Sunday, January 29, 2012

I pledge you my trough

When I was home in December 2010, my father and I took a drive to Pleasant Point on the Eastern Shore. While wandering around our cousin's property (Dad's first cousin, my "once-removed" from me, you see), I saw this stump with crowberry, or Empetrum growing on it. It's a lovely stump (I think I blogged it back when I first saw it), and I fell in love with crowberry even more that day. I think we have a tendency to overlook our common native plants. I know I did. What is crowberry to the glories of heather, etc., etc. Well, I still love heather, but I love crowberry too.

Pleasant Point Stump

This stump became my inspiration when I decided to finally try making some hypertufa things this summer. The trough of the blog post title is in the next two photos. I used two old plastic dish-washing basins as the form for this trough.* I found some crowberry growing in at transition of some very compressed gravel and some very wet clay. I found random bits of sedum and a tiny sempervivum already growing in the yard. I used composted leaf mulch, peat and sand for the soil, and mulched the whole shebang with pea gravel and old mussel shells. And this past December the crowberry took on the deep reddish winter tone and the sedum started to colour up and...! I was pretty happy with my first adventure in hypertufa.

Hypertufa trough

My favourite part of the hypertufa-making was carving and smoothing and adding texture to the still-soft concrete.

Hypertufa trough detail All planted and settled in for the winter. *Just typing trough at the moment confuses my brain. Through? Troff? tr-owf?


Morgan Crowley said...

That's a lovely trough (trow-f/troff/trawf). And I've never particularly liked sedums! But crowberry appeals to me as a name (I wonder why?) and well... yes it's an amazing stump. I've always loved micro environments. I want to build a gnome house on that stump.

Cat said...

I'm pretty sure you have used the proper spelling and the play on troth is neat. I'll try and get a picture off to you of the hypertufa in the winter son/snow this week. As i sit here typing that crazy cat is hitting me with her head.Odd, that!

The Garden Ms. S said...

Now, that did turn out well. I am encouraged to try it myself as a project with my son.

Love the landscaping textures you added to the plantings. Very pretty. :)

Sarah O. said...

It was fun mixing up the concrete (I don't think we ever fully get over playing in the mud). The hypertufa recipe I used called for portland cement as well as the peat and vermiculite/perlite, so gloves are a must and it's best to keep the kids out of the cement mix, of course. But unmolding the projects and taking a rasp to them and checking up on it while it cures would be great with kids, I think!