Innovation, Moss Graffiti
Innovation in the garden is the topic for this week, inspired by Noel Joyce and his recent visit on the Dragons’ Den. Noel came up with the idea to fix frames onto wooden fences and sheds for hanging plant pots in and has called the invention the ‘Breezy Garden Plant Holder’. For me it was a case of “Why didn’t I think of that” Sean O’Sullivan, one of the Dragons thought it was such a good idea he invested in it, so they will be on the DIY shelves very soon. I have put my creativity to good use and come up with a few suggestions of my own for innovation in the garden. I’m not sure if anyone will invest in me though!
Here’s a great idea for making good use of all of those neglected trampolines scattered about the back gardens on the peninsula. The base makes a perfect framework for a chicken enclosure. Get a roll of chicken wire and unroll it around the legs of the trampoline; if the top bouncy bit is ripped this can be covered with wire netting too. The chicken house could be attached to the enclosure somehow ( I haven’t thought this through too well, the Dragons would eat me alive) The only reservation I would have with this would be if the kids got onto the trampoline and stated bouncing. I think you would have a few more eggs laid that day.
Making Moss Graffiti
I went through a phase of making seed bombs a few years ago and hopefully the effects of these are still being felt in the hedgerows. I only used naturalised seeds and merely re distributed them. Now the next stage of the eco warrior world is upon us and it’s called Moss Graffiti. I’m not sure if I have the nerve to do this in public places so I will probably just play with it in my back garden and not even consider getting outside investments from the Dragons. I have a few walls that could do with brightening up and could benefit from a dab of buttermilk. Here’s how you create the solution should you decide to make your mark on a wall, or any other stationary object for that matter, this idea will work well on Belfast sinks and other small alpine garden planters.
How to do it
Bearing in mind this is not an exact science you could add more or less depending on what you were going to do with the solution. This mix will make a decent statement.
• Collect 3-4 hands full of moss and put in a blender with 700ml of luke warm water.
• Add 3-4 tablespoons of water retaining gel (you can get small packs from most garden outlets)
• Add 120 ml of buttermilk
• Pulse the blender until the gel forms, which doesn’t take long.
• Pour the mix into a bucket.
• Paint onto rough concrete or wooden surfaces.
• Here’s the tricky bit. You will need and keep an eye on the weather, if it’s dry, mist weekly to make sure the moss re-grows. The water retaining gel will be of benefit here.
• After about three weeks you should see your artwork growing in front of you.
Green Gungy Graffiti
I decided to make some of the moss graffiti paste this week. I did two lots, one made with buttermilk, moss and water retaining gel and the other one I substituted the buttermilk with a fine can of ale that I bought from the local off licence. The kitchen looked a bit of a gungy mess when I had finished as I seriously underestimated the sheer size of the retaining gel when it has absorbed the water
In the blender. If you have ever seen a nappy when it is full this will give you an idea how much it can grow when wet, our cakes might have a green hue in them for a while. I have three large containers of the slime in the fridge now and after drawing a couple of things on our shed wall I have run out of ideas where to put the remainder of the mix. The main reason for this is the realisation that after the initial image gets established, the moss will just keep on growing until it has covered everything around it, especially if it on a sheltered north facing wall. I need to handle it with care, or throw it into the compost bin, which is the most likely place for it to end up as mould seems to be pushing the lids off the containers.