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A living wreath made of succulents doesn’t require much upkeep. (Karen Robock for The Globe and Mail)
A living wreath made of succulents doesn’t require much upkeep. (Karen Robock for The Globe and Mail)

How to build your own hanging garden Add to ...

Photos by Karen Robock for The Globe and Mail

A wreath made of live succulents will look really lush on your front door or patio gate this summer. Because they’re slow growing and don’t need to be packed in soil, these plants are ideal for a hanging ornament. Plus, succulents are native to arid climates so they’ll keep looking green and fresh, even during a heat wave.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

  • Large package of dried sphagnum moss
  • Small package of dried green reindeer moss
  • Bucket
  • Gloves
  • 18-inch wire wreath frame
  • Florist’s wire
  • 8 to 10 assorted succulents (such as aeonium, Echeveria, sedum and mother of pearl)
  • Scissors
  • Wire snips
  • Wreath hanger

INSTRUCTIONS

Step 1. Rehydrate the moss. (Dried moss can contain mould, so it’s advisable to wear gloves and work with it outdoors.)

Fill your bucket with warm water and submerge the sphagnum and green reindeer moss for about 20 minutes, or until it looks completely saturated.

Step 2. As you remove the moss from the bucket, gently squeeze out the excess water. Fill the entire wreath frame with sphagnum moss, bunching it together tightly and moulding it with your hands until it’s covering the form and about 2 to 3-inches thick all the way around. Place the reindeer moss in several spots around the wreath, tucking it in and around the sphagnum moss. Wrap florist’s wire around the whole thing on a diagonal in 3-inch sections (like a candy cane stripe), to hold the moss in place.

Step 3. Set the succulents and reindeer moss around the wreath to mock up your arrangement. (Succulents can be pricey, so extra moss will help the wreath appear full and rich, without using as many plants.) Remove each succulent from its pot, crumbling away the dirt until you’re left with a small clump of roots.

Step 4. Cut a 10-inch section of florist’s wire and wrap it around the stem of the first plant. Use your scissors to make an opening in the moss where you’d like it to go and tuck the plant in the hole.

Wrap the wire around the backside of the wreath and twist the ends together to secure it. Repeat with the remaining succulents.

Step 5. Hang your wreath in a bright spot where it can be admired. To keep your hanging garden healthy, take it down to soak it on the ground once a week and mist it in between, if it feels dry.

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