Make a hanging garden and turn your outdoor space into a fairyland

Guestpost by Dale on Aug 25th

A few weeks ago a friend sent me a link about "string gardens." I cannot tell you what a crush I have on these hanging plants. They look magical and otherworldy, like something you would find if you stumbled upon a pixie's bedroom in the woods or happened upon the backyard of a really cute Martian. I've been really into gardening lately, and into making our porch and backyard as much like an outdoor living room as possible. As I worked on the backyard this week, those string gardens kept popping into my head — so I finally decided to try and replicate them myself. I'm happy with how they turned out, though I'll be curious to see how long they last… Fingers crossed it'll be for awhile. I'm smitten.

I tried two different methods, both of which worked equally well:

Coconut husk hanging plants

The first method used a planter liner made from coconut husks. It's biodegradable, holds soil in, and allows for drainage. I found it at a garden store and cut it into smaller pieces. One liner for a large planter provided enough liner for six hanging plants and cost about $24.00.

First I cut out a piece of the liner and loosely fit it around the plant. Then I stitched it to fit it around the plant using a thick needle. I wasn't concerned with making the stitches particularly neat since they'd hardly show.

Next I tied a piece of twine around the middle of the planter liner and then wrapped twine (rather unscientifically) around the entire bottom of the plant to form a round base.

Next I tied twine to the top of the base to hang the plant.

Psst! That blurry thing in the background? That's the hammock Dale writes about making here! -Cat

Hanging moss plants

For these planters, I took two moss plants and removed a good bit of the soil from the bottom of each and then sandwiched them together.

Next I wrapped the pieces together with twine like I did with the coconut husks, forming it into as much of a sphere as possible. I made sure to leave a space at the top to insert a plant.

After inserting the plant, I tied twine to the top of the base to hang the plants to finish it off.

It took me about three hours to make and hang nine of these little buddies around the porch and the backyard. Totally worth it. Seriously, I am in love.

Photos by Dale Mackey and Shawn Poynter

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About Dale

Dale works for Knoxville Community Television by day and moonlights as an actress, writer, silkscreen artist, and creative writing instructor for prisons and women’s shelters, but likes having a day job too much to do any of these full-time.