Make a vertical succulent frame

Succulents are hardy, colourful and drought-tolerant; the ultimate plant for a dry garden. Sophie enjoys growing them in “all sorts of containers: old bathtubs, bedsteads, tea pots, pram – even an old pair of boots”. Because they’re so picture-perfect, she decided they were worth framing, and created a succulent display to hang on a wall.

Here’s how to make the succulent frame:
– Remove the picture from your frame, and paint it with waterproof
paint if desired
– Cut the wire netting to size, allowing enough on the edges to
easily attach it to the frame
– Staple the netting to the frame, pulling it taught
– Cut the timber to size; you want it to form a three-sided box on the
back of the frame
– Pre-drill the holes for the screws then assemble the box before
attaching it to the picture frame (making sure the open side sits at
the top). You will need longer screws to attach the box to the
frame
– Screw the backing plate in place.
– Temporarily plug the top of the box. The top will eventually need
to be open to allow the plants to be watered from above but, while
you are planting out, this side needs to be filled; Sophie uses a
rolled-up newspaper to fill the gap.
– Lie the box frame-side up and fill the front with potting mix,
pouring it through the wire mesh and tapping it down to settle in
the corners
– Remove any dead leaves from root divisions or cuttings
– Plant the cuttings and divisions through the wire into the potting
mix. Sophie uses a dibber to make a hole first to avoid damaging
the delicate stems. You may need to cut the wire in a few places
to fit in larger cuttings
– It doesn’t matter where you start, but Sophie likes to put plants
that drape at the bottom and sides so they will hang nicely over
the frame.
– Water them in and lie the box flat for 4 to 8 weeks to allow roots
to form. Once roots have developed, the picture can be hung on a
courtyard wall, on a shed or a fence.
– To hang your picture, you’ll need to screw some strong wire on the
back. Sophie used an old coat-hanger.
– Give them a little water in hot weather and you’ll be rewarded with
a succulent masterpiece.

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