Gardening is like Therapy and You Get Hypertufa
Gardening has a way of calming the mind, reducing the stress of the day, and exercising those muscles that were idle because you sat in front of the computer all day. The collection of busy thoughts running around inside my head somehow settles when I am in my garden. Whether it is pulling weeds, deadheading flowers or just cutting grass, an afternoon working in my yard can leave me feeling physically exhausted, but pleasantly relaxed.
There is some discussion that It’s in the dirt ! More specific, a strain of bacterium in the soil – “Mycobacterium vaccae, has been found to trigger the release of serotonin, which in turn elevates mood and decreases anxiety”.
As much as I like working in my garden (in the dirt) , I enjoy making accouterments for my garden. I have constructed wooden planters, trellis’s and pergolas and a crazy garden gate but making hypertufa is much more fun and does not require a circular saw. Mixing up the ingredients is like making a cake. Making hypertufa containers does not require artistic talent, however it will help you find your creative side. And the end result is a unique container and one more reason (like you need one) to buy plants.
So why do people enjoy making these stone like pots? You buy a few basic ingredients, get a mold at the Dollar Store and with a little instruction and some water you can create a you own really cool container. The design, size and shape is up to you. Although you are not digging in the dirt and there is no release of serotonin, the good feeling comes because the entire process was done by you. You made it!
|Hypertufa is fun because it does not require you to be a concrete artist. Google hypertufa and you will find hundreds of experts and just as many recipes|
After making a few of your own pots you will get the hang of mixing the ingredients. I tell my classes the consistency of the mix after you add water should feel like a moist meatball (in the bowl!). As you slowly work the mix into the mold, getting the bubbles out of the mix, also seems to release some of the frustrations from the day! Removing the firm but uncured pot from the mold, then carefully working out the rough edges with the flat trowel and wire brush transforms the concrete pot to an aged stone trough.
|I used a childs kick ball as the mold for this pot.|
Fine Gardening Web Site
In all my hypertufa classes I show participants how to use a wire brush and a flat trowel to texture the sides of the uncured pot after it is unmolded and also what to do to fix broken sides.
Once the pot has cured for about 2 weeks it is ready to plant. There are so many choices, however because the size of the container, plants that remain small grow best. Succulents are the easiest to grow, but conifers and herbs also do well in these containers. The key to successful containers plants is well drained soil. I use Al’s Gritty Mix.
|Pots can be made in many sizes and shapes . Just find a mold and you can create what ever size container you desire. The smaller pots were made using quart nursery pots.|
|Even a stay in the hospital can result in a usable mold. Its the small pink rectangular wash container provide to every patient.|
Gardening has a way of calming the mind, reducing the stress of the day, exercising those muscles that were idle because you sat in front of the computer all day. Making these pots is one more way you can enjoy the beauty of your garden.
If you have never tried Hypertufa or if you have made a few pots and it did not turn out the way you expected – Use my “Hypertufa Instructions” on the blog and try it again. I made a many mistakes before I got it right.
Making hypertufa is just like anything you do in the garden, it takes a little time, some practice, and patience and the results can be pretty nice. The bonus is that you will get to plant the container when you are done.
And it is a great way to spend some time with your friends.