Father-daughter projects are among the delightful things I do on my visits with my daughter and her family in San Diego. Mary Shannon, my very creative daughter, must spend the months when we are not there thinking up fun projects for us to do together when we do visit. We have pruned her roses, planted annuals, divided succulents, and started an herb garden in pots. Her busy schedule doesn’t leave her much time for gardening, so the list of “Daddy-do” chores tends to pile up until we arrive. One big project was the creation of a fountain out of a tall ceramic pot; I am pleased to report that it is still functioning by her patio after four years (and one replaced pump).
Our latest project was the creation of wall hanging succulent gardens. Mary Shannon found several old picture frames which we cleaned up to use to frame our gardens. The rest of the materials came from the local home improvement store.
This was covered with a layer of dried sphagnum moss, the frame was then filled with special soil for succulents, and a backing of 1/8 inch plywood, cut to size, was attached with screws. We used screws so that the backing could be removed more easily if necessary. Hanging attachments were added.
We then proceeded to plant the succulents. Most of them were cuttings from plants already in Mary Shannon’s garden, but we did have fun visiting a local garden center to bring home some of the more exotic ones that caught her eye. Most of the succulants had stems that were small enough to fit through the mesh, but for a few larger ones, I used a pair of wire snips to enlarge the hole in the mesh. A wooden chopstick became the instrument of choice to open a hole in the moss and to tamp around a newly planted succulent.
Inserting the succulents into the frame became a design challenge as we attempted to build not only a physical garden but a meaningful and satisfying artistic creation as well.
I hope you will enjoy seeing one of our finished products:
The hanging gardens of Babylon this is not, but it was a challenging task, an opportunity to be creative, and share some precious time with my daughter. We are both happy with what we created. I’m looking forward to our next project; I wonder what it will be. I hope it will at least involve a visit or two to some of the lovely gardens in the San Diego area.