Succulents are having their day, and it’s clear to see why. They’re easy to grow, cute as can be and don’t require much water.
When I finished my shed, I loved the brick mini patio but wanted to add something colorful between the patio and the lawn. There isn’t a lot of land to work with; you would laugh to see how tiny the area is between the shed and the paver patio. Suddenly I had a vision of a living trim around the bricks — I just needed to figure out how to keep it all neat and tidy.
Wandering into my local home improvement store I went first to the rain gutter aisle. Maybe I could use a copper rain gutter lengths to plant the succulents in and then cut them to fit around the perimeter of the patio … until I saw how pricey they are. Also I didn’t want to deal with metal cutting.
I kept wandering and literally stumbled on the perfect solution. Ready? Drywall bead.
Drywall or concrete bead is a long strip of metal mesh that is bent to form a trough with a 90-degree angle. It’s used to reinforce corners and edges. Turns out the shape is perfect for creating a half-planter next to the edge of the brick, too. I found this design with an open wire mesh that is actually very attractive; you can get 10 feet of it for under $4. The wire is easy to cut with household wire cutters. It wins every DIY category!
Here’s what you will need:
Drywall metal bead; enough to surround your shed or front area (whichever you prefer)
1 roll screen material, fiberglass or metal (or find salvaged screen material from discarded doors/windows)
Gravel or decorative rocks (pea gravel size)
Various succulents (ask your friends for cuttings – you want to start with small ones)
Creating Your Succulent Shed or Patio Border
Step 1. Prepare your edges. Remove lawn if necessary and level your surface area (probably not more than about 3 inches out from the patio you are surrounding).
Step 2. Measure the perimeter you want to plant and then using the metal clippers, cut the drywall bead into pieces that form the edge. Bevel the corners so that they can connect seamlessly (like a picture frame).
Step 3. Place the metal bead sections against the brick or concrete, placing one of the V edges flat on the ground and the other one coming up to form a little fence.
Step 4. Cut screen material to line the bead fencing. This will keep the pebbles and dirt from sifting out into the yard.
Step 5. Put a small amount of potting soil inside the planter. Top with sand and a layer of pea gravel.
Step 6. Arrange small cuttings of succulents and plant them into the soil; simply dig a small shallow with your finger and place the stem in it.
Step 7. When finished, spray a gentle stream of water over the border and you are done!
The plantings will grow … and grow. My succulents are very large on the corners of the shed but they’ve stayed small in front of the doorway. (Probably because they get disturbed by me walking in and out.) The overall effect is a mildly wild cottage garden so I’m still loving my succulent border! To keep your succulents tidy and under control, watch this great video.