Urban Upcycling: Vertical Bowl Garden
Alex has rejuvenated my green thumb, and I’ve gotten back into gardening. Recently I Ireally started liking the look of succulent gardens, and I have plans to build a wall-hanging type succulent garden to hang on the wall in our house some time this winter. So, to get some succulents going, we set up a vertical garden on the back porch. Our back porch is a lovely haven and we spend a lot of time out there. We have a very nice view of the yard’s trees, and birds flitting around, and bunnies chasing each other through the grass. We can also see, however, the barbed wire on the next door neighbors’ fence, and various dumpsters and air conditioners in other neighbors’ yards. We needed to make our porch cozy and nature-y feeling. Thus, the vertical garden was created to add a little green space to our porch.
I started by screwing scrap boards (mostly 1x3) together into a sort of trellis shape. Next I drilled drainage holes in 6 up-cycled wooden bowls, and screwed them to the frame. We had originally bought these bowls for eating cereal and salad out of, but one trip through the dishwasher made them smell like a weird camp fire, rendering them useless for food. Then we screwed the whole contraption to the wall, and filled the bowls with potting soil. We planted succulents and other plants in various artsy combinations: hen-and-chickens, creeping jenny, and sedums. When it was all finished, I thought it looked beautiful.
The plants have filled in a bit now, and the succulents are propagating nicely, amid an ongoing battle with the local squirrels who have decided to use the bowls as a secret burying place for their nuts. Seriously, a walnut the nice of a tennis ball is not going to be hidden well when it’s half-buried in a cereal bowl. The squirrels’ audacity has provoked in Alex a rage that I had never seen the likes of before now. He fights back by stockpiling their foolishly concealed walnuts, and chucks them at the naughty rodents when they get too close to the porch. He has also sprinkled hot chili pepper all over the plants.
We’re planning on leaving the vertical bowl garden outside for the winter, as the guy at Gesthemane garden center said we could as long as they’re under an overhang (they are). Hopefully in a couple months we’ll have enough little plants to start an indoor vertical garden. We’re also planning to make little succulent terrariums in jars of a many different origins (pickles, grape leaves, jam), which will eventually be decorations at our wedding. Long live succulents!
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