Hello my little chick peas out there, and happy Wednesday! I’ve been extolling the virtues of succulents all week, and I’m not about to quit now. Not when I have so many cool things to show you!
Like this birdcage. Oooh, pretty! You see why I’m obsessing over succulents?
You may notice that I used a clipping from Nebraska, my Wandering Jew (Tradescantia zebrina). Nebraska’s not a succulent, but I didn’t see any reason why her babies wouldn’t grow as well as the succulents. I’m a little worried about the zebrina’s ability to handle the hot New Mexico sun, but I’m going to hang the birdcage from a tree in the back yard, hopefully that’ll protect it.
Practically anything can become a piece of living art. An old birdcage from the thrift store. A basket. For my projects, I’ve specifically been looking for items that I can hang on my garden wall, or hang from trees. If you’re considering making living art or a vertical garden, don’t limit your creativity to something you hang on walls. You can make a living tower with chicken wire filled with soil. This is an especially great way to grow herbs if you have limited outdoor space.
Some things to remember while choosing a container: 1) keep it to a manageable size, especially if you planning on bringing it in your home during the winter; 2) make sure the material won’t fall apart when you water (I prefer containers made of metal or wood because then I can soak the whole creation and not worry about water damage); 3) choose a container that is fairly lightweight, because once you add wet soil, it’s going to get a whole lot heavier.
Here are the steps I took to create the birdcage garden:
I put mesh around the inside of the cage. This is the same mesh I used yesterday – I got it from the floral department of the crafts store. It won’t completely hold all the soil but that’s ok because it’ll be an outdoor piece.
The next step is to add soil. Most succulents are fine to live in moss alone, but they appreciate the soil. I want this to be a healthy hanging garden, so that’s why I’m a fan of the soil.
I added the moss to the sides – it sticks to the mesh – and then I watered the whole thing, including the moss. Then I prepared the plants.
They’re little now, but succulents grow quickly. In a few months, this birdcage garden will be flourishing. The succulents represented here are Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum tectorum) and a couple of different types of sedum, I also have a little lemon Thyme, even though it’s not a succulent.
I planted some of the plants on the inside of the cage. I hope they explode with growth!
As I’ve been saying the last few days, projects like creating living art are great for kids. If you can introduce them to succulents, you can instill a lifelong love of nature. And because you can use practically anything as a container, chances are you already have items in your house you can use.
If you are inspired to create something, I hope you share it so we can all see.
Tomorrow I’ll show you what I created with a simple basket, and a couple of other interesting thrift store finds. Friday I’ll be back with a brand-new Ask the Experts – it’s a special Easter edition. If you’ve not yet left your guess for the plant puzzler, you still have time. Hope to see you back here tomorrow! Until then, happy gardening everyone!