Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The Shrubbery

I'm not green fingered by nature and am really quite a danger to all plant life when attempting any form of gardening. So when I had the idea a while back, of "enhancing" the approach to our real house with some topiary, I thought I would play it safe, for the plants at least.

Real front door
The not very impressive afterall "real" topiary...
Instead of buying the real thing and artistically clipping it into some whimsical shape for the amusement of all to see, I trotted to our local garden centre and purchased two, not very realistic, but user friendly, fake privet balls and popped them on top of a couple of zinc flower pots. Job done. I had myself a shrubbery! And no watering needed.

To make the same for the Mini House was not quite so simple. For a start, I didn't want to spend any money, and the only 1:12 topiary I had seen was made of resin, was very costly, and even less realistic than my plastic balls!

So, having found two smallish Christmas tree baubles and some hollow plastic pipe, I attempted to make something similar to the real(ish) thing on our doorstep.

I have "acquired" from my Father in law's paint stash, some amazing pewter spray paint, which I have already used on the roof and hearth in the Mini House. It has graphite in it, so once dry, you can buff it to a sheen with a soft cloth. It worked really well on the cut pipe to make the zinc flower pots. And to make them look water stained, I added a bit of watered down white acrylic dabbed on with my fingertip.

The shrubs themselves are made from the baubles covered in green acrylic paint mixed with sawdust and wood glue. Once dry, I coated them in another thick layer of wood glue, before rolling them in freeze dried mixed herbs from the kitchen cupboard, and more sawdust. Then a coat of matt acrylic varnish and a second layer of herbs, with an additional a sprinkling of moss picked from our neighbouring woods, which I dried and chopped into tiny fragments. Finally a few individual herb leaves were added with a spot more wood glue.

And these are the results. Not strictly in proportion but good enough I hope.

The mini version looking slightly less fake than the "real" thing

"Then, when you have found the shrubbery, you must place it here, beside this shrubbery, only slightly higher so you get a two-level effect with a little path running down the middle." Head Knight of Ni, Monty Python's Holy Grail 

No comments:

Post a Comment