My Second Attempt At A Vertical Planter

My first vertical planter was homemade, and it was okay for a while, but I neglected to water it enough, and--kaput.  However, it was educational.  I learned the importance of proper infrastructure (auto watering!)
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The vertical planter fad appeared to play itself out pretty quickly due to the maintenance involved.  They may be completely "out" by now, but I found a spot in the garden where some sort of vertical planter was the perfect solution to screen out my neighbor's window.  
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So I decided to try again, this time with a pricey purchased Florafelt unit.  (Disclaimer:  this post is not an ad.  I purchased the unit, no discount, and have no relationship to this company beyond the purchase.)
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I focused on the infrastructure required to keep this planter going and theoretically looking good for a while.  I would need a drip irrigation supply, a trough to keep the wall dry, and a drain from the trough as well.  I needed tough plants that could take two hours of hot afternoon sun in summer and shade the rest of the time.  The Florafelt unit came with a built-in drip line I could attach to:
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I ran a line of  tubing from the drip line already installed in the planter behind the wall and attached that to the unit.  
Tapped in...
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The line must be pinned down so rabbits don't bite it.  Back to the garage to look for pins...
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Grr...where's the scissors to trim the drip line to the right length?  Back to the garage... 
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A drainage basin to keep the stucco wall dry required some thought and searching.  I finally found a relatively inexpensive window-box liner and cut it a bit to fit the space.  I also cut a drain hole in the side of it and glued a piece of PVC pipe to direct the water away from the wall.  
And then the pipe had to be painted black.  
And...it's too short, isn't it.  The wall is getting wet.  Grrr...must fix that.  Back to the garage...
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 So many little details required, so many trips back to the garage...but I was determined to provide a solid infrastructure in hopes of a long-term nice look.
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The Florafelt unit comes with these "root wrappers" so you don't plant directly in the unit--you plant in the wrappers and tuck them into the unit.  (The puppies refer to "root wrappers" as "new toys!"--when I was ready to use them, I had to go looking for them.)  
Appearance before being chewed and shed on:
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You make a little envelope for your plants. The plant roots eventually grow through the wrapper and gather moisture and air from the outer unit--we'll see how that works out.
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I made the largest rosette of 'White Fox' Aloe the centerpiece:
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I did a white/silver/blue color scheme.  I was thinking of Roger's Gardens gorgeous Wooly Pocket wall:
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Roger's has in the past also planted theirs like this:
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 Senecio radicans went into in the second to lowest row of my project because the Senecio will drape.  I left the lowest row blank, but I may go fill up that bottom row with Senecio radicans as well. 
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There we go:  patio privacy!  My planting effort is maybe not so great.  Let's give it a couple of months and see if growth helps.  
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I'll update on how the unit functions and how the plants grow.  My neighbors never look out their window, but perhaps it is the sense of privacy we crave, even if the reality is that we don't need it. 
Update 3/29/2014:
The plants are growing.  I think they need better arranging, but I've enjoyed the thing.
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Comments

  1. A lot of work but it looks very nice and once established the plants will be beautiful...but if you were seeking privacy would a climbing plant have been less expensive?
    xoxoxo ♡

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    1. Absolutely, yes. A Trachelospermum jasminoides is ready as a back-up plan. But this was a (relatively) instant solid screen, and I wanted to experiment.

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  2. That is great little project. I am sure it will all fill out nicely and look stunning. The drip irrigation is a sensible idea, especially in your climate. Should give the plants much better grown, look forward future updates.

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    Replies
    1. You vastly overestimate my gardening skills. But will update, embarrassing or not.

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  3. That looks lovely, and it will fill in nicely, I'm sure. The inspiration wall planter from Roger's Gardens is, well, inspirational. It's good you only had to trek to the garage, if I had been doing this, it would have been several trips back and forth to the hardware store. Looking forward to a post showing how it looks in a few months.

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    1. Only one trip to the hardware store and two mail orders. I believe it's a record.

      Yes, it's all Roger's fault!

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  4. The Trachelospermum jasminoides will be lovely, I have two, the glossy green leaves are pretty and scent of the flowers is so lovely.
    Of course you must experiment, it will look absolutely beautiful when all of the plants grow and cover the backing screen.
    xoxoxo ♡

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    Replies
    1. Yes, a beautiful fragrance! I look forward to it every year.

      Delete

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