How to make a wall garden with succulent plants in picture frames

Try this clever new way to bring life to your garden walls

Bring colour and interest to even the smallest area in your garden by creating a living wall with plants in picture frames. It's a great way of brightening up a dull wall – and affordable, too!

You can pick up the succulents that fill them for a few pounds, and use moss to fill the gaps, which can be foraged for free. Moss thrives in moist and shady areas, so you may be able to find it on the sides of trees, on rocks and around garden buildings.

Enjoy more of our garden ideas – from simple DIY updates to hard landscaping

Then you'l just need a few picture frames, which you can pick up cheaply at charity shops or at high-street favourites like Wilko or IKEA, and some paint. Matthew Brown from Sandtex explains how to put everything together...

How to make a wall garden with succulent plants in picture frames

brick wall with green plant frames

(Image credit: Sandtex)

Here's what you'll need to create to create your framed wall gardens:

  • Picture frames
  • Sandpaper
  • Methylated spirits
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Sandtex 10 Year Exterior Primer Undercoat
  • Paintbrush
  • Sandtex 10 Year Exterior Gloss
  • Chicken wire
  • Staple gun
  • Succulents and moss

1. Select your frames

Go for different sizes and shapes of frames 
for an eclectic look. Remove the backing and front glass, then rub down the frame with a cloth to remove any dust or dirt.

2. Sand the surface

Use a P180/P240 grade sandpaper to smooth the frame’s surface. Dust off and degrease the wood with methylated spirits using a lint-free cloth. This gives paint the best possible chance to bond on timber. If the frame is metal, use mineral spirits and remove peeling paint by hand-wire brushing.

3. Prime the frames

Add a coat of primer undercoat, ensuring the whole frame is covered. Leave to dry.

4. Pick a paint colour

Select a colour from Sandtex’s 10 Year Exterior Gloss collection and apply two to three coats evenly over the primed frame. Leave to dry completely between each application.

5. Create a base for the plants

Staple chicken wire across the back of the frames to provide the base for the greenery. Ensure the wire is pulled tightly.

6. Add greenery

Using moss and succulents, entwine your greenery around the wire. You may need to pinch the wire together to secure each plant in place. Keep filling until the wire is hidden. Fix the frames to the wall.

Related: How to make a living plant wall

We love this project – you could even get the kids involved in the painting and planting if you supervise them carefully. And it's a quick way to update your garden in time for the summer.

Stephanie Durrant
Deputy Editor Style at Home

Steph Durrant is the Deputy Editor of Ideal Home’s sister magazine, Style at Home. Steph is an experienced journalist with more than 12  years under her belt working across the UK’s leading craft and interiors magazines. She first joined the team back in 2016 writing for both homes brands, specialising in all things craft, upcycling and DIY.