You don't need a lot of land or space to cultivate a beautiful garden. Even city dwellers with limited space can create beautiful hanging gardens with a little imagination and the right hardware. Learn how to display your plants, herbs and flowers in a living painting and bring some green into your environment.
Hanging gardens are one of the latest trends in urban horticulture. From the new living façade at the Glendale Galleria near Los Angeles to the magical living wall at London’s Athenaeum Hotel, hanging gardens offer a natural respite for urbanites trapped in the city. If you’ve always wanted a garden but don’t have a yard, create a hanging garden for yourself to enjoy the beauty of nature inside and out.
Planning Your Hanging Gardens
First, decide on a space for your new masterpiece. You’ll need different plants for indoor and outdoor settings, and you’ll also want to choose varieties that are well suited for your location and climate. Succulents are easy to take care of, and their sturdy nature creates a solid structure for hanging gardens. If you’re planning to hang your garden in the kitchen, you may want to plant your favorite herbs to have on hand. Air plants work well and require little upkeep, and flowers work too – just skip annuals in favor of perennials, so that your artwork will last a longer than one season.
Indoor Hanging Gardens
Purchase a collection of small rectangular flowerpots, buy ready-made hanging planters (like the Chive Pod pictured above) or create your own rugged look with repurposed jars from home. Choose identical planters for a streamlined look, or go eclectic with different colors, shapes and sizes.
You’ll want to fill your containers with soil and plants before you begin to arrange them. Most of these planters won’t have drainage holes, so be sure to add a layer of small pebbles on the bottom to provide room for runoff.
Decide where you want each planter to go, drawing out a plant map if you need to. Using heavy-duty wire and/or wall hooks, either mount your hanging gardens directly to the wall, or suspend them from the ceiling for a more delicate look.
Outdoor Hanging Gardens
To achieve a more cohesive, painting-style look with your garden, start with a vertical garden frame. Purchase one from your local garden store, order one online or if you’re handy with the hammer, make your own.
A vertical planter is basically just a wide, shallow box separated into cells. Many have channels for easy outside watering and drainage, but if you want an indoor garden you can always just take it off the wall to water it. Start small if that’s your plan, because these gardens can become quite heavy once saturated with water.
When choosing plants, opt for a variety of colors and textures to create the best effect. Lay your planting board flat and then nestle each plant into a separate cell, using additional organic potting soil to pack it all in firmly. You’ll need to leave your garden on the ground for one month while the roots connect with each other and the base.
Finally, mount the garden on a sturdy wall, door or fence. Step back and admire your masterpiece!
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