Since it’s Memorial Day and the unofficial 1st day of summer today, I thought I’d share with you my latest outdoor project. I made DIY’d an easy outdoor living wall! I have to say I am delighted with how this one turned out. It’s something I have wanted to add a living wall to an outdoor space forever, and I finally decided to go for it. I am sharing how I made it, why I choose the plants I did, and what I will do differently next year!
I decided to add the wall to our outdoor space at the Airbnb. After all, we are working on refreshing this area because we had a large space. Once I had chosen the space, I decided it would be fun for the guests if I added a Giant Letter Board to leave welcome messages on. I’ll share that portion of the DIY in an upcoming post.
Step One: Measuring the space, so I knew how large I wanted the overall structure. I knew I did not want something permanent. So I wanted something that would lean rather be attached to the house. I wanted something we could change if we decide to sell the house.
We started with 2- 4 x 8 pieces of plywood that we cut 6 inches from, giving us a frame of 7 ft x 8 ft.
We then secured them together with one strip of plywood from what we had cut off the original pieces to the back of the plywood to give it some additional support.
Once we had our base, we built a frame around it. I wanted the plants to sit inside a frame. We secured with screws 4- 2 x 4 x 8 pieces which we cut to size all along the outside.
Once the frame was completed, I stained the plywood with Minwax Early American stain and the frame with Minwax Ebony a black for some contrast. Then I used 3 coats of polyurethane to seal the entire piece for added protection against the elements. I will probably add another coat in the fall.
Now it was time to add the vertical grow pockets. They are made of a heavy-grade felt material. I used these large vertical wall pockets for 4.5-inch plants. I mixed a variety of the 7 pocket version and 12 pocket version. I laid them out for spacing before we secured them.
Once the vertical wall pockets were attached, it was time to plant. Since I was using 4-inch plants (which tend to dry out quickly I also used a product that I have success with in the past. Miracle Grow Water-Storing Crystals. These were very helpful with my patio containers last year, and I have my fingers crossed they save me some watering this year. When planting, mix in the crystals with the soil (I like to avoid the roots). Follow the directions when adding to existing plants. You have to be careful not to add too much.
The plants I choose:
With the help of my neighborhood nursery staff, I choose these particular plants because they are drought tolerant and will thrive in full sun. This, combined with the water storing crystals, will help immensely with watering this summer. Watering needs are essential to consider for a living wall.
For the giant Letterboard, I painted the square with primer and then two coats of porch paint followed by three coats of polystyrene to seal it. We then ripped 4 pieces of wood to 36 x 1.5 inches and 4 pieces 36 x.50 for the ledge. I stained them with Minwax stain and sealed them with polyurtheynae since they are otside. We attached the ledges with a pneumatic nailer. Easy peasy! We chose 8 inch letters for the giant letterboard although the Vinyl letters were not cheap!
I’m excited to say the plants are already beginning to fill in nicely, and we still have frost warnings here! I post another pic once it fills in.
Our final step was securing the entire piece to the house with a large hook and eye to prevent it from falling.
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Until next time,