Greengirls Helen Yarmoska, Nicole Hvidsten, Martha Buns, Connie Nelson, Kim Palmer and Mary Jane Smetanka are dishin' the dirt from the back-yard garden and beyond. Whether you're a greenthumb or greenhorn, they're eager to learn from your mishaps, mistakes - and most importantly, your sweet successes - all growing season long.
I love garden art, the really good stuff made of iron or stone, that can take a pounding from the elements and still look beautiful. So far, I haven't splurged on any for myself. But I have bought a few things as gifts for my mother.
The small stone cupid I bought her a few years ago still looks great. But the statue I picked up for her, of two kids reading a book together, does not. When I first spotted it, it had a beautiful greenish patina, like old bronze. (I knew it wasn't bronze, since it was in my price range.) But it was heavy like stone, and it seemed durable.
Well, that "patina" finish started to crack and flake off almost as soon as it was exposed to sunlight. By the end of July, it looked patchy, like the children had some horrible skin disease. (Sorry, Mom.)
My next garden gift was a moss-covered dog. He looked furry and adorable when I presented him to her. She placed him in a garden bed where the sprinkler would soak him periodically, and his moss coat stayed healthy and lush throughout the growing season. But the next summer, the puppy was just a metal frame with some dead, shriveled moss residue inside.
Mom has a lot of moss in her yard, so I harvested some and did my best to patch him. The bigger surfaces, like his back, looked OK, but I couldn't get the moss to stick to his face, legs or tail. He remained a scary-looking, mangy mutt for the rest of the summer.
Maybe I should stay away from garden art unless I can spring for for the really good stuff. Or maybe I should buy Mom a gazing ball next year. They look pretty indestructible.
What's held up in your garden? And does anyone know about the proper care and feeding of a moss dog?
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