Vertical gardens all the rage

HANG UP IDEA: If you’re stuck for space or perplexed by an expanse of empty wall, a hanging garden could be your green solution. This idea is ideal for succulents and hardy grasses that need very little care and water: choose a cylindrical container that sits comfortably against the wall and plant up a selection of plants with interesting shapes and colours. FOOD FOR THOUGHT:Edible hanging herb and vegetable gardens are increasingly being seen in urban environments – all you need is plenty of sunlight, a little protection and something from which to hang your container. Choose companion plants like basil and tomatoes and plant them up in a single container.

ON SHOW IDEA: Incorporate plants and cuttings into your interior space. Glass containers and lab jars help create a mini conservatory where the exposed roots themselves become part of the “installation”. This idea is a good short cut to having an indoor garden and looks great with plants like bamboo; it’s also ideal if you’re on a budget – it may take longer but nurturing cuttings until they are ready to be planted is very rewarding.

For orchids, rest the plant on pebbles with enough water for humidity and for watsonia bulbs, do not allow the water level to cover the bulbs.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: You can’t keep plants growing on water alone.Ask your local nursery for a nutrient feed that will keep them healthy and rotate plants often, planting those that have developed a healthy root system into the soil.

UPCYCLED GARDEN IDEA: You’ll be surprised what cast-off items can become integral to healthy and happy plants. Fill an orange bag with a mix of moss, sand and pebbles for drainage and leave to hang in a moist position where there is good filtered light. Once the moss has developed nicely, tuck plants into the moss and soil mix, dip the bag in water and hang in a suitable space. FOOD FOR THOUGHT:Ideal for use when growing seedlings for later transplant or as a series of edible options.

CONTAIN IT IDEA: You don’t have to spend a fortune on a series of containers for a potted garden or green indoor installation. Discarded copper lighting components and PVC piping could work. FOOD FOR THOUGHT:Whatever you use, you need to ensure you have proper drainage – drill holes in the bottom of your plastic container to allow excess water to seep out, or add a 5cm layer of gravel at the bottom. Plus, adding one lump of charcoal from the braai to the gravel will keep the water sweet and the plants happy.

DECO PLANT IDEA: There is a wealth of sculptural plants that can be used to make a style statement in any home, such as cacti and succulents. FOOD FOR THOUGHT:Marrying your plants with a container that echoes the sentiment – like a paint tin teamed with a lean cactus – creates a striking effect. Cacti and succulents are very hardy.

VERTICAL CHALLENGE IDEA: Create a mini garden using pallet wood nailed together into a neat grid and criss- crossed with fishing gut. Plant it up with epiphytes or “air plants”, plants that can grow without soil and mounted onto a host, in this case the wooden wall-mounted grid. FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Bromeliads are famously popular as at-home epiphyte choices, as are some species of orchids. Watering is best done by removing the installation, submerging it and the plants in water for up to 20 minutes, then draining it well.

OUTDOORS IN IDEA: Grow your own oxygen-producing indoor jungle with a host of plants and ferns. From sculptural ferns to hanging baskets and those ’70s potted classics, the love palm and the delicious monster, more is definitely more. FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Potted plants benefit from a mix of indoor and outdoor living. Allowing plants that look like they’re past their prime to recover outdoors before moving them back inside for your pleasure is always a good idea. Some plants can be brought inside when they flower too: orchids and agapanthus are a good example.© Home Weekly

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