Sunday, February 16, 2014

Junque Art, the art of upcycling. Part one.

Junque Art is a fun hobby of mine, I do not know who came up with the term, but I started using it sometime last year. Many people use upcycling, especially one of my favorite artists, Laura Eubanks, from Design for Serenity.  There are so many ordinary items that can become fun accessories to your garden.  Just remember to not overdo it, there is a fine line between whimsy and tackiness.  However you still must garden for your self, and not for others.  Have you read the book "Kiss my Aster?"  If not....get it now!

I have already posted about my succulent chair, but I thought I would give you a few other ideas that I have done.   I have many others planned, but sometimes it takes a while for something to come together.  You have to have just the right plants.  I like to tie in my plants with the object, or use some whimsy to make it fun.   I would love to hear about your junque art ideas and will be happy to add them into the blog.

Here is a stove that I planted for a Pastori Landscape client.  The stove is nothing real fancy, just a old stove that had to be removed from the clients cabin.   I threw out the idea of planting it if I could find the right plants.   The client loved the idea.

The red plant at the top is Crassula "Campfire"  it lives up to its name in this spot.   The plants in the grate are the native Sedum spathulifolium.  The logistics of the planting are as follows:
I made holes in the bottom of the stove with a screwdriver and a hammer, fortunately it was weak enough to give way.  I filled the bottom with coarse gravel and a ton of perlite.  I then filled the rest with well amended potting soil (lots of perlite)
I used green basket moss for the grate, and shoved the unrooted cuttings in with chopsticks, they had to be replanted again later to replace cuttings that did not thrive (about 10%)

I planted the campfire plant in the stovepipe and decided against planting in the burner area. I think it would have taken away from the visual impact. "Less is often more."

This picture was taken after it had a chance to grow in.

This is another planter done at the same location, it is not really Junque Planting, in its purest sense, but I adore the planting,   Do you see the school bell?  The huge piece of driftwood?  There was also a ton of incorporation of thousands, maybe millions of rocks that the owners of the house past and present had beach combed, from the nearby ocean.

I love the color of the bell echoed in the plants.  Rusty iron is such a natural material to pair with succulents. It contrasts beautifully with the blue-green and makes the yellow pop. I look for pieces of rusty metal at beaches, they can be really fun accents. 

The pink flowers in the middle and the white on the lower right are native Lewisia varieties.  They are native to Coastal California and Oregon. They like a little more shade in warm areas, but as this garden was a block from the ocean, they are perfectly happy.  Also in this planting are Aeoniums, Sedums, Sempervivums, Echeverias, and some non succulent companions.  This is one of my favorite planters and the day that I went up to take pictures of it, was absolutely perfect timing, as everything was in flower and looking as good as can be. 

Here is a broken teapot that I decided would make a cool wall planter.  Since it is tipped down, the spout serves as the drain for the planting, saving me the trouble of drilling a drain hole.  I water it by tipping it up horizontal, watering and holding in position for a while then tilting it back down to drain. 
That brings me to an important point.  Plantings MUST have drainage unless you are going to be ridiculously scientific on your watering.  Trust me, you don't want to fuss that much.  You can sometimes do an insert planter so you could easily remove the plant to water, but sometimes finding a match is difficult.  Here is a link to a friend's blog, called Sweetstuff's Sassy Succulents and how to drill pots.   She is amazing!  

Anything that holds potting soil, or can be made to hold it can be used to plant plants in.  Never doubt the ability of succulent cuttings to root and thrive in sphagnum moss.   Plants and moss can be glued on to flat surfaces and simply misted as they root.   Please take the time .look at the work of Laura Eubanks with Design for Serenity, she is a master of attaching succulents to objects. 

I used her ideas to make a fun pair of succulent creations, in my Rooster, Hen and chicks set.  It was my first attempt at gluing materials in. The brass chickens were hiding in a closet until I came up with an idea to use them.  The Rooster is packed with sphagnum moss that the succulents were glued to with a low temperature glue gun.   
I will post a sequel to this post, I have some more fun stagings to share.  I need to get my camera out to get some better images of my creations.

Have you tried upcycling?  What is your favorite thing to look for in garage sales and thrift stores?  Do you have any big plans for the next season?  I am itching to get going on my garden.

Here is my succulent chair.

Find me on Facebook:

No comments:

Post a Comment