This might be the easiest DIY we’ve done so far. We wanted something on this big empty wall between the library and the living room, but we already have a gallery behind the sofa and a mirror above the fireplace. I considered some sort of tapestry for texture, but then in walked the living wall with its burly green tendrils and all other ideas fell away. It didn’t hurt that we already had everything we needed, except the plants.
Our planties are still babies so they aren’t showing us the cascade effect we want, but they’ll get there. We also had to place the containers a little higher than we’d like (we want to spread them out a bit, eventually) because we have a chocolate lab who isn’t quite a year old and who sometimes thinks planties are tasty treats when he’s left alone.
What you’ll need:
– miter saw
– Kreg jig
– painter’s tape
– duct tape (optional)
– potting soil
1. Measure and cut the wood pieces to build the plant troughs. We chose to make them six inches deep because that was the wood we had on hand, though eight inches would give you more wiggle room to get bigger or more plants.
2. Create 45-degree edges so that the box is seamless except for the corners.
3. Use the kreg jig to make four holes on each side piece to connect the sides (two to the front, two to the back). Then, make four holes across the front edge and back edge (the wall side) of the bottom piece of the trough.
4. Connect all pieces to the front and back longer pieces so you’ve built yourself a box. We also stapled the top corners for a little extra water-locked protection.
5. Tape off the top edge of the box with painter’s tape and spray the inside of the trough with a rubber coating. This ensures that if the plastic you’re going to use a liner rips, you still have a barrier between the water/ wet dirt and the wood to prevent rotting.
6. Stain the outside and edges of the planter following the container’s instructions.
7. Once dry, go over the planters with wipe-on poly (water-based) following the instructions.
8. Hang the troughs on the wall. We were able to secure them to studs (and a wall of real wood paneling) with heavy screws straight through the back of the trough. If this isn’t an option for you, consider L-brackets to support the weight of the dirt and the rocks.
9. Double over a plastic sheet (even a heavy duty trash bag or plastic drop cloths) and cut it to size. Staple it to the inside of the trough. This will keep the water from reaching the wood.
10. Optional: Use duct tape to go along the top edge of the plastic liner and secure it to the trough. My plastic’s edges were a bit rough so this just smoothed everything out and gave me a little peace of mind that water wouldn’t get behind the plastic between the staples.
11. Line the troughs with a layer of rocks for drainage (since there are no drainage holes and plants don’t like their roots to be sopping wet). We used a basic gravel from the driveway.
12. Place your plant babies in the troughs with their preferred potting soil. Be sure to pick plants that like the same conditions and watering schedule.
This wall gave us the texture the room needed and, bonus, provides the room with plenty of clean air. Now we just have to wait for our fur-monster to grow out of his plant-hungry phase.
– M. Ray Hall