Cultivating a Culture of Gardening™

Monday, May 14, 2012

Taking Garden Art to the Next Level

This past summer I had the privilege of meeting the delightful author of 'Handmade Garden Projects' - Lorene Edwards Forkner - and was able to see her gardens first-hand, including many of the projects in her book.  What impressed me about Lorene was her genuine passion for creativity and an almost a child-like enjoyment of what I grew-up calling "crafts".  Lorene makes re-purposing an attainable and practical goal for your garden. 

I spoke with Lorene about her book and absolutely loved her comments:
 "If I could offer anyone advice about taking on their own garden projects – whether one of the ones found in the book or something of their own creation – It’s to get back in touch with their childhood sense of play and interacting with the outdoor environment. Experiment, test limits, and even fail a bit.  The magical part is always in the process and sometimes we end up with something way better than anything we set out to create.
I would say the outdoor terrarium project was an example of that for me.  So much has been written about indoor terrariums but we all know what happens to plants under glass in the sun!  I was totally experimenting with an object I had around the house (the large light fixture) and pushing the limits.  The resulting completely enclosed, self-sustaining composition of plants has been a delight.  What a treat it’s been to have this SHADY nook and garden feature in the garden that looks lush and detailed yet asks absolutely nothing of me on a regular basis. Now in its third summer, I’ve had to change out the annuals but the perennials have held up fine through a couple of challenging winters.
The other advice I might pass along is when something doesn’t work – MOVE ON!  Trust me – there were plenty of projects I thought would be brilliant that were… well, let’s just say they were NOT brilliant!  My basement – always a repository for stray bits and collectibles is also where all my not-yet-finessed ideas languish!  The projects that did NOT make the book live there.
Live and learn; garden, play and relax.  When I was a kid – my parents were always telling me to “go outside and play; it’s a nice day!”  I’ve been there ever since."

From the Timber press website:

Handmade Garden Projects: Step-by-Step Instructions for Creative Garden Features, Containers, Lighting & More

By Lorene Edwards Forkner
You can transform your garden into a handmade, personality-infused oasis. Author Lorene Edwards Forkner — part eco-friendly non-traditionalist, part crafty creative — will show you how.
Projects run the gamut from eye-catching structures, like a pergola made from plumbing pipes, to imaginative details, like a tree-hung chandelier for nighttime ambiance. You'll also find helpful plant guides to accompany projects: delectable herbs to fill a stacking container tower, stellar succulents for a vertical gutter garden, glorious flowering vines to climb a bamboo obelisk, and so much more.
Ready to get started? All you need are refreshingly simple, inexpensive materials — hardware store basics, salvaged goods, repurposed castoffs from cluttered basements — along with a little do-it-yourself spirit. With clear instructions and inspiring variations on every theme, this book is easy to follow and easy to love. Your journey to a made-from-scratch outdoor space starts here.

This outdoor terrarium made from an old giant light has been growing for almost 3 years.

I  have thoroghly enjoyed reading through this book, and value the careful instructions that are given to accomplish the tasks. Learn more about Lorene's book at Timber Press and check out what others are saying about this creative book from these well-respected garden writers:


At May 15, 2012 at 8:42 AM , Blogger Candra-corn said...

The terrarium is beautiful!

At May 15, 2012 at 12:38 PM , Anonymous Lorene Edwards Forkner said...

Yeah! Thanks for the kind words Barbara. Happy gardening.

At May 18, 2012 at 3:23 PM , Anonymous Lorene Edwards Forkner said...

Yeah! Thanks so much for the kind words about Handmade Garden Projects!

At May 23, 2012 at 7:00 AM , Anonymous Carolyn @ Carolyn's Shade Gardens said...

Fun to meet you at the fling. I couldn't agree more that you have to experiment and be childlike to achieve exciting things in the garden. Sounds like a fascinating book. You can spray plants with a baking soda mixture to prevent powdery mildew. I don't bother though. I usually don't comment on blogs that have word verification but wanted to stop by and say hello.

At May 24, 2012 at 2:28 PM , Anonymous Weekend Cowgirl said...

What cute ideas. I have a little red wagon just waiting to make a cute container!!


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