Workshop PGH

My lovely Emily girl came to visit a few weekends ago. She and I met in college, pledging the same sorority and living together in our freshman year dorm. It seems crazy that we have have been friends since 2005. It was a welcome break from a hectic first few weeks subbing.  


She jokes that she has a black thumb, but I don’t believe it. Her yard in Clintonville is just as quaint and beautiful as she is. I just love this picture I took of her… so natural and pretty! 

So when a “local”, meaning downtown Pittsburgh, (which is still an hour away) craft workshop offered a living wall class with one of the owners of a local greenhouse, I texted her an she was on board to see the new place and have some much needed girl time. Below are the results of this BOMB class. 

The class took almost 3 hours, we built the frame and planted everything in it. Here are the steps that I remember of the process:

  • Build the frame…
  • Line the frame with burlap
  • Staple down the burlap to the inside of the frame using a staple gun
  • Place the mixture of 1:1 perlite and succulent soil so that there is only .5″ of frame showing at the top on all sides. Be sure to place an adequate amount of soil into the corners of the frame.
  • Place reindeer moss and living sheet moss over the soil. This is a great water holder and will also provide support to your succulents while they take root.
  • Cut a piece of chicken wire the size of the frame opening. Fold the sharp corners inward and tuck it into the soil and moss. Attempt to get your chicken wire as flush as you can with the soil/moss.
  • Staple gun the chicken wire to the frame to hold it in place. This was the most difficult part of he process. There are lots of staples not holding anything stuck in my frame that you can’t see buried in there!
  • Take a pencil and create a pencil depth hole in the moss, soil and chicken wire. Just lunch through it all! 
  • Carefully Take your succulents cuttings/potted succulents out of their containers and break apart the roots from the excess soil.
  • Place the succulents into the small holes you just made root first. 
  • You can manipulate the reindeer moss to support the succulents so they stand up. You can also try and hug the roots of the succulents with the sheet moss and soil. Make sure that the succulents have been planted deeper than the moss level, so that they can take root in the soil and not die. 
  • Leave your wall flat, spraying each succulent with about 10 sprays in the spray bottle a few times a week for about a month. Make sure that wall has as close to full sun as possible. 


Below are photos of both of our living walls the day after the class. 

 If you ever get the opportunity to take a course by Natasha of Shadyside Nursery, DO IT! She is just wonderful and has these great life experiences, from teaching art, to working on a construction crew like “one of the guys”, to opening this awesome nursery with her man. I know that Em would agree when I say that I have kind of a girl crush. 

These shots were done with my 50mm lens I received for my birthday. Any excuse to take some practice shots! Here is my wall a few weeks later. 

Honestly, I cannot say enough great things about Workshop PGH. The teacher of the class was awesome. The space was great and inspiring in itself. And we met a few other ladies who were an absolute hoot!

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