crafting / garden ornaments / Winter Gardening

Garden clubs ignite the gardening spirit, soothe the tired winter soul

I had the pleasure of speaking at two garden club meetings this week at opposite ends of the city — the Hennepin County Horticultural Society and the Dakota Gardeners. They were both lively, spirited groups with gardening enthusiasm for days!

I spoke of the winter gardening turning point in my head; that moment when you go from being glad it’s all over, to anticipating the coming of spring and the digging in the dirt. It’s when the fire ignites in your belly and the enthusiasm rises up, like lava, and you start making plans. It typically comes at once, in a small burst, like the furnace coming on. It happened for me last weekend when I was prepping for my talks. Do you know what I’m talking about?

A store-bought candleholder is inspiration for abstract wire sculpture.

A store-bought candleholder is inspiration for abstract wire sculpture.

By the way, the Minnesota State Horticultural Society is like one big garden club for the state. Check out their site and for the first half of the year, you can view the award winning Northern Gardener magazine online, for free. Take a peek at my article on rock gardening and also, my regular column, The Sustainable Gardener.

At both talks, we dwelled on the subject of art in the garden and how to do it D-I-Y and on-the-cheap. A favorite activity is to have a club member create their own abstract wire sculpture during class, like the one below. Gardeners are inherently artistic and it’s great fun to see what emerges. Try one yourself!

Spin your own abstract wire garden wall or fence sculpture

gardendrama.comAll you need is a 20 foot package of 16 gauge wire and a can of black spray paint.

  1. Uncoil the spool of wire and run the wire through your fingers a few times and stretch and tug to straighten it a bit.
  2. Begin looping the wire continuously over and over with one hand while holding the sculpture in the other.
  3. Every four to five loops, pinch a length of wire around the loops you have created thus far. Try to form a small loop in the back to use as a hanger.
  4. Continue looping wire, forming the shape of the piece as you go, until you have used all your wire. There is no right or wrong and the wire is very forgiving. Think of creating a tangle of cooked spaghetti or a bird’s nest shape.
  5. Spray painting your wire sculpture black makes it pop against nearly all backgrounds, but you can also leave it unpainted and let it rust.
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