Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Making the Garden Rock! (April Shade Garden Ideas)

Adding homemade stepping stones to the garden is an excellent way to personalize the space and do something creative with the kids. It’s pretty easy to make a garden stone. Here’s what you need:

a mold
a measuring cup
a bucket
a paint stirrer stick and
  • a popsicle stick

    If you want to get fancy you can also use:
    stencil letters and numbers, (the one shown here is Victorian style font),
    Glass, china, rocks, beach glass, shells, mosaic tile chips to decorate the stone. These supplies are available at your local craft store.

    You can buy a stepping stone kit that has everything you need for a particular project, or you can buy the supplies separately. The craft store sells boxes of cement in 10lbs or 8lbs. There is usually a little left over after you fill the mold.

    As far as letting kids help, if they are five years old and under, they will enjoy mixing the cement and sticking decorative objects or their handprints in the mold.

    After my kids do that, I clean them up and set them up with some snack at the kitchen table. Then I play with stencils. On the smaller molds I stamp quotes, and poems I wrote.

    As an experiment, I line a large metal cookie sheet with tin foil and pour 18lbs of cement into it. Then I stamp the nature poem I wrote on the blog this week into the mold. The biggest challenge is stamping it all before the cement dries. Another tricky part to stepping stone art is getting the cement to be just the right consistency- not too wet, and not too dry. Not to stereotype myself, but one would think that my Italian heritage might give me a talent for mixing cement, but it takes me a few tries before I figure it out. That’s what happens, I guess when you are also part German, Irish, Scottish, Pit Bull, etc.

    I digress. So after I made my giant poem stepping stone, I let it dry for 24 hours. The next day I put it down in my new shade garden oh-so-carefully. Then I was planting, mulching and drinking a glass of wine when I accidentally fell on it and cracked the edge. It was all downhill from there. I started cursing myself and used some extra cement to fill in the cracks. Don’t drink and garden, readers.

    My shade garden is situated under a large tree with giant oval-shaped leaves that drops a seed resembling a giant pea pod. This tree is interesting and I can not figure out what kind it is, so if anyone can help me out, I’d appreciate it. None of the trees around this shade garden have bloomed yet, nevertheless I am planting things that like shade or part sun in preparation for how the space will change over the next two seasons. Here are some shade/part sun loving plants:

    Sea pink
    Pin Cushions
    Forget Me Nots
    Black Eyed Susans

The edges of this garden get full sun, so I was able to move some roses from other parts of my yard to the spot, and add some lavender there.

I found two giant flat stones behind the shed, a bistro table that I had stored, some garden statues that were hidden under overgrowth and other random garden decor. By using a spot that was already outlined naturally with some shrubs and established bulbs, and stuff that I had and was not using, I was able to create a really nice shade garden across from the sun garden I made last year.

I filled in the front of this garden with spring bloomers, and I’m currently weeding out a spot for summer plantings. I’ll plant there in a few months and continue this post then.


Steena Holmes said...

very cool! Hey - I have you over at my blog right now :)

Putz said...

who is taking a picture of you???????a good book you must read is of mcbides'>>>color of water>> mother who is white, and of course james mcbide is black>>>she said the color of god is water, and water mayny times is colorless>>>i can't get into garedeniong yet>>>nope

Loren Christie said...

Mr. Putz, That book is on my reading list-it looks excellent! I did see a movie version. My husband took the picture here of me and my youngest in the garden. I let Big Brother and the Princess play with my camera, and they took the other pictures that I'm in here- Kids take good candid pics! I took the other pictures of the garden and stones.

Dear Internet Traveler,

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