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I made this wall garden for a client as a feature to distract from an imposing wall. I recycled some left over and damaged guttering (the square type).
How to construct the wall garden:
I cut the guttering into equal lengths and fitted each length with end pieces so each length becomes a container
Be sure to drill drainage holes before affixing them to the wall
The gutters are the spaced equally on the wall, marked off and attached by their own brackets.
The wall was north facing in a hot climate, so I built a screen to shade the wall garden in summer but allow the winter sun to reach the plants. To do this I positioned the gutters vertically but this is not necessary. They could also be arranged in a stepped pattern, for instance.
I then cut chicken wire to fit the bottom of each gutter over the drainage holes to hold the soil and prevent the drainage holes from becoming blocked.
I then filled the gutters with first gravel, then finer river sand, then composted ground to assure good drainage.
Water the soil in well and begin planting.
I recommended smaller hardier plants at the top and plants with more foliage at the bottom to avoid a top-heavy look
Echevaria (Desert Rose)
Epiphytes (Air plants)
Common Names: Afrikaans: balsemkopiva, copaiba, geelkatstert, katstert
English: snake flower, cat’s tail, burn jelly plant, stalked bulbine, grass aloe
There are over 50 species of bulbine, and many are used by our traditional herbalists including B.
asphodeloides (wildekopiva), B. alooides (rooistorm), B. narcissifolia (geelslangkop), B. natalensis
(rooiwortel), and B. latifolia.
Bulbine frutescens is an aloe-like succulent plant with a rosette of long, fleshy, yellow-green
leaves. Long flower stems bear elongated clusters of small, yellow-orange flowers with
characteristically fluffy stamens.
This is a popular, waterwise garden plant, especially when planted en masse as a ground cover, or in rock gardens. It is also cultivated for its medicinal properties.
It is a fast growing, branched, succulent perennial with fleshy, linear green leaves in opposite rows and clasping the stems at the base. It forms spreading clumps with greyish stems often bearing adventitious roots. The small 6-petaled star shaped flowers are carried on an upright, spreading raceme during spring (or occasionally at other times). The petals are either yellow or sometimes orange, which combines attractively with the fluffy yellow stamens to give a bi-coloured look. The fruit is a small, rounded capsule and contains black seeds which are dispersed by wind.
Bulbine frutescens occurs widespread throughout parts of Northern Cape, Western and Eastern Cape; however, it reaches its peak in the succulent-rich, dry valleys of Eastern Cape.
Bulbine frutescens is one of nature’s extraordinary medicinal plants, a first-aid pharmacy in one
The fresh leaf produces a jelly-like juice that is wonderful for burns, rashes, blisters, insect bites, cracked lips, acne, cold sores, mouth ulcers and areas of cracked skin.
An infusion is made of a few fresh leaves in a cup of boiling water. The strained drink is taken for coughs, colds and arthritis.
This is a an easy to grow, waterwise, floriferous groundcover, which with the minimum of care, will look good all year round. It combines beautifully with blue dwarf agapanthus, flowering at the same time. It does well and looks good in medium to large pots. Will cascade over edges. May need some pruning to keep tidy.
Bulbine frutescens likes full sun but they will also grow in semi-shade for part of the day and can thrive with very little water. Resistant to drought, heat and frost it can be grown easily anywhere, including a windowsill or a pot on the balcony. It thrives in almost any soil, even where little else grows. Space plants 20-30cm apart. This succulent perennial multiplies rapidly. The dead flower heads should be removed to encourage further flowering.
Propogation is best done in Spring. Easy from seed or from cuttings and division of clumps. Any piece with a bit of stem will root quickly. The cuttings can be planted immediately and kept in a shady area. They do not need any special attention or treatment, and build strong roots in a couple of months.
Bulbine frutescens will thrive with a little compost and a watering once a week or so. Will flower almost year round but is mostly dormant in summer, blooming in the spring, and then again in autumn, attracting an abundance of bees.
The bush violet produces masses of purple tubular flowers. It usually forms a rounded to spreading bushy shrub, 0.7 m high by 1 m wide, but sometimes also climbs into nearby trees and shrubs. New branches tend to root as they touch ground, so this plant can quickly spread. Evergreen, it has soft, shiny, dark green leaves. Flowers appear from late summer to autumn (February to April). The fruit is an explosive, club-shaped capsule, forming in autumn (March to May). Fast-growing and wonderfully easy-going, Barleria repens will adapt to a number of situations. Plant it in a large container, or on top of a low wall, where its foliage and flowers can cascade down and show to advantage. Mass plant it in partial shade under trees to form a groundcover, or plant along the edge of an informal border, or in a lightly shaded rockery. When planted in very deep shade it tends to become lanky and untidy and does not produce as many flowers. Always provide good, light, well-drained soil and plenty of compost and other organic material. Spread a layer of mulch on the surface of the soil after planting, and renew regularly. Water well in summer, but much less in winter. Plants thrive when fed with slow release 3: 1: 5 at intervals of 6-8 weeks (throughout growing season). Prune the plant back hard after flowering (at the end of autumn/winter) to keep it neat.
Pest-free and fairly frost-tolerant, it can take sun or light shade, and can handle temperatures ranging from about -2°C to 36°C.