As a gift from Santa this year, I requested a mini green wall. When I look out the kitchen window, all I see is fence and a green wall seemed like a fun thing to try. I had enjoyed the great information about green walls in the fabulous Garden Up, and said to myself: "How hard can it be?"
The wall I ordered was supposed to include mounting hardware, but to my disappointment the hardware would only be useful on walls and could not be used on a fence or a post. I got help from my garden designer, who used hardware similar to picture hanging hardware to attach to two holes on the side. Unfortunately, it was not possible to attach hardware to the top. My designer also supported the frame with a small piece of wood at the bottom (see above).
I then filled the box with a mix I made from potting soil, sand, and lava rock. I was planning on succulents for the green wall, and the individual compartments do not drain, so I wanted a mix that would dry out quickly.
Next came the fun part: From my own garden and from volunteering at the Arizona Garden at Stanford I had collected a decent amount of succulents, some in temporary little pots, some still hardening.
I collected all the plants and stuck them in the box. I kept the box in a fairly vertical position, both to see the design and to see how the plants would do. I grouped similar colors and shapes. The initial design was a heart made of little rosette-shape succulents, but the colors I had available were too similar to make this stand out. Going forward, I'll work on collecting contrasting colors.
As I was standing at the potting bench, I was quite pleased. Only time would tell whether the succulents would survive - I was quite concerned about drainage - but I liked the combination of colors and textures.
Then, I went over to the wall across from the kitchen window to hang the piece. Now, I know we all love success stories, but I'm sorry to admit that because of a very slight outward angle at the top - maybe 1/4 inch - many of the little plants at the top fell out of their little compartment and tumbled to the ground. I had to return the box to a place where it is angled backward just a bit, and stick in the plants again. Now I'm hoping that in a few months they will have rooted enough to allow me to actually hang the thing. An alternative would be to angle the box from the bottom, but that would mean a larger supporting block and an extra block to create the angle.
I'll let you know in a few months how it all comes out. Meanwhile, I'm thinking about making something myself from fabric remnants - I mean, how hard can it be?
(Yeah, I said that before. Well, no matter, it's fun to try).