Decorating Outdoors

Published on | Log Homes |Leroy Walker

Hanging Gardens Exude Their Own Personality!

Are you looking for ways of adding eye-catching flowers and foliage to your home’s porch, patio, shed, deck or garden area that won’t take up ground-space? If you are thinking of incorporating any kind of hanging garden to any outside areas of your home, you may have already discovered that the choices are limitless. Hanging gardens are also known as ‘vertical gardens’ or ‘green walls’ and they allow for luscious-colored flowers and greenery of all types to add beauty and charm to any wall, nook or cranny.

Here are some nifty hanging-garden ideas that can beautify your home’s outside ambiance and transform smaller or larger areas into natural works of art!

What’s In A Name?

For this project, you’ll want to use a specific kind of foliage known as ‘succulents’, which will be described in just a bit. The idea behind this project is to use very plain, elongated flower boxes of various lengths in order to form a letter of the alphabet that represents a last name or even an entire word such as ‘WELCOME’.   If we were to choose the letter ‘T’, for example, a longer flowerbox would from the stem of the ‘T’ while a shorter flowerbox would make up the top crossbar. The boxes would be anchored together or independently drilled into a wooden wall—perhaps on a gardening shed or a wall in a patio or deck area. Flowerboxes made from wood, plastic or tin work very well.

Once the flower boxes have been drilled into a wall, you’ll fill each with plenty of packed soil along with mini-succulents. Succulents are a type of plant with thick, plump, fleshy leaves that won’t droop or hang which is important since you don’t want to compromise the appearance of the outline of each letter you might create—you want the lettered planters to be as visually recognizable as possible without leaves overpowering the letters’ perimeters.

Succulents are an ideal choice for this project since the soil doesn’t require constant moisture, enabling it to remain more stable and fixed in place. Succulents are extremely hearty and retain water well, in-spite of their small root systems; and they come in a variety of luscious colors!

This adorable project will exclusively personalize any outside area of your home!

Calling All Colanders:

Colanders—who would’ve thought they could create the perfect hanging-garden motif?   Colanders filled with your favorite flowers and greenery can be achieved very inexpensively since 2nd-hand outlets frequently have a variety of these strainers in-stock for about a dollar or a bit more! Whether plastic, porcelain or the metal variety, they can be easily coated with any color you desire, using outdoor spray-paint.   Or, perhaps you would like to keep all your colanders one color—maybe a sassy brass, or two alternating colors such as cobalt-blue and lemon-yellow!

Hanging is easy: just cut the bottom section of a regular wire hanger and slip cut ends through openings on both sides of colander, and secure. The top of the hanger will grab hold of a stationary hook or short, dangling chain from above—easy, breezy!

Multiple colanders can form a gorgeous hanging garden in a corner of a deck or porch, especially when they are hung at various levels; and each colander will already have the required holes and slots to allow for water drainage.   It’s the collection of colanders that makes this hanging garden so cute, creative, cheerful and clever!

Canning-Jar Cuties:

Canning-jars aren’t just for canning anymore and they, quite honestly, have never gone out of style! They are very in vogue: these little glass cuties--complete with handles intended as coffee mugs--and over-sized 1 and 2-quart versions that are used as beverage dispensers are sold virtually everywhere and remain a classic kitchen item.  There’s another truly delightful application for these glass vessels, and that is as planters!

If you have an empty wall anywhere on your deck, patio or porch that is craving some character, canning-jars that serve as planters can become a real conversation piece. The idea is to attach canning jars, filled with plants, and attach them to planks of wood.   Simply take multiple 2 X 4 planks of lumber and have them cut to lengths that suit your wall space; and the more weathered the planks are, the better, since weathered wood offers a worn, woodsy appearance. You, also, have the option of painting the planks a single color or multiple colors. If you are interested in a Mediterranean or South-of-the-border feel, for example, painting planks green/blues, burnt-oranges, creamy browns, mustard-yellows and rusty-reds can all combine to make a wall area truly ‘pop’ with personality!

Once the planks are anchored to a wall horizontally or vertically, the canning jars are attached to the wood planks with half-circle metal bands that hug the middle of each jar. The ends of each band have pre-drilled holes for screwing the bands in place. Positioning the jars on the planks about 6 to 8 inches apart will allow for your choice of plants to fill out as they mature without completely covering the 2 X 4s which provide a decorative element. Voile`!   Your once-mundane wall is alive with colors, textures, flowers and foliage that will get noticed and admired!

Get Going With Gutters!

If you have old gutters, save them! If you don’t have any to save, simply buy some and allow this hanging-garden idea to spruce up any area surrounding your home! The idea, here, is to repurpose gutters into planters that would be attached to an outside wall.   You’ll want to cut gutters into 2-foot lengths or longer and give them a coat of paint in colors that would complement outdoor furniture or outside accessories. Gutters with end caps are especially well-suited as planters, but if no end caps are available, simply block the ends of the gutters with heavy aluminum foil that will wrap around both ends to keep any soil from seeping out when watered. You’ll, also, want to make sure small holes are drilled into the bottoms of the gutters to allow for water drainage.

Drill one of the inside walls of each gutter onto an exterior wooden wall so the gutters are all positioned horizontally. If you have a barren wall on a gardening shed or in your patio area, it can get a new lease on life!   Stagger the gutters and randomly positon them for an uneven look.  In no time, at all, a once-bare wall will take on an ‘attention-seeking personality’!

As a second option, you can drill one capped-end of each gutter into a wooden pole, creating a perpendicular attachment.   Place one gutter above the other, traveling upwards along the pole. Filling the gutters with vines that will droop will create an eye-catching wall of cascading greenery!

Repurpose That Pallet!

Pallets offer a wonderful venue for creating a hanging garden that can be placed anywhere your heart desires! Even though pallets can be attached to walls, another option is to add a wooden stand (any novice carpenter can rig up a simple one) to securely support the pallet to keep it standing upright. You can also lean a plant-filled pallet up against an empty corner on a front porch or back deck—very cozy!

Place size-appropriate pots into the slots; and once the pots are positioned and secure, fill them soil, gorgeous flowers and vines.  With some pallets, you’ll be able to fill the entire pallet with soil, assuming the backs of the pallets are one solid wall. Get ready for family and friends to be delightfully impressed!

No two hanging gardens are alike; and when you add flora of different colors, textures, sizes and shapes, you can’t help but create stunning, tranquil, living/breathing works of art!