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“Living Art” for Your Home in One Day

by MLN Staff

Let your green thumb flourish during cold months with an indoor garden. Potted plants are a common option, but a hanging picture frame full of plants makes a living art feature worth having in your garden.

These Mindful Gardening “living mosaics” require little maintenance and can make a great weekend project. You can buy a plant art kit, complete with greenery or make your own.

Here are the plants you’ll need for your living art project

Succulents and mosses are perfect for hanging art because they come in many varieties, require little maintenance and grow slowly. When picking plants consider small, colorful varieties that won’t outgrow the space. You can take small cuttings from crassulas, echeverias, hens-and-chicks, and sedums.

The materials you’ll need:

  • A shadow box made out of water-resistant wood, without the cover/top. You can by a pre-made frames at hobby stores and seal it with waterproof sealant.
  • A wooden picture frame without the glass and the backing.
  • Nails
  • A hammer
  • A hardware cloth with the same dimensions as the shadow box.
  • A loaded staple gun.
  • Cactus mix soil
  • Succulents and mosses

Succulent art has been featured on HGTV and Better Homes and Gardens. Here are some Mindful instructions:

  1. The plants. Consider taking small cuttings (1 to 2 inches long) from succulent plants in your own garden or buy them. Remove the leaves, cut down the stems and let the ends dry and callus over in a cool area for a few days.
  2. The frame. You can staple the hardware cloth to the back of the picture frame and nail the frame to the shadow box. Or you can make your own shadow box picture frame using these instructions.
  3. Pack in the dirt. The depth of shadow boxes is perfect for growing plants. Fill the box with cactus mix soil through the mesh and shake to spread evenly.
  4. Arrangements. You can secure the plants through the wire grid. Start with the bigger cuttings and then work in the smaller plants. If there are any gaps consider adding moss too.
  5. Let them root. Leave the frame lying down in a location without direct sunlight for a few weeks so they can root. Then move the frame into an area with more sunlight and add water for a while longer.
  6. Maintenance. After the plants have firmly rooted you can hang the picture up vertically in a place that gets filtered sun. How frequently you water it depends on the plants you use. To water the plants lay the frame down, water the soil, and let the frame rest before hanging it up.

For further instructions, consider this article.

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