No space is too small for a vertical garden. All you need is a wall and a plan.
For a plan, we recently visited Paxton Gate, the famously quirky store in San Francisco's Mission District that sells Japanese garden tools and fossilized dinosaur teeth alongside tiny potted succulents and distillation equipment to purify water for carnivorous plants. There, we found the Hanging Garden DIY Kit, dreamed up by owner Sean Quigley while he was designing a garden for one of his landscaping clients. Mounted like art on a wall, the hanging garden also creates a natural habitat for butterflies and bees. For step-by-step instructions, see the video below.
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Above: Drought-tolerant succulents—the camels of plants, storing water in their leaves—are ideal candidates for use with a DIY vertical garden kit.
Above: Tillandsias, also known as air plants, do need water to survive, of course; depending on your climate's humidity levels, you can either mist them or submerge them in water every few days.
Above: Attach the wooden baskets to the rot-resistant cedar frame to get your DIY vertical garden kit started.
Above: Strip seedlings of their lower leaves before rooting them in plastic bags—included in the kit—and attaching them to the garden frame.
Above: Plastic twist ties hold tillandsias in place.