Thursday, March 29, 2018

SCULPT YOUR OWN GARDEN CAIRN



Hypertufa Garden Cairn 

A cairn is a human-made pile or stack of stones. The word cairn comes from the Scottish Gaelic c├árn, (caren)  It is pronounced the same a Cairn terrier, the “Toto” type of dog. 

Cairns have been used for a broad variety of purposes, from prehistoric times to the present.  They have been built and used as burial monuments, for ceremonial purposes, to locate buried items, such as caches of food or objects; and to mark trails. They vary in size from small stone markers to entire artificial hills, and in complexity from loose conical rock piles to delicately balanced sculptures of carefully selected and positioned stones.

In this project, you will make a decorative garden sculpture held together by a rebar stake rather than by painstaking balancing of loose stones.  You will also sculpt your stones from lightweight hypertufa resulting in the shapes you want to fit your garden.

What You Need:

Four-foot length of ½” rebar or longer if you want a taller stake

TIP: You can buy rebar precut in four foot lengths and in ten-foot lengths.  Four feet was perfect for me. For taller stakes you can cut a 10 foot length of rebar down  to size. Keep in mind that your stake needs to be firmly set in the ground at least a foot to hold the weight of the sculpture.

Equal length of 5/8” PVC pipe
(This pipe should slip right over the ½” rebar}

Sharpie or other marker

Hack saw for cutting rebar and PVC pipe

Heavy plastic sheeting to cover your work surface

Plastic mixing bowl or pail

Freshly mixed hypertufa.  I use this recipe:

http://fromthesummersgarden.blogspot.com/p/normal-0-false-false-false-en-us-ja-x_10.html

TIP:  You can skip the mixing of the hypertufa and use sand topping mix to sculpt your shapes.  The resulting “stones” will be extremely heavy- remember, you will be piling them on top of each other.

Mud gloves

Concrete trowel

Dry all-purpose sand

Brick

What You Do:

1.  Go online and spend some time looking through examples of real stone cairns to familiarize yourself with their shapes and  construction.  It will inspire you and lead you to a better design result.  Make note of the different shapes of the stones, the smoothness of their surfaces and how they interact with one another.  Then draw shapes you like on a piece of paper, some simple and others less usual.  It will be a combination of simple and different that makes your sculpture successful.  Select 5-7 of the shapes you like best and arrange them one on top of another.  The larger heavier shapes should stay closer to the bottom while the smaller and lighter shapes will be best positioned near or at the top of your cairn. The taller you wish your rebar stake, the more shapes you will need to populate it, just remember to end up with an odd number of pieces.  Once you have designed the shapes you like, draw each of them a few more times to familiarize yourself with their contours and characteristics.   

This exercise will fuel your brain so when you begin the sculpting phase you can proceed with confident efficiency.

 2. Spread the heavy plastic sheeting over your work surface.

3. Use the marker to measure out the thickness of each stone of your cairn design along the length of pvc pipe.  One length of pvc pipe will pass through the center of each stone.  

When dried and cured, this encased pipe will make it a simple task to build your cairn by sliding each stone onto the rebar stake.

4.  Put on your mud gloves and mix up the hypertufa.  With your drawing in front of you, shape each of your stones around a vertical length of pvc pipe ensuring the entire pipe is covered with the hypertufa and the bottom and top openings are free of blockage.  Sprinkle each stone with the dry sand for an interesting natural texture.

 5. Allow the stones to set and cure overnight or even a day or two.

6.  Smooth each stone using a brick and your concrete trowel.  Work off rough spots and soften the edge where the stone rested on the plastic so the stones lose some of the flatness on the back side and appear more three dimensional.

7.  Select the location in the garden to site your cairn and push the rebar stake as deep as you can into the ground. 
TIP: Watering the site with a hose or watering can makes the job easier.  The rebar needs to go into the ground at least a foot to support the cairn adequately.  If you can reach the top, wack it a few times with a hammer.


8.  Assemble your cairn by sliding each stone on to the rebar stake through the embedded pvc pipe. Adjust to get the look that makes you happy.  It will make a great support for that new clematis you wanted to add to your garden!

IF YOU'D LIKE TO MAKE YOUR OWN CAIRN BUT WITH SOME HELP, JOIN US IN OUR CAIRN CREATIVE WORKSHOP!

MORE INFO: peaceinmygarden.com

Monday, March 26, 2018

NEW STRAWBERRY STEPPING STONE


Just as with the strawberry plants in the garden, our new products for Strawberry Garden Time, our spring garden studio sale, are beginning to emerge from the studio.  

The opening night garden party is scheduled for Thursday, April 26 from 4:00-8:00 and will be open 10-5 every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in May.

We'd love to have you join us to expereience the garden full of wonderful handmade 
stuff for you, your people and pets and your garden!

CREATIVE WORKSHOP - COLLAGE STEPPING STONES


COLLAGE STEPPING STONE
THURSDAY, APRIL 5 7:00-9:30
Try this fun memory-keeping creative workshop that is perfect to comemmorate a milestone event- a new baby, a retirement or any acheived goal. Each member of a group can have a hand in this special project. The hottest trend in garden walkways is the inclusion of a garden stone with attitude- words, phrases and an interesting collection of stuff. Build a mold using easy to use rigid foam. Start with a selection of ornaments and shapes to build your collage, add you own stuff if you'd like and finish off with shiny mirror or marbles. You can even bring treasure of your own to include in the mix. Cast in concrete and take home to cure. 
Members of the Louisburg Garden Club recently got together to make their own collage stones. 
More info and to enroll: peaceinmygarden.com





CREATIVE WORKSHOP- CONCRETE BALLOON POT WORKSHOP


CONCRETE BALLOON POT WORKSHOP
CREATE MAGICAL POTS BY BOUNCING WET CONCRETE ON LATEX BALLOONS. IT SOUNDS CRAZY BUT IT WORKS AND IT MAKES THE COOLEST CONTAINERS. DISPLAY THEM ALONE, ADD SOIL AND PLANTS OR USE THEM AS AWESOME CANDLE HOLDERS.
MORE INFO AND TO ENROLL: peaceinmygarden.com

CREATIVE WORKSHOP- ZIP-LOCK GARDEN PILLOWS



ZIP-LOCK GARDEN PILLOWS

THURSDAY, APRIL 12 7:00-9:30

Mix up a bag of concrete mix and pour it into 5 


different sized zip-lock bags and then the fun begins! 

Push it, shape it, press it...be creative with very little

mess. You can make stepping stones and candle 
holders that look like pillows. Take home to cure and decorate as you wish.

Our Creative Workshops are set for April and we're 


doing some fun new things. For details and erollment 

Visit: peaceinmygarden.com