Home & Garden

Create a cascade of blooms

Author: Canadian Living

Home & Garden

Create a cascade of blooms

Dress up your garden with gorgeous bunches of flowers and lush fronds of greenery cascading down from a unique vertical arrangement designed to hang from a gate or fence.

This easy-to-make, easy-to-maintain planter is suitable for a large country garden, a small city lot, an apartment balcony or even a patio wall. Its creator, Jan Mather, a professional garden designer and author of Designing Alberta Gardens (Red Deer College Press, 1994), takes us through the four easy steps involved in making a hanging planter. Her expert advice on which plants to use for your project, along with helpful tips on watering, will ensure successful results and beautiful lasting blooms.

What a perfect way to spend a day outside – with a weekend project that with sprout colorful flowers all summer long.

Our finished hanging garden measures approx 30 x 120 cm (1 x 4 ft), but yours can be any size.

You need:
• 3/4-in plywood, 1 x 4 ft, for back
• 3/4-in plywood, 6 x 12 in, for bottom
• Heavy-gauge black plastic, 61 x 150 cm (2 X 5ft)
• Perforated rubber tubing or old garden hose, 120 cm (4 ft)
• Stucco wire, 61 x 150 cm
• Annual plants, about 100
• Premixed soilless mix and slow-release fertilizer, 2 cubic ft
• 2 elbow brackets, 6 in, with wood screws
• Galvanized nails, 1/2 in
• No. 12 wood screws, 2 in
• Heavy-duty staple gun and staples
• Hand drill with 1/4-in bit
• Hammer
• Utility knife
• Wood block to tamp soil, about 4 ft long

Page 1 of 2 – Begin your hanging flower planter with instructions and tips on page 2.

Flowers that work best
Choose plants that are suited to the area you live in.

For sun-loving annuals, try some nasturtiums, sweet alyssum, lobelia and cascading petunias; for shady areas, try tuberous begonias, fuchsias, pansies, ivy, Martha Washington geraniums and impatiens.

Use trailing fonds of ivy to attractively set off flowering plants in a planter, Kenilworth ivy is particularly suited to shady areas.

To make:
Take a look at step-by-step photographed instructions.

1. Lay out supplies in work area. Position elbow brackets about 20 cm (8 in) apart on fence or gate where you want the bottom of the planter to sit. Fasten with screws. The planter will eventually sit on these brackets. Drill a hole in the centre of the 6- x 12-in plywood bottom for drainage.

2. Align 6- x 12-in plywood bottom with 1 end of 1- x 4-ft plywood back to form an L shape. Nail in place with 3 nails.

3. Place stucco wire flat on ground, then cover wire with plastic sheet. Place plywood L on plastic with plywood bottom facing down. Bend wire and plastic up over plywood L so they overlap the back, side edges and bottom by 5 cm (2 in) only. Using staple gun, secure the bottom and side to form a pocket. Leave top open to fill.

4. Lean planter against gate or fence with pocket facing out. Insert tubing into centre of pocket lengthwise. Add 1 gallon of soilless mix. Cut small Xs in plastic, staggering them 5 cm apart. Insert 1 annual in each hole. Tamp soil. Continue as above until pocket is full. Fill in top with annuals. Place planter on elbow brackets and secure at top with wood screws.

Designer's tips:
• The tubing should be visible at the top of the vertical garden to facilitate watering. Water as often as necessary, keeping in mind that the top of the planter dries out faster than the bottom.

• Attach a clear plastic sheet to the gate or fence behind the planter to protect it from water damage.

• To establish a focal point in your yard, accent an existing structure, such as an arbour, with a hanging vertical arrangement.

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Home & Garden

Create a cascade of blooms