Jun. 20th, 2012

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Handmade Garden ProjectsHandmade Garden Projects by Lorene Edwards Forkner
Forkner, a former nursery owner and avid gardener, has filled up a book with garden projects for people with not much money and a little more time. The projects are divided by their ultimate purpose or location thusly: Ground Floor, Supporting Acts, Feature Attractions, Clever Containers, Finishing Touches and Organize and Store. There are lots of projects made out of repurposed hairpin wire fencing, including a sculptural trellis and chandelier with mason jars, another frequently used item. In general, the materials are intended to be commonly available, either recycled or new but repurposed. There are pictures and sometimes diagrams, lists of materials needed, and step by step instructions. Notably missing from all projects were time and cost estimates. Most projects looked to me like they were intended for people with minimal craft/building experience, but tools and definitely some strength for the wire bending and large container moving. I’d guess that most projects could be completed in an afternoon on the short side to a weekend on the long side – not huge time commitments in the grand scheme of things. The aesthetic seemed to me mostly modern rustic, with things like industrial woven steel for a trellis or an upturned industrial light fixture, big enough to use as a coffee table, used as an outdoor terrarium. The style was a little too modern for me personally, though I still liked many of the projects, including a fire pit made from a commercial wok or discarded kettle grill base or lid, the LED fireflies for garden lighting, the beaded mason jar hose guides, and the old birdbath planted with cascading flowers in watery colors. I’m feeling that I’m not quite as enthusiastic as this book deserves only because I am so very short on both time and sleep right now. However, better rested gardening friends thought this was a fabulous book, so I’m passing it on for those of you closer to their situation.

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