The Spring Garden #2 – How to make the Trees

Welcome back to part 2 of the Spring Garden, we hope you enjoyed making your bags of potting mixes. It is now time to think about and plan for the plants, trees and shrubs to add height and interest for your garden. We now have 2 quick, easy, fun and inexpensive projects to add to your scene.

Bare Rooted trees and shrubs [those not in pots or containers] are the usual way that full sized plants are sold in our garden centres at the start of Spring season. They are usually wrapped in some sort of sacking or hessian so that is what our project is based on.

The Trees.

What you will need for the trees.

  1. Dead sticks. Tip: Finding the right sort of stick. Getting sticks that are still ‘bendy’ is what the green fingered in our family call ‘cuttings’ that usually end up growing. They need to be ‘snappy’ dead to make sure there will be no unexpected green leaves growing at a later date!
  2. Glue – PVA or similar.
  3. Air dry clay or florist’s foam
  4. Small pieces of material/fabric that has the appearance of mini sacking.
  5. Acrylic paint to colour/age the material.
  6. Mod Podge or varnish – Matt not gloss
  7. Scissors or secateurs to cut the sticks.

How to.

Clean of any debris and loose bark off the sticks with a dry brush. Then cut the sticks to a pleasing shape that will be in scale for your garden. There is usually quite a lot of pruning involved, however, cut less than needed as further pruning is often needed when the trees are in place. Rather like Bonsai pruning.

Coat the whole tree with varnish as this will stop any unplanned breakages of the branches and makes the branches easily glued against a wall or trellis instead of free standing.

For the base.
Cut a small square of material and place a small ball of air dry clay in the centre.
While still damp, glue the trunk of the tree into the clay. The size of the clay will depend on the size of the trunk, as too small and the tree won’t be stable.

Bring up the edges of the material around the ball and glue into a pleasing shape.
A small piece of cotton can be tied around the ball to make it look more realistic. When dried cut off any excess material or fold it over and glue it down.

Hint: Add a small piece of paper to one of the branches to represent a label that shows what kind or tree it is. Some labels are long and others are square but it does add to the impression that they have been newly purchased.

We hope that this project for the Spring Garden has inspired you to give it a go. Visiting garden centres for research [and maybe morning or afternoon tea if they have a cafe, or a couple of delightful plant purchases] will make this an enjoyable experience, especially if like us it is winter time and not a good time for the full sized gardening.

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