9 Succulents In the Garden

Succulents are a modern and water-wise way to beautify your garden. They complement almost any landscaping, and can also be used to enhance your typical garden decor. The wonderful thing about planting your succulents in containers, rather than in the ground, is that you can easily move them around your garden as the seasons change, providing them with the best possible living conditions. If an arrangement is receiving too much or not enough light, simply move it to a more suitable position. In this chapter, we will be creating nine unique projects that can be tailored to match your home’s garden style—whether you have 10 acres of land or an urban windowsill.

SUCCULENT BIRDCAGE​

SUCCULENT BIRDCAGE

Birdcages are a classic garden accessory. You may have seen them filled with candles or overflowing with flowers, but nothing is quite as showstopping as a birdcage spilling over with gorgeous, cascading succulents. Look for inexpensive vintage birdcages at local antique shops or garage sales.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Birdcage
  • Moss
  • Pebbles
  • Soil
  • Succulents

WHAT TO DO

  • Line the perimeter of your birdcage with moss to create a barrier to keep your soil inside.
  • Add a layer of pebbles and well-draining soil.
  • Plant succulents in your birdcage. Use cascading succulents around the perimeter of the birdcage for dramatic effect.

CARE INSTRUCTIONS

Place your birdcage in an area of your garden that receives bright but indirect sunlight and a few hours of direct sunlight throughout the day. Water when the soil is completely dry.

Customize your birdcage by spray-painting it one of your favorite colors before you add your succulents.

VERTICAL FRAMED SUCCULENT GARDEN

VERTICAL FRAMED SUCCULENT GARDEN

It’s no wonder vertical succulent gardens are rising in popularity—they are easy to customize, don’t take up valuable ground space, and can be decorated to your liking. Whether you are an urban gardener with limited space or simply want to create some living art, vertical succulent gardens are a sophisticated way to add a one-of-a-kind accent to your garden.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • 8″ × 10″ Wood Picture
  • Frame
  • Mesh Wire
  • Wire Cutters
  • Two Pieces of 1⁄4″ × 1.5″ ×
  • 8″ Craft Wood
  • Two Pieces of 1⁄4″ × 1.5″ ×
  • 10″ Craft Wood
  • Staple Gun and Staples
  • Saw
  • Thin Plywood
  • Frame Hooks (Optional)
  • Soil
  • Pencil or similar pointy
  • tool
  • Succulent Cuttings
  • Moss

WHAT TO DO

  • Place your frame face down on your workspace. Cut your mesh wire to fit the back opening of your frame and lay it in the opening. When you staple the sides of the box to the frame, the wire gets trapped there and will hold.
  • Now we’ll make extra support for the inside of the frame, to hold the soil. Take your 1⁄4" pieces of craft wood and staple them to the inside lips of your frame, trapping the wire mesh between the back of the frame and the wood pieces.
  • This is what the back of the completed frame looks like.
  • Cut your plywood to the dimensions of the opening and staple to the wood sides, creating a bottom for your soil box.
  • At this point, you may want to add a wire, frame hooks, or another hanging mechanism to the back of your frame, if you plan to hang it once the cuttings have rooted.
  • Turn your frame over so it’s right-side up and add soil through the mesh wire. Use your hand to push the soil through the mesh wire. Shake the frame to settle the soil, making room for more.
  • Use a pencil (or similar pointy tool) to create a hole in the soil for the stem of your plant.
  • Begin planting your succulent cuttings.
  • You are creating a living work of art, so be creative with your design. Make it interesting by grouping similar plants together, add one or two larger plants to catch the viewer’s eye, or create waves of similar plants.
  • Use your moss to fill in any empty space and to cover any mesh wire that may be showing.
  • Keep your frame horizontal for about six weeks, or until roots have established. You can check this by looking for new growth or tugging lightly on your plants. If the plants remove easily from the soil, they need more time to take root.
  • Once your plants have taken root, choose where you will hang your masterpiece.

CARE INSTRUCTIONS

Your frame will do best with bright, filtered, or indirect sunlight throughout the day. If you hang the frame indoors, place it near a south-facing window. You will need to lay the frame horizontally when you water. Water it about every two weeks (monthly when it’s colder) or when the soil is totally dry. Let the soil fully drain before replacing the frame on the wall. Remove dried leaves periodically to keep your frame planter looking its best!

If you are hanging your vertical garden on a wall, it’s a good idea to add a frame hook to each side of your frame, giving you the option to rotate it every couple of weeks. Over time, succulents tend to grow toward the sun. To keep your plants from stretching in a certain direction, rotate the frame often.

SUCCULENT BIRD NEST

Tucking a succulent-filled bird nest into some branches in your garden is a charming way to display your plants. Your nest will be an organic and natural-feeling addition to your outdoor space. You can find a variety of nests at local craft stores. This is a great piece to feature in springtime.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Nest, approximately 10″ in
  • diameter
  • Moss
  • Soil
  • Succulents
  • Plastic Bird or Eggs

WHAT TO DO

  • Line your nest with moss to keep your soil from falling through the twigs over time.
  • Fill your nest with well-draining soil.
  • Plants succulents in your nest.
  • Add decorative accessories, such as a plastic bird or eggs.​

CARE INSTRUCTIONS

Place your bird nest in an area of your garden that receives bright but indirect sunlight.

If you are hanging your vertical garden on a wall, it’s a good idea to add a frame hook to each side of your frame, giving you the option to rotate it every couple of weeks. Over time, succulents tend to grow toward the sun. To keep your plants from stretching in a certain direction, rotate the frame often.

VERTICAL PALLET SHELF GARDEN

VERTICAL PALLET SHELF GARDEN

Any kind of vertical garden is a great space saver and can add interest to your outdoor space without taking up too much precious ground space. This pallet garden is easy to construct—you can even find small pallets like this one at craft stores. Feel free to customize this gem by painting or staining it. Whether you upcycle an old pallet or purchase a new one, it’s sure to be one of your favorite garden accessories.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Pallet
  • Landscape Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Staple Gun and Staples
  • Plywood (if necessary)
  • Soil
  • Succulents

WHAT TO DO

  • If your pallet is not the size you want it to be, first cut it down to the size you want.
  • You are going to start off by creating “shelves” out of your landscape fabric. Cut strips that are a little bit longer and wider than the inside area of each level so that you can staple them to the insides of the pallet slats.
  • Staple your landscape fabric to the inside of the pallet. If you want your pallet garden to be aesthetically pleasing from all angles, be sure not to staple the fabric to the outside of the pallet. My pallet was purchased at a craft store and had an open back. This made stapling the landscape fabric into place a breeze. If your pallet does not have an open back, you may need to remove a couple of slats to get a good angle with your staple gun.
  • If your pallet has an open back, you will need to enclose it with wood slats. (If you removed slats to add the fabric, simply staple them back into place.) You can create new slats by cutting any comparable wood (I used a thin plywood) to match the size of your existing slats and then staple them into place.
  • Fill each level with a well-draining succulent soil.
  • Choose and arrange your succulents. Since this pallet garden uses a shelving system, you can plant your succulents in the shelves vertically and they are ready to go from day one (no waiting for roots to take hold before hanging!). Look for cascading succulents or plants that will grow outward from the pallet.

CARE INSTRUCTIONS

Place your pallet in an area of your garden that receives bright but indirect sunlight and a few hours of direct sunlight throughout the day. Water when the soil is completely dry.

Take advantage of having an open shelf system in your pallet garden! If you prefer to have your pallet visible from the front and back, you can plant succulents on the reverse side as well.

VERTICAL PALLET SHELF GARDEN

BIRDBATH

Birdbaths are a quintessential piece of garden decor that helps you create an enchanting space. Planting succulents in your birdbath will take a classic garden design element and make it new and interesting.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Birdbath
  • Pebbles
  • Soil
  • Succulents

WHAT TO DO

  • Fill your birdbath with soil.
  • Arrange your succulents. Pick two or three bigger succulents as attention-grabbing centerpieces and surround with smaller filler plants. Use some cascading succulents over the edges of the birdbath.

CARE INSTRUCTIONS

Place your birdbath in an area of your garden that receives bright but indirect sunlight and a few hours of direct sunlight throughout the day. Water when the soil is completely dry.

CINDERBLOCK GARDEN

Cinderblock gardens are perfect for the urban gardener with limited space, or the design-conscious gardener with a modern flair. The softness of the plants takes the edge off what might otherwise be a stark part of your landscape. The concrete blocks make perfect containers for succulents, and the wire screen bottoms you’ll add provide excellent drainage.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Cinderblocks
  • Wire Cutters
  • Wire Screen
  • Soil
  • Succulents

WHAT TO DO

  • Decide on a formation for your cinderblock garden. Get creative!
  • Use your wire cutters to cut your wire screen to the dimensions of your cinderblocks.
  • Place your wire screen under the highest cinderblock on each level of your garden. This will save a lot of soil.
  • Fill only the cinderblocks that will hold plants with soil and plant your succulents in them. Choose plants of different sizes, colors, and textures to create visual interest. Add cascading succulents to the highest blocks.

CARE INSTRUCTIONS

Place your cinderblock garden in an area that receives bright but indirect sunlight and a few hours of direct sunlight throughout the day. Water when the soil is completely dry.

BIRDHOUSE

Birdhouses are a fun and functional way to add charm to your garden while providing shelter for a feathered friend. The woodsy moss and gorgeous succulents will have the birds in your garden fighting over this prized real estate!

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Wood Birdhouse
  • Six pieces of 1⁄4″-thick Craft Wood
  • Tape Measure
  • Saw
  • Staple Gun and Staples
  • Mesh Hardware Cloth
  • Wire Cutters
  • Succulent Soil
  • Sphagnum Moss
  • Pencil or similar pointy tool
  • Succulent Cuttings
  • Floral Pins
  • Hot Glue
  • Decorative Moss

WHAT TO DO

  • Measure and cut your 1⁄4"-thick craft wood to the lengths of the sides of your birdhouse’s roof. You will need two smaller pieces for the bases of the roof and four longer pieces for the sides.
  • Staple your craft wood pieces to the roof of your birdhouse, creating rooftop boxes to hold your succulents. Try to staple from angles where the staples will not be visible from the front.
  • Now, measure the pitch of your roof and cut a piece of mesh wire hardware cloth that will fit over the top of your new succulent box.
  • Staple your mesh wire to your succulent box, creating a new roof.
  • Fill the slopes of your roof with soil. If you would rather not use soil, you can fill the entire succulent box with sphagnum moss.
  • Fill empty space at the peak of your roof with sphagnum moss.
  • Use a pencil or similar pointy tool to create a hole in the soil or moss where you want to insert your succulent cutting.
  • Begin planting your succulents. Use floral pins to hold your plants in place if necessary.
  • Plant a larger succulent in the sphagnum moss at the peak of your birdhouse facing forward.
  • Hot-glue moss to the edges of your roof to hide any mesh wire that may still be showing.

CARE INSTRUCTIONS

Place your succulent-topped birdhouse where it will receive plenty of bright, indirect sunlight. Water when the soil is dry.

SUCCULENT CHAIR

SUCCULENT CHAIR

A chair planter is a great way to add character to your garden. This DIY came about because we found these cute metal chairs, but no pots or baskets would fit into the seat opening. So, of course, when you can’t buy, you’ve gotta DIY! Metal chair pot-holders like this one are available at some garden centers and online.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Metal Chair
  • Coconut Fiber Planter Liner
  • Screwdriver
  • Jute Twine
  • Transparent Tape
  • Scissors
  • Soil
  • Succulents

WHAT TO DO

  • Start by fitting your coconut fiber planter liner into the seat hole of your chair. If your liner is too big, simply fold it so that it overlaps and fits into the opening.
  • Take your liner out and use a screwdriver to create holes along the upper edge. Be sure not to place your holes too close to the edge.
  • Tie one end of your jute twine to the rim of the chair and wrap the other end with tape to keep it from fraying. You will be using the twine to “sew” your liner to the chair, so make sure you give yourself plenty of length to work with.
  • Begin sewing your liner to the rim of your chair. You may need to use your screwdriver to reopen the holes along the way if the twine doesn’t easily fit into the holes.
  • Once you have made it all the way around the circle, tie your twine and cut off any remaining length.
  • Lightly fill your awesome new chair planter with soil. Don’t pack it in tightly, as you don’t want to stretch out the liner.
  • Plant your succulents! Start by adding your tallest plants in the back and work your way forward. Choose two or three plants to be your attention-grabbers, or focal points. They can be brightly colored or slightly bigger than the other plants to set them apart. Fill in any empty space with smaller plants so that you don’t have a lot of soil showing.

CARE INSTRUCTIONS

Place your succulent-filled chair where it will receive plenty of bright, indirect sunlight. Water when the soil is dry.

Over time, the coconut fiber liner may thin because of the weight of the soil and plants. It’s a good idea to reinforce your liner. You can do this by looping your twine all the way under the liner, creating a support system. If you don’t like the look of the twine against the coconut fiber, try using clear fishing wire.

POTTED PALLET GARDEN

POTTED PALLET GARDEN

Everyone loves the look of an upcycled pallet, but sometimes heavy pallet gardens can be hard to relocate. If you’re like me and prefer to move your plants around your garden throughout the year, this potted pallet garden is a great option. Not only is it lighter in weight than a typical pallet garden, but your pots can be rotated, giving your plants even sun exposure to keep them from stretching toward the sun.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Galvanized Steel Hanger Tape
  • Terra Cotta Pots
  • Tin Snips
  • Measuring Tape
  • Pencil or Pen
  • Pallet
  • Drill and Screws

WHAT TO DO

  • Wrap your hanger tape around one of your terra cotta pots until it overlaps by one or two holes.
  • Cut the hanger tape with your tin snips.
  • Use your first cut piece of hanger tape as a guide to cut additional pieces. Cut a piece for each pot you want to hang.
  • Use your measuring tape and pencil or pen to mark on the pallet where you want to place your pots.
  • Wrap each cut piece of hanger tape into a circle.
  • Place a screw through the overlapping hole.
  • Screw your hanger tape rings onto the pallet.
  • Place your pots into the hanger tape rings and then plant your succulents, or vice versa.

CARE INSTRUCTIONS

Place your pallet in an area of your garden that receives bright but indirect sunlight and a few hours of direct sunlight throughout the day. You may want to remove your pots when watering to avoid muddy water dripping onto your lower plants.

Customize your pallet garden by painting your pallet or your pots.

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