Vertical gardens may be topping the trends in all matters green, but they’re not always the easiest installations to maintain. Landscaper Sava Spasojevic gets around this prickly situation by creating vertical gardens exclusively with succulents. Easy to maintain and exceptionally beautiful, they make for both a practical and aesthetic way to fill empty wall spaces. HL spoke to Sava about why and how to go about setting up your own succulent artwork. Why is a succulent vertical garden a good alternative design idea? With the rapid growth in urban living there’s a big reduction in both space and actual gardens. That said, it is proven that plants can lower stress levels, increase concentration and generally add to your wellbeing, so it’s important to maintain some green in your home. By hanging plants on your wall you can incorporate them into even the smallest of spaces. Succulent vertical gardens will allow you to create your own designs limited only by your imagination. You can watch them grow and change over time, and as they are a living art piece, they will bring a sense of wonder into your home. Any tips for setting up a vertical garden? A vertical garden can be a wonderful DIY project and several internet sites have tutorials that will guide you through the process. There are some definite steps to follow though:
- Try your first project outdoors, as plants will need additional lighting when grown indoors.
- Plan your garden and then explore in local thrift shops. Recycling an existing suitable container will make your garden more unique, and give an added charm to your project.
- Be patient and allow the plants to take root properly in the new soil before hanging it.
- Match plants to the location of the garden and the variables associated with its location such as sun, shade and protection from frost.
Which succulents work best? There are many gorgeous varieties of Sempervivum (hen and chicks) and these plants are fantastically suited for succulent vertical gardens. Succulents are very forgiving and grow easily from cuttings. Experiment with as many as you can get your hands on. When selecting plants for your design make sure to choose small plants and pay attention to shape, texture and colour. How do you care for your succulent vertical garden? Succulent gardens require very little attention or water and are extremely well-suited to the South African climate. They will largely take care of themselves and only need to be ‘watered’ or rather sprayed once a week during summer and once every second week in winter. As these plants are sensitive to frost be sure to protect your garden during the colder months of the year. Avoid too much direct sun, as it will burn the plants. Maintain the garden by simply sticking in new plants if any area becomes bare due to a plant dying in your frame. It’s easy and really very hassle-free. Which materials work best as frames? The most important thing when choosing a frame is to assure that it will hold up against external conditions. Frames can be made out of metal, plastic or wood, but be sure to protect the frame itself against water, or it will rot or corrode and ruin your garden. In addition, calculate the weight of the completed frame when planning the fixing method for your garden. For more info or to have Sava create a beautiful succulent vertical garden for you, call 072-034-5459 or visit the Succulent Art Facebook page. Text: Roberta Coci