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It's August and time for the 'toothpick' technique

posted by: nandina on 08.23.2006 at 01:13 pm in Plant Propagation Forum

I have not posted this propagation method in several years. Time for a repeat. Just a reminder that all cuttings need to callus before they will root. This method allows the callusing to take place on the mother plant before the cutting is removed and is most helpful for those hard to root trees/shrubs. Plan to use the toothpick technique during the last weeks of August up until mid-September. This is a little known process and when I first posted it a number of growers contacted me, pleased to know about it as it requires no misting systems, etc.

A very sharp, small penknife or Exacto knife.
A small block of wood (to prevent cutting fingers!)
Some colored yarns or tape for marking purposes.

1. Select the stem from which you wish to take a cutting. Look along it until you locate a bud ON LAST YEAR'S GROWTH.

2. Place the block of wood behind that point and make a single VERTICAL cut all the way through the stem, just below the bud.

3. Insert a toopick through the cut.

4. Mark each cutting with colored yarn/tape so that you can locate it at a later date.

5. Walk away from your toothpick cuttings until the end of October or November. Leave them alone!

You will note that a callus has formed where you wounded the cutting and inserted a toothpick. With sharp pruning shears remove the cutting just below the toothpick. Trim off the toothpick on either side of the cutting.

7. Dip your cuttings in rooting hormone and set them in a cold frame. Water well and close up the frame for the winter. Water as needed. If you do not have a cold frame, set the cuttings right next to your house foundation on the east or north side. Lean an old window or glass pane up against the foundation to protect them.

8. Rooting should take place by mid-spring. Those with greenhouses can leave the cuttings on the mother plant into December/January before setting them to root. Commercial propagators will find this useful.

This method requires a bit of practice but works well. In August/September select the stem to be used as a cutting. Locate last year's growth on the stem and grasp it between thumb and forefinger. Snap the stem lightly until it breaks in half. Leave it hanging on the plant where it will callus. Then follow instructions above for setting cuttings. Snip the cutting off, when callused, at the wounded part. This is a useful technique for azaleas and many woody shrubs and Japanese maples.

Hopefully I have explained this method so it is understood. Reading it over a few times may be necessary.


clipped on: 11.07.2010 at 01:39 am    last updated on: 11.07.2010 at 01:39 am

RE: using sanded grout for stepping stone (Follow-Up #15)

posted by: fldirt on 05.17.2010 at 12:36 am in Stained Glass & Mosaics Forum

I cut & grind my glass, apply glass to clear shelf paper ( wait a day for it to settle) then spread vaseoline jelly in my mold, mix my concrete.
I use sand mix & add a polyfiber (just a pinch) which gives it its strength (make sure that you mix this very well). About 17 cups of concrete to 4-5 cups water for a 16 in. round mold (give or take). Then pour into mold & gently tap mold to get rid of any air bubbles. Wait a couple of days, un-mold & peel off shelf paper. I usually don't put mine out in the sun for a couple of weeks. Good luck.


clipped on: 05.18.2010 at 12:39 am    last updated on: 05.18.2010 at 12:39 am

RE: Need ideas for planting in my swampy area (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: felisa on 11.24.2009 at 08:40 am in Bog Garden Forum

I have similar area on my property although in spots it dries out by mid-summer. I have experience with and would recommend the following plants-all are native North America:
Trees (northeast/southeast portion):
Acer rubrum (swamp maple)- acid to slightly acid soil
Betula nigra - river birch - acid to slightly acid soil-there also a cultivar that is shrub size 'Little King'
Carpinus caroliniana (american hornbeam)-neutral to slightly acid soil
Querus bicolor (swamp white oak)-neutral soil
Querus palustsris (pin oak) - acid soil
Taxodium distichum (bald cypress)-acid soil

aronia arbutifolia (red chokeberry)
aronia melanocarpa (black chokeberry)
Cephalanthus occidentalis (buttonbush)
Clethra alnifolia (summersweet)-acid soil
Hamamelis vernalis (vernal witchhazel)- slightly acid to acid soil
Ilex glabra - (inkberry holly)-acid soil - evergreen
Ilex verticliata (winterberry holly)-slightly acid to acid soil
Itea virginicua (virginia sweetspire)
Myrica pensylvanica (northern bayberry)
Physocarpus opulifolius (common ninebark)-
Viburnum tribolum -(american cranberrybush)

Good Luck


clipped on: 11.25.2009 at 01:18 pm    last updated on: 11.25.2009 at 01:18 pm

RE: Stupid Glass Flower addiction! (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: marlene_2008 on 11.23.2009 at 09:03 am in Garden Junk Forum

I do move my glass flowers inside during the winter and last year my DH made me a "box" to store them in. He just made it out of scraps, but I would think you could use better looking wood if you wanted to use them to display at shows. It is a wooden box about three wide by two feet deep by two feet tall. He put a shelf about middle way. Then, he drilled holes big enough for the "stems" to go the top piece of wood and in the middle shelf. That way, I just put my flowers in through both holes and they stay nice and neat all winter. He staggered the holes on the top so they wouldn't bump into each other and it has about four rows of holes. Hope that makes sense....if not, let me know and I'll go out and take a picture for you.


clipped on: 11.24.2009 at 11:28 am    last updated on: 11.24.2009 at 11:28 am

Revision 1.8 of the EarthTainer Construction Guide Now Available

posted by: rnewste on 09.03.2009 at 09:19 pm in Container Gardening Forum

I've updated the Construction Guide September 3, with additional techniques and planting recommendations. Here is the direct link:


Here is a link that might be useful: EarthTainer II WaterMizer Edition Guide Rev 1.8


clipped on: 09.06.2009 at 01:31 am    last updated on: 09.06.2009 at 01:32 am

RE: Sand Cast Fish (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: eva1429 on 07.14.2005 at 03:41 pm in Hypertufa Forum

Hi, Everyone,

Thanks for the kind comments about my fish. Sorry I haven't been around much lately...nose to the old work grindstone.

Flyonawall (cool name!) -- Yes, I'd be glad to explain sand casting and to tell you a little about how I do it. In sand casting, you're actually making a mold in the sand and then pouring your mix into that mold.

A fish is an easy creature to start out with. All you need to do is draw a fish shape with your finger on the top of some damp, compacted sand in a container (a plastic dishpan, kitty litter pan, mortar pan, etc.), and then scoop out sand inside your outline to make the contours of your fish. At this point, you can make imprints (your thumb print is good for fish scales) or add embellishments such as seashells, half marbles, costume jewelry, etc. by pressing them into the sand face down (the side you want to appear on your casting in the sand), leaving part of the item sticking out of the sand so it will become embedded in your mix.

Keep your sand mold moist by misting it with a spray bottle if it starts drying out. Then you're ready to mix a batch of cement or 'tufa. I've been using 1 part Portland cement to 2 parts sand with a pinch of fibers, because I like how much detail I get with that mix. But a lot of different mixes would work. I make my mix more on the wet side, somewhere between packable and pourable. Apply your mix carefully in handfuls to avoid disturbing your designs in the sand. Leave for about 18 hours or so, and then demold.

Since it's been so hot here, I work outside in a shaded area. I cover my sand mold containers with pieces of plywood and then plastic bags weighted down with bricks. The sand in the containers is very moist, so I don't worry about adding any more water until I demold. After demolding and hosing off the casting, I put it back in the sand mold container and spray it and the sand with water. On very hot days, I sometimes cover the casting in the container with wet towels or t-shirts. I leave the casting this way for a few days.

In my Webshots album, you can see pictures of some of the sand molds that I've made. If you have any other questions that I can help with, please ask away.


Here is a link that might be useful: Sand Molds


clipped on: 03.02.2009 at 01:18 pm    last updated on: 03.02.2009 at 01:18 pm

RE: Glass Windchimes (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: gretch1964 on 10.22.2008 at 11:54 pm in Garden Junk Forum

I drill glass all the time as i make windchimes and sell them. I use a 9x13 baking dish and put water in it and then a peice of scrap glass. Put the glass you want to drill on top of that scrap piece, now when you start to drill put the bit at an angle then straight up and down. And before you know it your through.

I use a dremel tool. I buy my bits of ebay in a small 5 pcs set. And i only pay like 7 bucks for all 5. And they last along time.

Have fun making them. It is so much fun.


clipped on: 10.22.2008 at 11:59 pm    last updated on: 10.23.2008 at 12:00 am

Cans to candle holders

posted by: dcarch on 09.04.2008 at 08:37 pm in Garden Junk Forum

I need a few candle holders / lanterns to hang outside.

Don't tell me I am the first one to make these.

So simple to make. 15 minutes.

I may decide to paint them.


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


clipped on: 09.25.2008 at 06:19 pm    last updated on: 09.25.2008 at 06:19 pm

Snake made on mesh to install later

posted by: flagtruck on 07.27.2008 at 01:12 pm in Stained Glass & Mosaics Forum

This is the best use of mesh I have seen. This gal used it for almost every thing she has done. Maybe it will give some of you ideas and let you see mesh in action.

Here is a link that might be useful: mesh tutorial


clipped on: 07.27.2008 at 01:52 pm    last updated on: 07.27.2008 at 01:53 pm

RE: Concrete mushroom ..questions for those in the know (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: r_murray on 04.25.2008 at 11:47 pm in Garden Junk Forum

concretenprimroses what a great idea. I will certainly try adding bubble wrap to my list of GREAT ideas from this forum.

I'll post this again - hope it helps.



clipped on: 04.27.2008 at 11:55 am    last updated on: 04.27.2008 at 11:55 am

shrooms updated

posted by: r_murray on 04.03.2008 at 06:59 pm in Garden Junk Forum

Just finished this graphic in case someone can use it.




clipped on: 04.04.2008 at 12:53 am    last updated on: 04.04.2008 at 12:53 am

crete on the cap (Follow-Up #24)

posted by: nicethyme on 08.27.2007 at 08:57 pm in Stained Glass & Mosaics Forum

finally making progress on this, I have cemented rebar into the solid "inner" stem 2 weeks ago then yesterday I creted the cap.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


1 deel cement en 2 delen fijn zand
clipped on: 01.15.2008 at 06:25 am    last updated on: 01.15.2008 at 06:26 am

RE: Light Block (Follow-Up #20)

posted by: becky_ia on 01.02.2008 at 11:08 am in Stained Glass & Mosaics Forum

Here is another one of the light blocks I made as a Christmas present.

Bianchi-you asked how they are lit. My husband has a glass bit he uses to drill a hole in the bottom of the block. I then clean out the block from the glass shards and a white powder that is inside (probably from the drilling). I wash them out with warm water). Let them dry out by placing on the furnace floor vents... Attach the glass with weldbond, let dry, grout and seal the grout-then put them into the cherry wood frames-add the string of Christmas lights (20 count). And wa-laaa!



clipped on: 01.02.2008 at 01:08 pm    last updated on: 01.02.2008 at 01:08 pm

RE: some mushrooms done - instructions (Follow-Up #15)

posted by: lyndalu on 03.25.2007 at 01:28 pm in Stained Glass & Mosaics Forum

squirrley - I love your mushroom, too! Love the way you used the long pieces to mosaic the stem - looks great!

Mine were made from a concrete mix over various objectsI used a recipe from a book by Sherri Warner Hunter a Basic Sand Mix, which is 1 part Portland cement, 3 parts sand and approximately 1 part water. Im still very much a beginner at making concrete structures, but Ive got both of Sherri Warner Hunters books, and they have been very helpful to me.

On the 4 that look kind of like "button" mushrooms - I put the mix over a regular sized light bulb (light bulb covered in plastic wrap).

On the more elongated ones, I used a 6 oz yogurt container and put the mix over it, putting enough mix on the "top" (which of course is the bottom of the container), so that the top is more rounded, rather than flat. Oh, and I didnt try to "unmold" itthe plastic container is still in there.

For the stems on those 2 types, I took a piece of Styrofoam, and whittled it into the desired shape, stuck a long nail into the bottom, and then covered it with the mix. After a couple of days curing time for the cap and stem, I attached the stems to the caps by inserting the stem into the cap and pushing the mix all around it. After the concrete had fully cured, I painted the stems.

The taller lavender one was made over a glass bowl (covered in plastic wrap), with the mix over it.

The stem on the lavender one is a bud vase with the concrete mix over it. And the cap just sits on top of the bud vase its not attached.

And here's another type I'm working on. As a base, I used this metal thing - it's something from some type of light fixture. Thought the result might look a little like a portobello mushroom.


clipped on: 12.27.2007 at 12:03 pm    last updated on: 12.27.2007 at 12:03 pm

RE: All in all, it's just another block in the wall... (Follow-Up #20)

posted by: debzone8 on 06.02.2006 at 10:36 am in Hypertufa Forum

Thank you everyone! You are an amazing group! I gain so much from your friendly encouragement, ideas, technical knowledge and personal experiences. Sometimes the solution to something that's been holding me up lies in a fresh perspective and I can always count on that from you "right brain thinkers."

Justin: This area used to grow sheets of spagnum moss on the soil so I'm hopeful...

Rick: Good idea--I've seen what you're talking about and it's simple enough for non-plumbers, like me. It also won't interfere with the darmera that I want to plant in the pond. I'm focusing on foliage instead of flowers (for the most part) with a lot of large leaves and texture and a limited color range in this garden to encourage the feeling of contemplative space. A lot of splashing would interfere with that. I don't remember hearing splashing when I visited L&L's garden--I'd like to capture that "holy" feeling that they created. (Don't know how else to describe it). Any ideas on how to keep raccoons out?

Sereneseen: I didn't soak them. I just covered them with plastic sheeting and misted for a couple of days then stacked them on my shady front porch for three weeks to a month for curing. When I do a batch of 20, they take up almost all of my worktable space that's easy to reach without stretching too far. BTW--insider tip: Once each summer the big box hardware stores put Windsor block on sale for $1 each. The price of concrete has gone up because of Katrina and higher shipping (fuel!) but they may still put them on sale this year--it gets a lot of people in their stores. We have a 100' x 2' retaining wall to do in the backyard and are actually contemplating Windsor block (gasp! shudder!) I'm not not fond of the look (putting it mildly) but it would be expedient and not too much more expensive than making block. If we do it, I will make capstones to try to mitigate the utilitarian sameness of it. I just don't think I'm up to making 200 sqft of block!

Again, thanks for all of your kind words everyone--people seem amazed when I tell them that I learned everything I know about hypertufa on the internet. You guys rock!



clipped on: 12.18.2007 at 11:07 am    last updated on: 12.18.2007 at 11:08 am

RE: All in all, it's just another block in the wall... (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: debzone8 on 05.31.2006 at 10:13 am in Hypertufa Forum

Thank you! This is one of those projects that I wouldn't have started if I'd known how much work it would be. I have this awful fear that I will just keep making blocks and walls forever and create one of those folk art monstrosities...err, tourist attractions that people drive by and point at.

It is a good place to hang out. It's a pleasant spot for conversation or to sit and read a book. Large rhodies, a maple and some burning bush euonomys separate it from the rest of the front yard. We've been working on growing a privacy screen to separate it from the neighbors'. We just recently planted some golden bamboo (eek!) in the corner behind the column.

Paws, the blocks are hypertufa cast in 2 x 4 forms. I take them out when they're still pretty wet and leave them for a day or two before smoothing the lumps and rounding the edges and corners. They look similar to a stone I've seen called tumbled granite. Some I cast with styro wedges in the mold to make a wedge shape to go around curves. When they're cured, I fit them together like puzzle pieces and mortar them together. I've been working on this for two years now and stubbornness and having to look at an unfinished project are the only things that have kept me going ahead (oh, and a little taunting from CDNDavid :) )

Cindy, thanks! The column is hollow with the plumbing inside. There was a standpipe on a wood post in that spot that looked terrible with the wall, hence the column. I made the column and then DH drilled a hole and did the plumbing. I gave it a thick mortar base (underground) when I was putting in the blocks and filled the spot below it with drainrock.

Lazydaisy, I'M going to be the batty old woman who stands and waves at people who drive by to look at my folk art monument! Seriously, it would be hard to sell and move...I've put so much of myself into it. BTW, that green coily thing is the latest in hypertufa but I'm not telling anybody's going to make me a fortune!



clipped on: 12.18.2007 at 11:05 am    last updated on: 12.18.2007 at 11:06 am

RE: Grot Gallery and How-to (Follow-Up #27)

posted by: gansn on 10.21.2007 at 11:16 pm in Hypertufa Forum

Try this link:, I don't remember if I saved it from this forum, but it's the only one I could find on my computer.

Here is a link that might be useful: Grot instructions


clipped on: 10.26.2007 at 07:59 am    last updated on: 10.26.2007 at 08:01 am

I love those 3D stars

posted by: nicethyme on 10.02.2007 at 08:03 pm in Stained Glass & Mosaics Forum

but man they are soo expensive. So a bit of experimenting is in order. I'm not exactly calling this Rianna method cause I REALLY want to make it a single layer (too much sewing) so I'm thinking drywall tape and sprayfoam, then skim coat of crete.

I'm making 7, 5 for the girls to do at the BD party, one for me and one for my little DD (she has to do what the big girls do.

Color suggestions on tesserae welcome... think 10 year olds

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


clipped on: 10.10.2007 at 01:21 am    last updated on: 10.10.2007 at 01:22 am

Firefly Lites ~

posted by: decompost on 11.29.2006 at 06:08 pm in Garden Junk Forum

I've had the toughest time trying to get photos of these to turn out,
even these aren't very good, but they seem to be the best I can do :-(

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The bigger one hangs in my pergola, with a bunch of other glass junk :^)

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


clipped on: 09.28.2007 at 10:18 pm    last updated on: 09.28.2007 at 10:18 pm

Tufa Mixes for Newies

posted by: agrowingpassion on 08.28.2007 at 02:53 pm in Hypertufa Forum

This is taken from a post of 2005 which I can't find on the site anywhere but I had kept it and would like to share it with anyone interested. I have not used any of these but at the time of the post everyone was raving about this post. Take it for what it is worth. Hope it helps.

Receipe for hypertufa - different looks:

Hypertufa Mixes

1 part perl/verm
1 pt cement
2 parts peat

1 part sand
1 pt cement
2 pt peat

1 part sand
1 pt cement
1 pt peat

3 parts perl/verm
3 pt peat
2 pt cement

1/2 part sand
1 part cement
1/2 part peat

Approximate quantity for #1:10 quarts per part
All parts measured by volume

Treatment of Trough
Brush with stiff wire brush to remove shart edges and smooth look of poured concrete
Score sides with chisel or knife

Allow to dry slowly in a shaded spot 3-4 weeks or in big plastic bag with humidity under sun.


clipped on: 08.28.2007 at 03:18 pm    last updated on: 08.28.2007 at 03:19 pm

gog wip finally

posted by: hrsg on 08.22.2007 at 03:29 am in Stained Glass & Mosaics Forum

After my design mishap I found one I could do, and love. It is inspired by Piet Mondarian's style of art. The window is 3ft. x 2ft.

Here is the design:

The colors will be: green, red, clear, black outline, yellow and gold.

Outline complete:

Close up of first section:

It is laying on a gray towel so the clear look gray also.

Comments, questions and suggestions always welcome. ~: )


clipped on: 08.22.2007 at 01:15 pm    last updated on: 08.22.2007 at 01:15 pm

RE: how to crackle cd's (pic) (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: toomuchglass on 08.06.2007 at 02:13 pm in Trash To Treasure Forum

I did this ! Place the CD in a bowl of water - ( it usually floats ) and stick it in the microwave on high . You'll see lightning ! The beams just etch the top - it's really cool to watch . Take it out when you're satisfied with the amount of crackle.


clipped on: 08.07.2007 at 12:58 am    last updated on: 08.07.2007 at 12:58 am

GOG Table

posted by: squirrellycanadian on 07.07.2007 at 08:28 am in Stained Glass & Mosaics Forum

The round glass is from one of those cheap little decorator tables, found at the TS. I put it on top of a large flower pot for a little table on the deck. I usually do most of my mosaics with triangles or squares but decided to try just breaking the glass into random sizes. I like the way it turned out. The grout is black, but it looks grey.....I wanted black! darn it!

This is the first piece of my column from cement blocks, I want it to look sort of mexican, not sure on the design for the next one but I'm working on it. Now that I've previewed this I think these pics are a little LARGE! Oh well........Stand Back he he!


clipped on: 07.08.2007 at 01:15 am    last updated on: 07.08.2007 at 01:15 am

Part 2 (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: ladyronnie on 06.27.2007 at 09:41 pm in Stained Glass & Mosaics Forum

Next, use the paintbrush (or cardboard) to PUSH EPOXY AROUND to the edges and over the edges. I used the paintbrush also to paint the sides of the project with epoxy.
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It will run over onto your supporting surface. (Which reminds me, BE SURE TO PROTECT THIS SURFACE!! I should insert here: on a larger project without its own legs, you should place something under it to suspend it so the excess can drip off and not adhere your project to your work surface. I used wood blocks under the parts of my bathroom vanity. OR make sure you have plenty of newspaper or similar that can be torn away later. The funky edge this leaves can be dealt with, not to worry.)

Ok, next comes a weird pic. I am breathing LIFE into my project. Ok, not really! All those little bubbles will go away with a gentle application of carbon dioxide. The easiest way to do this is to EXHALE over the epoxy. Looks weird, works great. You will see the little bubbles just pop and disappear.
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Just keep doing this until no more bubbles appear. (I did this through a piece of pvc pipe over my larger project so I could move around easier. Yes, I got lightheaded because it took awhile! There is a way to do this using a bunson burner. I haven't tried that though.)

Some little bubbles up close:
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And a close-up after the bubbles are gone:
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That is basically it. The project will take a several hours to dry. It says in the literature how long at what temp and humidity level. The hotter the better. A couple other little things in the next post...


clipped on: 06.28.2007 at 01:30 am    last updated on: 06.28.2007 at 01:32 am

Epoxy Tutorial with lots of PICS :)

posted by: ladyronnie on 06.27.2007 at 09:23 pm in Stained Glass & Mosaics Forum

I am making a new thread for this since the previous one got stale waiting for me to get this done! I did this on a very small project, a little 3" square coaster, mainly in the interest of the time I had to glue the tessarae. You would follow the same steps on a larger project. One thing that is very important, is that your project needs to sit LEVEL! And the bigger the project, the more important it is. So, that said, Here Goes:

First, arrange everything you need AHEAD OF TIME! I learned the first time around that not having something when you have epoxy ready to go is NOT GOOD!
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What you need: Your project
--two-part epoxy (resin and hardener)
--measuring cup (I used a tablespoon for small amount)
--container to mix in (straight sided)
--something to mix with (needs a straight side to scrape container sides, I use a plastic picnic knife for small amount)
--a piece of stiff cardboard or a throwaway paintbrush (I have a craft paintbrush that is getting stiffer and stiffer, but I keep using it)
--rubbing alcohol (the only thing that will clean up wet epoxy)
--a rag for wiping your hands, etc (to wet with ALCOHOL, not water)
--something to time for two minutes (watch or clock with second hand, kitchen timer, etc. Not in pic, I used clock on wall)

Measure EQUAL AMOUNTS of resin and hardener into your mixing container, (I quickly wiped out my measuring spoon with alcohol-rag), and begin stirring. Time stirring for TWO MINUTES.
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Be sure to scrape sides and bottom of container frequently. Use kind of a whipping action, like hand-whipping egg whites. Mixture will get frothy and even have little bubbles float into the air.

POUR mixture onto your project. You can pour it all in the middle on a small project, pour it all around on a larger one. You can see all the bubbles in this pic:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

To be continued...
(I just don't want to accidentally delete this whole thing before I post it! So I'll do it in a few parts.)


clipped on: 06.28.2007 at 01:29 am    last updated on: 06.28.2007 at 01:30 am

RE: Classes? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: EasterIslandGiant on 07.15.2005 at 11:28 pm in Hypertufa Forum

I do tests to learn. I believe its the right way to do things. no one have same projects and the strenght of the mix used makes a difference.

I think the experience come when we have worked with the product and tested.

I would like to share information i have about tufa

Hypertufa mixes:
A) Granite Look-I
1 part perl/verm
1 part cement
2 parts peat

B) Porous Tufa-Like
1 part sand
1 part cement
2 parts peat

C) Limestone Look
1 part sand
1 part cement
1 part peat

D) Granite Look-II
3 parts perl/verm
3 parts peat
2 parts cement

E) Sandstone Look
1 half parts sand
1 part cement
1 half parts peat

Approximate quantity for size #1:10 quarts per part
All parts measured by volume

Brush with stiff wire brush to remove sharp edges & smooth look of poured concrete.
Score sides with chisel or knife

Allow to dry slowly in a shaded spot 3-4 weeks or in big plastic bag with humidity under sun.

Expose to several rainfalls or treat with a strong solution of water and permanganate of potash (1/2 oz. of crystals to 3 gal. of water) fill with solution and let stand 24 hrs.


clipped on: 06.17.2007 at 06:59 am    last updated on: 06.17.2007 at 06:59 am

RE: Why square? (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: amaretto on 12.12.2006 at 09:42 am in Hypertufa Forum


Funny you should mention it. When I flipped it over, I thought "Hmmm... this would make a nice fountain". Heck, a little bigger and it would be a tub. I'm under the impression that you have to add acrylic or something to make it waterproof or the constant water contact will ruin the tufa, that's why I held back.

BUT, once I get familiar with the mix, I that'll probably be one of my next steps. Right now, this huge boulder like planter is probably the only truly magestic thing in my landscape. Everything now seems so humble. I am thinking my very next project will be create some border rocks to keep it company and bring it in tune with the rest of the landscaping. That section is pretty big, so it'll be a pretty sizeable project. It might take me 2-3 weekends.

After that, I'm thinking of creating some lanterns to hilite it at night (similar to the ones posted on this forum -japanese like-), so I'm going to have to research how to isolate the electrical portions from the rain and moisture.

Then I'm thinking about doing the fountain and a few moai statues.

It's kind of funny, cause I don't have time to do these things during the week, so the way the process went with this piece was:

  • Mold preparation during the week. 5 minutes here, 5 there. Not a whole lot
  • 1 day mixing and plastering
  • 1 day of wire brushing and chizzling
  • 5 days of rest with a chizzle chizzle here, a chizzle chizzle there
  • 1 day of curing with vinegar, transportation and planting
  • 1 day of cleaning up

    So, if I'm going to translate that to my border rocks, I'll probably forego the cleaning up for a few weeks, which my wife wont be too happy about, in order to get them out faster.

  • NOTES:

    clipped on: 06.17.2007 at 06:56 am    last updated on: 06.17.2007 at 06:56 am

    Why square?

    posted by: amaretto on 12.09.2006 at 05:07 pm in Hypertufa Forum

    OK, first of all, I want to thank Billie_Ann for cheering me on. Had it not been for the support, I would have given up and never taken on this project.

    After my last project failure, being that it was only my second project, and my second failure, I was about to give up. Today, however, I woke up feeling quite confident, heck, I was even talking trash. I was even going to take on quite a big project. Pretty agressive for someone who hasn't had any success at doing this, but here is the plan:

    This is an area in my front entranceway. Pretty sizeable area with only mulch and a huge tendency to gather weed. I think it's time to add something in the area outlined in yellow, and what better idea than a huge bolder-like planter. It's a good project to take on, because the less it looks like a rock, the more it looks like a planter. You can't lose!

    So, time to creat the mold. Lessons learned from my first project: You don't necessarily need a square mold, and it only has to be strong enough to support the weight of the tufa mix.

    Because I will be creating the tufa outside the mold, I imagined the area flipped upside-down and created the shape accordingly:

    A few planters to secure depth, covered by some chicken wire should do the trick. To insure my cement doesn't just fall through the chicken wire, like it did in my first project, I'll cover it with some garbage bags.

    And that's my mold. Pretty simple.

    OK, if all goes well, that'll be my mold. My only concern is that the tufa mix will be too heavy.

    That's the form. Opened my drain holes. My mold held quite niceley. It doesn't look so much like a giant boulder, but it'll make a nice planter. I'm hoping people will think I just sliced a boulder in half and made a planter. Yes, they will have to be naive ;-). I used about equal parts of White Portland Cement, Peat Moss and Sand. Gave the sand and the Peat moss a slight advantage, going for the 3:2:3 proportions, but I wasn't exactly accurate with my measurements. I also added a hint of yellow and teracotta dye.

    I did a lot of chizzling after 48 hours, and went real hard with two BBQ wire brushes. They are now completely destroyed, and since I used my gloves for the cement handling, they are stiff, so I couldn't use the when chizzling and my hands are now full of blisters. Well worth it if you ask me.

    Here is the final product, truly rewarding!

    From up front:

    From on top:

    You can't really appreciate it, but the color has a hint of tan in it.

    As far as size, I'm about 6 feet tall, and this is about as large as I am from the waste up. Two strong guys couldn't lift it, so we had to use a trolly to move it from the garage to the designated area, about 5 feet away.


    clipped on: 06.17.2007 at 06:55 am    last updated on: 06.17.2007 at 06:55 am

    Thank you all! (Follow-Up #14)

    posted by: saywhatagnes on 06.07.2007 at 02:02 am in Garden Junk Forum

    Thank you all so very much for the kind words!

    Rebel One, heres a picture of a pane of glass (in an old window frame) that I used 3 different size marbles on:

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Large/Cobalt, Medium/Turquoise & Green, Small/Light Blue. I used medium and small on the tree. I got them at Hobby Lobby during a half-off sale but Ive seen all 3 sizes at Michaels, Big Lots & Wal-Mart too. At Wal-Mart, theyre in the craft/floral dept and the tag reads Mainstays Decorative Gems.

    Goldenpond & Purplemoon,
    Bottle trees are still my absolute favorite! ;)
    My Blue Bottle Cedar Tree:

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    RuthinOnt and Luvstocraft,
    Yes, I glued the marbles together first, then cut short lengths of fishing line and tied a piece on each marble (kinda like a yo-yo), then onto the tree limbs/branches.
    Hope yall can see in this picture:

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Again, thank you all for the kind compliments,


    clipped on: 06.08.2007 at 11:25 am    last updated on: 06.08.2007 at 11:25 am

    RE: Starting a new bog garden (Follow-Up #1)

    posted by: fredsbog on 08.10.2004 at 10:29 pm in Bog Garden Forum


    You are a bog gardener after my own heart! Here is the method I've used to create a bog for carnivorous plants as well as native orchids, cranberries, and a bunch of other great plants. It's actually the hand out I give out on the occasions when I've spoken on this sort of garden.

    Creating an artificial bog garden

    Strange as it may sound the first step to building a bog garden, dig a hole! The area can be whatever shape you like about 18 24 inches deep and slightly raised from the surrounding bed area to keep runoff from entering the bog (this is explained shortly). Locate the bog garden where it will get full sun at least half the day, preferably afternoon sun.
    The worst part is done! Now line the hole with rubber pond liner. Dont worry if there are sharp roots etc. that could puncture the liner. A few leaks do not matter.
    Begin filling the bog with the following combination: add 1 bale (4cuft) of sphagnum peat, mix in 100lbs of silica sand and a big mess of conifer needles (white pine is my favorite). Add rain, distilled, or dehumidifier water till saturated. This is the second hardest job because peat is extremely hydrophobic. Repeat above until the bog is full and fully saturated. Sculpt the "dirt" such that it is low in the center and higher around the edges. Because it is saturated and all the air is worked out, it will not settle.
    If you wish to plant a Fen type garden (ph neutral and slightly more nutrient rich) add 50 100 lbs of calcium rich lime in place of the conifer needles. Most species of Cypripedium will prefer this to the bog garden. I made the mistake of using crushed oyster shell, it added too much saltso dont use this for calcium!
    Time to plant! Place plants that like more water near the center of the bog where it is low and plants that like less water around the edges. This works well because the edges dry out far faster than the center. Be patient! A bog garden takes at least 2 years to become well established as a mini ecosystem. Dont pull any weeds that you are not sure are weeds! Some really good stuff can come to your garden from peat bales. But keep seed heads of sedges and other more aggressive plants trimmed so more tender plants will have a better chance of survival.
    Plants suitable for bog gardens and sources

    There are a number of plants that are suitable for bog gardens, many are readily available others far too scarce. Listed here are some of the plants I have had success with and enjoy in my garden. Remember when looking for plants, be sure to buy from sources that propagate their stock or (in the case of orchids) are from documented salvage operations. These are plants that were removed from habitats just before the bulldozers come in to build the next strip mall. This list is NOT exhaustive and you may have luck with plants I have failed with or think Im crazy for planting "that".

    Sundews, Drosera filiformis, D. rotudifolia, and D. intermedia
    Sarracenia Species especially purpurea and those that produce best pitchers in spring.
    Venus Fly Trap Dionea muscipula. Ive found it reasonably hardy here (my plants have survived -5F)
    Bog rosemary Andromeda and Heather/Heath Caluna species.
    Sedges and rushes especially corkscrew rush and cotton grass (sedge).Be careful some of these can get out of hand!
    Gentians, great fall flowers. Patience is required to get them established.
    Blue and yellow eyed grasses and smaller members of the Iris (Iridaceae) family.
    Call me crazy but no bog garden would be complete without Poison sumac (yes it is in my garden). Most wonderful fall color, but dont touch!
    Cypripedium or ladys Slippers, C. acaule (pink) for the bog garden, C. reginae (showy), and C. candidum (white) for the "Fen" and C. pubescens (Yellow) and its relatives for a partly sunny spot in the Perennial bed.
    Fall blooming Spiranthes or Ladys Tresses, Small, fragrant, and a great companion to fringed gentian. These self seed in the bog!
    Platanthera species, the fringed orchids, especially P. ciliaris (yellow) and blephariglottis (white). There is also P. psycodes (purple) but it is NOT an easy plant to grow!
    Calopogon tuberosa, the grass pink. Showy and easy, Epipactis gigantea, giant hellborine, great if you can find a source, Dactylorhiza spp. (European) a good garden candidate, and Bletilla spp. A great garden subject needing no special care.

    See the web sites for the above at click on sources!
    If you have questions feel free to contact me at:

    It does take some patience to get the garden well established but once it's there it takes minimal work to keep going in the form of limited weeding and watering with only rain or distilled water. Judith, You may also be able to grow additional plants that will not survive Cleveland Ohio winters. If you'd like some sources drop me an email and I'll send them off to you, they are part of the above post but I could not figure out how to separate them (they all ran together when I copied and pasted!)

    Happy Bogging!


    clipped on: 06.02.2007 at 01:26 am    last updated on: 06.02.2007 at 01:27 am

    RE: Windspinners Part Deux (Follow-Up #7)

    posted by: wackyweeder on 05.13.2007 at 01:59 pm in Garden Junk Forum

    mary-It looks like the original directions are gone, I didnt do them or remember who did, but I will try to explain.
    You need 2 pop cans. remove the top of the pop cans down to the shoulder of the can, (so you are left with 2 aluminum drinking cups, is what they look like)Yo can do this easily with a sharp pair of scissors as the aluminum is easy to cut.
    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
    Next you have to cut the spokes down the sides of the cans-I made a template that was a piece of paper that fit around the can, divided into 8 equal sections, a bit over an inch each, I mark the spokes at the top and bottom of the can, then cut them on a diagonal, mark onegets cut over to mark 2 and so on.IMPORTANT! each can has to be cut in opposite directions, one slants left to right and the next right to left, or they wont fit together and you will go crazy figuring it out.
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    Now poke a hole thru the bottom of each can in the center. To attach them together its easiest to string them on a piece of wire facing each other, held up by coffee cans or what ever.
    Just fold the 2 spokes together forming a point and then do the next one till you are done. Then the gal who did them first hung them vertically, several stacked together on a wire. the use of a wooden bead between them acts as a bearing so they spin freely. I placed mine on a wire horizontally like a flower and attached to a stake.
    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
    Its actually easy, its just hard to describe and the person who did them first did a much better job, I hope this helps
    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
    This is the quick down and dirty version-If you have questions ask and I will try to help, I only had a few minutes this morning to try and explain.


    clipped on: 05.14.2007 at 08:07 am    last updated on: 05.14.2007 at 08:10 am