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Hang up a wall of flowers.

The three floriferous walls pictured on the opposite page belong to California gardens. You might call them pot walls, although they're a far cry from the centuries-old, pot-covered walls seen in warm-climate countries like Mexico and ones around the Mediterranean. Early gardeners generally used clay pots held in straps or rope slings attached to the walls. The ones in the color photographs here are attached to wall surfaces with the hardware shown in the two pictures at bottom right.

Before you decide to turn a blank wall into a container-grown flower display, give careful thought to its location and exposure. Avoid walls exposed to strong drying winds, long periods of hot summer sun, or heavy shade.

Choices in containers, plants

Nurseries and garden centrs sell a wide range of wall-mounted containers; some of them are shown at right.

Terra cotta and redwood wall pots are among the most popular choices, along with moss-lined wire baskets. The baskets require diligent watering--especially during hot spells. To keep moisture from staining the wall behind, provide air circulation by using a spacer as shown in the center picture at bottom right.

Fill any of them with the flowers shown, or try dwarf chrysanthemums ('Golden Carpet', 'White Primavera', or 'Yellow Primavera'), nemesia, portulaca, nasturtiums, and dwarf phlox. In shade or half-shade, try bedding begonias, calceolaria, impatiens, Johnny-jump-up, and trailing or mounding campanulas (C. carpatica, C. fragilis, C. isophylla, and C. portenschlagiana). Where summers are hot and try, you can such as creeping zinnia, lantana, or verbena (V. peruviana or V. hybrida). For best planting times in your area, check the Sunset Western Garden Book.

Following is information on potting, feeding, and watering plants used on the three walls pictured in color.

Mexican tree of life. In midspring, each of four 7-inch clay pots is planted with three well-rooted petunias from sixpacks. When plants reach full bloom, in early July, they are secured to the wall with clips and expansion bolts (see photograph at bottom right). With twice-monthly feedings of liquid fish emulsion and daily watering in warm weather, the petunias bloom heavily through fall.

Blue labelia in moss-lined baskets.

About two dozen lobelias were planted from sixpacks in each of eight large moss-lined wire baskets. Plants get their start in a greenhouse in February, are in peak bloom ready to hang by late spring, and bloom luxuriantly into fall. Baskets are watered as often as necessary to keep the soil moist, and fertilized every two weeks using a mixer-proportioner attached to a hose bibb.

Year-round color in half-baskets. The moss-6ined baskets above the spa are planted in midspring to provide summer-long color.

Hung on duckboard paneling about 8 feet above the ground, the plants are hard to reach but frequently thirsty, so they're on an automatic drip-irrigation system. Each basket is fitted with a mist sprayer connected to drip tubing that runs behind the duckboard. When flowers have faded in the fall, baskets are filled with fall bloomers such as chrysantemums or violas.
COPYRIGHT 1985 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:May 1, 1985
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