There are many ways to create a vertical garden, but this is one that I have not come across before. The main component is a suet basket birdfeeder. You will also need some sphagnum moss for the growing medium, some florist’s wire and a bromeliad. Full instructions on how to make this vertical garden are contained in an article by Steve Asbell which I found on his Rainforest Garden blog.

Whenever I try feeding birds with those cheap suet basket feeders, I either end up with a gooey mess or find that some squirrel has run off with the thing within hours. However, I?ve also found that they make great planters for succulents and epiphytic plants. Who knew? Best of all, making them is so easy that my toddler could (and did) do it. Here?s how to make your own low-maintenance vertical garden on the cheap.

The bromeliads in the foreground are mounted directly on a tree stump.

Ever since my little apartment balcony garden, I?ve daydreamed about creative ways to grow epiphytic plants such as bromeliads, orchids or Rhipsalis. I?came up with something called a ?rainforest drop? and even turned a dead tree into a bromeliad garden, but after a couple years of trialing these suet basket planters, I can say that this is my easiest and most affordable idea yet: A vertical garden made of cheap suet feeder baskets, sphagnum moss, succulents and epiphytes.
These are just some of the ways you could put these suet basket planters to use:
– Hang them on a chain
– Mount them on wood
– Hang them from a tree
– Surround them with old picture frames
– Make a living roof for your birdhouse
– Arrange them in a grid to cover a fence
– Hang one in a brightly-lit shower (like this)
Here?s What You?ll Need:?
A suet feeder basket ? Find them at the dollar store or anywhere else bird feeders can be found.
Sphagnum moss ? Long grain sphagnum moss works best.
Florist?s wire ? It?s affordable, easy to use and keeps your bromeliad in place.
A bromeliad – Any bromeliad will do. Since I live in zone 9a, I chose cold hardy types that I can leave outside.
(Optional) Cuttings – I like to use Rhipsalis, (an epiphytic cactus) Hatiora, (another epiphytic cactus)?Peperomia?(another epiphyte) and Tahitian Bridal veil, but sedums and any other easily-rooted succulents will also work.

See more at The Rainforest Garden