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Creating a wall garden is more than just choosing planters and blooms. There's the whole matter of getting the planters on the wall. Here's the secret...

wall-gardenfmpgoh, flickr

Creating a wall garden is one of those ideas that seem simple on paper: Just drill into the wall using a masonry bit, pop in an anchor and a screw, then hang the planter. But once you have the drill in hand, it's a quick trip from confidence to anxiety. Questions come up. Let's go through them together.

Is my regular drill OK to use?
If you only have a handful of holes to make, it's a corded model that's at least 14.4V and you have a carbide-tipped bit, then yes. But if you want to mount more than three planters, only have a cordless drill or have to make big holes, then it pays off to rent a hammer drill. It will sound terrible when used, but it gets the job done.

What's this about anchors?
Anchors can be found in the "overwhelming" aisle of your local hardware store. Though they all pretty much due the same thing (reinforce a hole to make a screw fit extra securely), there are a staggering number of different anchor types. Generally, you can select one by wall material. Toggle bolts are good for cement blocks, lag shields for cement or stucco, concrete screws for concrete (surprise) or brick, and hammer-driven anchors (most types of walls, but better for light loads). For small pocket-type planters like the ones above, I'd go for a hammer-driven anchor.

Do I have to worry about studs?
As with most projects that involve hanging things on walls, yes. So, get out the stud finder. However, I should point out that I once got very cavalier and drilled right into a brick wall without bothering this step. The mailbox is still securely hanging in place.

On brick walls, should I drill between the bricks (into the mortar) or into the brick?
This usually ends up in a lively debate between DIY types. I'm in the "into the brick" camp. Though it takes longer and requires some extra effort, a hole drilled into brick tends to hold up better over time. Now, I've seen others drill right into the mortar without any problems. But if your mortar happens to be old and crumbly, moisture can get into the hole and weaken everything. And that's how you wake up one day to find your planter on the ground.

Want to know a little more about getting the right tools for this job? Check out...
Best Wall Anchors and How to Install Them
How To Get The Most From Your Stud Finder
Drilling into Concrete and Masonry

And for a clever way to store all those screws and anchors, watch this...


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