Magazine article Sunset

Garden Anywhere

Magazine article Sunset

Garden Anywhere

Article excerpt

Westerners are rethinking where a garden can grow. Got a wall? Plant it. Plus, more ideas for your outdoor living space BY SHARON COHOON AND KATHLEEN N. BRENZEL

the latest in LIVING WALLS

There's no need to stick to the expected succulents when plantinga living wall. San Diego landscape designer Amelia B. Li ma iameliafa.com or 858/2434470J, inspired after seeing one of Patrick Blanc's vertical gardens in Paris, hatched a plan to try his technique at home. One purpose of soil is to support roots, Lima says - if you create another way to hold them up, you could even plant shrubs. Along a 40-foot wall; she built a 7-foot frame fronted by marine plywood and corrugated plastic (ridoutplasfe. comj. She stapled on two layers of synthetic Tuf-Felt (suther landfelt.com), cutting slits in the outer layer, then slipped in and stapled down 400 plants. Now hersideyard is a jungle of ferns, bromeliads, coral bells, spider plants, and elephant ears.

PLANT IT

You'll need patience, time, and a frost-free climate to get this look. Or try one of these three plantings in temperate climates - even indoors.

1| Set a row of smallleafed vines in pots on top of a wall and let them cascade at will. Good trailers: rosary vine (Ceropegia linearis ivoodiij, string of pearls (Senecio rowleycmus), and English ivy (note: it's considered a noxious weed in the Northwest).

2| Attach tillandsias (air plants) directly to a wall - they don't need soil - using a waterproof adhesive like Tilly Tacker (rainforestflora.com).

3| Hang Neoregelia (a bromeliad forgiving of heat and light frost) on a wall. Wrap each plant's rootball, including soil, in sphagnum moss held in place with a wrapper of bird netting, then staple to a grapewood or cork oak bark base.

PICTURED: $4,825 FOR WALL MATERIALS AND WATERING SYSTEM

the new style of TABLETOP DECOR

Breathe life onto a tabletop by infusing greens in the design. Pasadena landscape architect Heather Lenkin (lenkindesign. com) created this centerpiece. Just soak floral moss in water to make it easier to work with, tear off chunks, squeeze out excess water, then place moss atop a table. (Use a cookie sheet on a water-vulnerable surface like wood.) On the moss, center a votive tray with a Graptopetalum succulent in each candle slot - no need for soil. Mist to keep the arrangment fresh.

PLANT IT

Pretty up a table: Choose a moss to complement a small plant that you want to highlight. $10 OR LESS EACH

MOD Black reindeer moss with a blue-gray tillandsia

DELICATE Green reindeer moss with tiny violas

CASUAL Natural Spanish moss with a bronze sedum PICTURED MOSS TABLETOP: $105

reinventing HANGING BASKETS

A vibrant jungle thrives on this San Francisco wall, designed by Flora Grubb Gardens (flora grubb.com or 415/626-7256) using Woolly Pockets (woolly pocket.com). Made from recycled plastic bottles, the pockets are filled with soil, planted, and hung. Greenery keeps hydrated and water doesn't leak because the pockets are lined with moisture barriers-they can be used indoors too.

INFO From $49 for the Wally One (24 in. long, 15 in. high); from $125 for the Wally Three (68 in. long, 15 in. high). Available in San Francisco and online from Flora Grubb Gardens (info at left), at Pigment in San Diego (shop pigment.com or 619/507-6318), and at Digs in Portland (digs-pdx. …

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