’re ready to design your living art piece. With aquarium tweezers (found at your local pet store), punch holes in the weed guard to make an opening for your succulent cuttings. Place them throughout, creating the design you want. Keep in mind they will grow, so leave some space in between. Once you have all your succulent cuttings in place, you can surround them with moss. This will also help keep the moisture in since you won’t be watering them very often.
Step 3: LAY IT FLAT
Let the roots take in! Lay it flat for a few weeks, depending on the size and the cuttings. Water it with a garden hose on the mist setting, 1 – 2 times a week in the beginning. Laying it flat for 2-4 weeks is ideal. You can slowly start to train it to go vertical by propping it up at an angle slowly each week. Once the roots have taken and your living wall is ready to go vertical, you are ready to hang it.
Step 4: Show it off
Invite some friends over for a little get-together and I bet someone notices your beautiful living art piece.
– Water on mist control. On hotter days during the summer, if you feel it needs a bit more watering then do so, just don’t over-water.
– Be creative and explore other options on your next living-wall base, there are often many different ways.
– Experiment with various plants too, just keep in mind where you want your piece to end up, whether that’s inside or outside, direct sun, partial sun or shade.
The options are endless.