by Shelly Mckinney
Many of us Space Coast residents who live beachside are blessed with having the sand and surf at our fingertips, but struggle with growing gorgeous gardens that can withstand the area’s salty and windy conditions. For those who live in beachfront condos with small balconies as their only outdoor gardening space, it becomes even more challenging to showcase summertime blooms.
Today’s succulent vertical gardens are offering a solution for these residents, however, by adding some green to the wall space of their boring balconies, and by bringing their gardens to eye level. Another benefit of vertical gardens is that most take the bending and kneeling out of the plant care.
To get started, all you will need is a vertical garden system ($35 – $40); good potting soil; 10 four-inch succulents, ferns or herbs; and two screws to hold the system’s bracket to whatever type of wall you’re drilling into (stucco, concrete, wood, etc.).
Vertical gardens are the new rage so there are several different brands of systems on the market. My favorite is GroVert made by Bright Green, a USA-based company. Not only is this system great for succulents, but it’s also great for an herb garden, a fern garden for shade, or an orchid garden for bathrooms (orchids love the humidity from showers). You can also connect the planters together and build a whole wall system if you catch the “vertical fever” like I have!
To get started, decide where you’re going to hang your vertical garden and then install the system. It is important to level the bracket on your wall so it will hang squarely. Remember to do this before you plant your system so you can simply place the system on the wall when your garden is ready.
Next, choose correct succulents for your light and watering needs. Ask a representative at your local garden center to help you with this. Sedums (a succulent), for example, hang down, so it’s best to use sedums at the bottom of your system so as they grow out they don’t hide the rest of your blooms. Use your imagination and make it fun!
After you have planted your system, lay it down horizontally in a bright location and mist it every two days for two weeks so that it will root before you place it on the wall. After two weeks, it’ll be ready to go vertical.
Bright Green also has an irrigation accessory that attaches to the top of the system. It can be filled with water weekly to feed and hydrate your succulent vertical garden. Frames are available in different colors and wood stains to enhance the look of your vertical wall garden.
It’s that easy and that fun. The possibilities are endless!
Shelly McKinney is the owner of Elbow Creek Garden & Gift in the Eau Gallie Arts District. Elbow Creek is part garden center, part boutique, offering beautifying home and garden gifts, as well as gardening workshops. For more information, visit ElbowCreekGarden.com.