Project of the Week

Vertical Gardens

vertical gardens

You’ll Need

  • planting mix & sheet moss
  • plain or plastic-coated chicken wire
  • fine-mesh screen
  • stapler
  • succulents


  1. To create a vertical planter like the one at left, start by building a “tray” to plant in. Be sure it has a waterproof back and make it approximately 4" deep. Fill the tray with a good-quality planting mix and top with a layer of sheet moss. The moss will keep the soil in place when the tray is hung.
  2. Cover all the soil and moss with a fine-mesh screen and staple or nail it to the tray. (Use plain or plastic-coated chicken wire; hardware cloth has openings that are too small to insert the root balls of even the smallest of seedlings.) I’ve seen sturdy, black plastic nursery trays used for these gardens, but it is important to remember how heavy the planter will be when filled with soil, plants, and water. A drip-irrigation system is a good way to ensure an adequate and slow, but steady, water supply. Walls of succulents will need less water than ferns or food crops.
  3. Or create a stunning companion-planting display at home. The Idaho Botanical Garden wove several large flowering General Sikorsky purple clematis and nodding, bell-shaped, pale blue Macropetala clematis, through dozens of pale pink New Dawn climbing roses. If you are lucky enough to be there in late May or June, when purple wisteria cascades through it all, you’ll find yourself in a beautiful tunnel of flowers.

©MaryJanesFarm · POB 8691, Moscow, ID 83843 · ·