All posts tagged garden tour

Mother’s Day 2010

Every year on Mother’s Day the Placer County Master Gardeners put on a garden tour. My parents, both former master gardeners, were asked if their garden could be included on the tour. How fun is that?! Turns out it is fun, in a way. But more than that, it’s just plain hard work!

Wire garden spider web and crystal light-catcher

Aluminum wire and crystals make up this light-catching spider web.

A few weeks before the tour I went up to help get some projects made. One was an aluminum wire and crystal spider web we could hang in the garden to catch the light. I’d seen it years ago in a garden project book and just fell in love with it. It is so pretty hanging in the garden with the greenery behind. Especially after a rain or the sprinklers hit it and the drops of water are shining.

Another project was to make a screen that could block the neighbors yard while the newly planted bushes grew. There is an old claw-foot tub in the yard in one of the outdoor “rooms”. I thought if we hung a window frame with a mirror in it and created a screen of branches on either side of the mirror it would create a very organic “bathroom” wall.

After sinking 6-2 x 4’s into the ground and constructing the frame it was time to age it by painting it grey. While that was drying I could go through the willow branches that were donated from friends and pick out the best to use. With a pair of clippers, wire and nails I started weaving branches to create the “wall”. It sure took a lot longer than I thought it would… but then what doesn’t?

Garden window wall and tub

Mirrored window between screens of willow branches for an outdoor garden wall.

A note to this in real time, two years later… it is still standing through a couple of hard winters. Yea!

The third project I could do was to make a replacement for a birdhouse that sits on a tall post along the walk in the front yard. That I would do at home with things I had in my garage. Turned wood pieces, some cedar shims along with scraps of plywood for the structure itself, turned into an open summery gazebo. I did learn that I really hate compound angles! I think I made the equivalent to 3 roofs, before I got it right. After weatherproofing the gazebo with exterior paint and varnish I couldn’t wait to see it on the post. Once it was up it just seemed to fit the garden perfectly.

Garden Bird Gazebo Plant Hanger

Bird gazebo atop a very tall post that holds hanging pots of flowers.

 

Before going up for the Mother’s Day  Garden Tour, I decided that I didn’t want Mother’s Day to get forgotten in all the work. Now this my chance to practice more gum paste flowers. I had recently ordered and received a set of petal dust that I was waiting to use.

You need to know that my parents property is filled with rocks and we call my mom the “rock lady”. She has built a lot of walls and  pathways throughout the garden over the last 30 years. I would make a flower garden cake surrounded by a rock wall.

I had been working pretty hard on the cake at this point to get the flowers and bugs made and ready to set on the cake. I came across some cupcake flower pots, thought it would be great with the garden theme. I could use extra flowers on them… assuming I had extra flowers.

The rock wall was made from a thin sheet of cereal treats with balls of treats stuck on for the “rocks”. Covered in fondant it would make a wall of rocks. After I wrapped the wall around the layered cake, I needed to shade the rocks with edible petal dust for definition. It really “made” the rocks. On to the garden…

I crushed up Chocolate Teddy Grahams for the garden dirt that would be spread over the top tier of the cake. The lower tier would be green frosting for a “lawn”. I made some extra rocks and packed up to go.

garden-cake

Mother’s Day Garden Tour Cake

The weather was great while driving up the day before the tour. It’s about a 2 hour drive, but it felt longer. Not being sure how to transport the flowers, I set most in tissue lined boxes. The daisies I  had stuck in a block of styrofoam, not touching each other. Turns out not a great idea. The block wasn’t heavy enough and slid in transit, breaking a few. Luckily I took my supplies with me, just in case I needed to make replacements. At least they were easy to make and no coloring of gum paste was involved. I would put the final touches on the cake in the morning while Mom was busy.

Unfortunately, when we woke up on Mother’s Day, the day of the tour, it was grey and damp. I finished the cake and cupcakes and we all had a laugh about the rock wall!

The turn for the tour was pretty good considering the weather. A lot of people came through the garden and the weather did get better as the day went on.

My family gathered at the house towards the end of the tour. So we were able to celebrate Mother’s Day with three generations of mothers and enjoyed the cake.