Archive for the ‘How To’ Category

Moss Graffiti
Andrea Bellamy |

I’ll just say it right off the bat: I love moss. I’ve always loved it. When I was a kid, there was a clearing in the forest I lived next to, and in the centre was a stone absolutely thick with the most beautiful emerald-green moss. I was convinced (and still secretly believe) that faeries congregated there. It was definitely a magical place.

So I really don’t understand the effort expended to rid lawns of moss. My father-in-law, upon seeing my sad excuse for a lawn for the first time, said, “you need some moss killer.” Horrified, I replied, “But I love the moss! I’m trying to get rid of the grass!”

Anyway, I came across a novel use for moss and thought I’d share: moss graffiti. It’d be a great use for all that moss starter medium you’ve been brewing up. You haven’t? Oh. Well, you might want to try it if you’ve got a bare-looking log or rock in nice shady, damp area in your garden, or if you want to make your terracotta pots look aged, or if you’d like to start a moss garden. Here’s my recipe:

Quick Moss Starter

  • Take a clump (a small handful) of healthy moss from your yard (or ask a neighbour for some if you don’t have any) and crumble it into a blender.
  • Add 2 cups of buttermilk and 2 cups of water
  • Blend at the lowest speed until it is completely mixed and the consistency of a thin milk shake (add water if necessary)
  • Paint the mixture onto rocks, logs, pots or statuary, or simply pour it on the ground wherever you’d like your moss to grow

So, the idea of moss graffiti is that you apply this moss milkshake to your chosen canvas and create a design or object out of moss (as in the photo above). Imagine the possibilities! I’m picturing moss wallpaper a la William Morris (outdoors, of course!)

Via Make.


The Instructables
Andrea Bellamy |

Heavy Petal readers, meet Instructables. It’s a website devoted to collaborative DIY: participants show (step-by-step!) what they make and how others can make it. The “what” varies widely: from how to make a marshmallow gun to how to sew your own bra to how to divine water.

At the moment, I could only find one garden-related article: how to root plant cuttings. But hopefully once the site grows (hardy har har), more gardeners will contribute. A good one to watch.


How to: make an evergreen wreath
Andrea Bellamy |

Perhaps the only thing better than the scent of fresh-cut evergreen boughs is having that scent come from a wreath you’ve made yourself.

My mom and some friends did just that last weekend and I played photojournalist. And so, may I present:

A step-by-step guide to wreath making

You will need:

  • A wreath frame (available at your local craft store).

  • Green florist wire (or just plain silver wire – it’s not really going to show)
  • Secateurs (pruners or clippers)
  • Moss (available at the nursery or some craft stores) soaked in water for at least an hour
  • A variety of fresh materials. Along with Western Larch and Cedar, we used:

Seeded eucalyptus




How To

1. Gather an assortment of 12-20cm (5″-8″) stems into small bunches (between 2-4 stems per bunch), and wrap the ends tightly with florist wire.

2. Wrap the cut end of the bunch with damp moss. Lay the bundle on your wreath frame and secure with more wire.

3. Place your next moss-wrapped bunch on the frame, facing the same direction so that the tips of the second bunch overlap the first, covering the wire. Secure.

4. Proceed as above, overlapping the bundles and wrapping the whole thing with wire. Once your frame is entirely covered, step back and assess. Add extra stems where needed, and affix extras like bows if desired.

Voila! You’ve got yourself a wreath.


Bulb thieves
Andrea Bellamy |

Over at Takoma Gardener, Susan reveals her secret to detering squirrels from stealing her bulbs: she scatters red pepper flakes over her bulb plantings. Brilliant!


<< Newer Posts