How to introduce greenery when garden space is limited
Picture: Iain Gillespie

How to introduce plant life when space is limited.


DIY HANGING PLANTER

This is a simple DIY project to add greenery anywhere that floor space is limited.

We used shade-loving ferns but succulents or some seasonal potted colour would work just as well.

You will need:

  • craft wire
  • three terracotta pots, assorted sizes
  • pencil
  • plywood
  • jigsaw
  • drill
  • sandpaper
  • timber oil or varnish
  • rope
  • safety glasses
  • plants and potting mix

How to:
1. Wrap craft wire around each pot, just under the top ridge, to make a circle. Repeat for each pot.

2. Take your three wire circles and trace their shapes on to the plywood in the formation that you want the pots to sit. Now draw a larger circle around the three pot holes - we allowed a little extra room around the edge so that there's space to perch a cup of coffee or glass of wine.

3. Wearing safety glasses, use the jigsaw to cut the three circles, working slowly to keep to the pencilled line. It might help to drill a hole where you want to start cutting from, as an entry point for the jigsaw blade.

4. Cut the outer circle.

5. Use the sandpaper to smooth any rough edges and wipe the plywood clean with a damp cloth.

6. When completely dry, seal the plywood using oil or varnish. Make sure to coat the outer edge of the plywood as this enhances the look of the layered ply.

7. Use the pencil to mark three anchor points near the edge of the planter, and drill a hole for each. They need to be big enough to thread the rope through.

8. Cut your rope into three even lengths. Thread each length through a hole and tie a secure knot in each rope, just below the plywood. We used a figure-eight knot.

9. Join the three rope strands together at the top and secure with a loop knot. Hang your planter using the loop knot.

10. Pot your plants, place in the holes and you're done. You may need to adjust the ropes so that the planter hangs evenly.

Materials and plants supplied by Masters


GET STACKING

Stackable planter boxes are perfect for small gardens.

Created by Melbourne company Tait, Garden Wall planters can be used individually or stacked two or three high to create a freestanding wall of greenery that doubles as an instant screen.

They're available from Design Farm, Perth.


THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS

Beautiful and low-maintenance, terrariums are a big trend and are equally at home inside or out.

We love local company Izzie and Queenie (above), aka Irene Schneider, who creates custom-made terrariums of assorted sizes and shapes, including hanging versions and timber bases.

Ms Schneider said the terrariums were made with a variety of different succulents, which required minimum maintenance, and incorporated recycled materials such as old jars, different types of rocks, pebbles and wood, and could reuse existing plants.

To order, email izziequeenie@ gmail.com or visit izzieandqueenie.com.


MAGICAL MOSS

Another growing trend, hanging moss balls - such as those by local company Kate's Moss Studio - make a striking feature, are simple to maintain and are a great choice to draw attention to the plant rather than its pot.

They're available from Studio Bomba, in Leederville. For more information, visit katesmossstudio.com.


ON THE FENCE

Think you don't have space for a tree? Try espaliering (above), where plants are trained to grow into flat, two-dimensional forms, supported by trellis or wire.

"They're ideal not only as a decorative form but also for gardens in which space is limited," Andrew Beck, of Sustainable Garden Design Perth, said.

Espaliering trees or shrubs were possible in most gardens. "All gardens will have a wall or fenced area which is suitable in space and orientation for espaliering," he said.

"For those more timid folk to whom the very idea of espalier sounds like a complex surgical procedure, I would recommend the more simple process of shaping vines or creepers along vertical or patterned wiring.

"The species with which success is more assured are grapevines and passionfruit for fruiting varieties, and star jasmine and native wisteria for ornamentals, although the options are limitless."

Historically, the technique was developed for fruit trees in the more confined garden and agricultural spaces of Europe, although Mr Beck said some ornamental species, such as magnolia and camellia, could adapt to the practice.

"An espaliered fruit tree (pictured top) provides plentiful fruit in a fraction of the volume of a natural tree as the energy of the tree is focused into the production of fruit-bearing wood rather than other superfluous branch growth," he said.

There is a minimum of four techniques:

·Make the cut above the bud facing the direction in which you want the stem to grow.

·Know how to bend a branch. Branches should be bent while they are young and flexible.

·Maintain the plant within the shape limits by precise pruning of the branch along the training and support wire with the careful removal of unwanted growth.

·Eliminate unwanted buds through the technique of rubbing. When a bud exists in a place where growth is not desired, the bud should be removed through the process of rubbing it off the stem.


WALLFLOWERS

Make use of a bare wall with a wall- mounted planter.

The compact designs by Welshpool-based Yellow Metal (below) are custom- made in any colour, including pearlescent or classic corten-steel finishes.

Visit the company's display at Home Base Expo, in Subiaco, or yellowmetal.com.au.


TAKE A STAND

Seventies-style pot stands are making a comeback - fill with your favourite potted plants for an instant mini-garden.


SUSPENDED ANIMATION

Another alternative to traditional hanging baskets, plant hangers are an on-trend way to house your potted plants.

We love the handmade macrame hangers by local company Mac and More (right), which come in an array of colours and styles. See etsy.com/au/shop/macandmore.


THINK VERTICAL

Vertical gardens continue to be a big trend.

Gardens of Egan created the below installation for a home in Scarborough, using a vertical garden system from Watergarden Warehouse, in Osborne Park, finished with stacked-stone and a polished stainless-steel surround.

Plants included maidenhair and Boston ferns, black mondo grass, liriopes and Heuchera Purple Palace.

The West Australian

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