The Becker Bucket

Out in the garden a lot of work is being done on the tropical Australia section. This area contains the tree top walk, it’s a new and major feature of the garden. One of the things being done to improve the section is attaching Ficus virens to the tree top walk.
The aim is to soften the metal structure and immerse it in the planting. In the wild F. virens produces a huge volume of aerial roots. They hang from trees in the rainforest like heavy curtain drapes. If this could be replicated in the JBG it would look incredible.
A problem with this idea is Jerusalem’s low humidity. Aerial roots require the bark to be constantly moist to form, further more they must remain moist for the first few years of growth. The F. virens will be planted in buckets and mounted on the framework of the treetop walk, misters can then hang above and provide moisture. The photo below shows the mounting position.

The final concern was water running down the steel framework from the buckets drainage hole. To overcome this Eli Becker (Head Gardener) used sealed buckets with a drainage pipe, this will discharge water clear of the structure. I decided the buckets needed a few accessories to liven them up, shown in the photos below.

The cardboard stops the compost pouring out of the drainage shoot. It will degrade eventually when the compost has stabilised and until then it’s permeable. I often use a similar technique with newspaper if plant pots have very large drainage holes.

When they are all planted up and attached I will post some more photos. The plants will grow both upwards and downwards. In a few years when the roots reach the ground the buckets will be cut away. This will leave the F. virens clinging to the structures, disguising them as trees


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