Intrigued by the concept of growing vertically, I began researching the “Living Wall.” http://www.livingwallart.com/There are a variety of different concepts, from placing potted plants in a wooden grid to actually planting in burlap sacks tied to a chain link fence. http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Living-Wall Some designers have created plant spaces for attaching to an existing wall while others are using the wall as a base, attaching their plants to moss covered cinder blocks. I have several fences, open spaces and a need for color and texture at my NC home. I also wanted to be able to plant and then move my structure to another location. I also wanted to keep costs down, use pre-made materials and shop locally for plants. My total cost (January 2011), including plants, was $75.00.
I began with at my local dollar store where I found green net laundry bags. These would be stapled to the back of the trellis, creating pockets for soil and plants. At my large box store, I bought the white 24″ x 72″ trellis, the moisture control soil, the staple gun with 5/8″ staples and two flats of bedding plants. A visit to the other large box store in the area yielded a few different varieties of the Pansies/Violas and some small pots of Ivy. Time to assemble the “wall.”
I cut all strings from the laundry bags and stapled them in each square of the trellis. Each pocket would hold approximately one cup (8 oz) of soil and the plant, while water would be able to seep through the holes in the net bag for drainage.
Resting the trellis on pots to support the entire length, I planted from the front, 1-2 seedlings per square, depending on the size of the seedling. The trellis was watered thoroughly while flat to allow all squares to be saturated and the plants to settle.
Propped at a 45 degree angle for one week after planting, the trellis with plants settling into the pockets of net.
Relocated to a sunnier location, the planted trellis is sturdy when propped against a railing and can be watered from the back. Watering from the rear keeps the plants moist and the soil from running down the trellis. After two weeks, the plants are flowering, the soil is being covered by the plants and the structure is in its final location. The squares of the trellis and soil are beginning to disappear behind a wall of pansies.
Use of drip irrigation or misters for more permanent walls would require installation of the tubing prior to the soil and planting.