Thursday, April 12, 2012

Garden Getaway - Garden Art and the Art of Gardening

Garden Getaway is Shake Rag's first big event of the season. This year's 8th annual Garden Getaway held at the end of March drew over 130 students eager to sink their hands into some hypertufa, bend some willow, make art from gourds, and gain some gardening know-how. Eighteen half-day workshops covered all that and more...and kept everyone hopping.

As in past years, the basement of the Longbranch Gallery was the epicenter of cement and mosaic activity led by our intrepid Mosaic Madness team of Judy Sutcliffe and Heidi Dyas-McBeth. Just couldn't resist this photo that perfectly captures the beehive of activity that took place there:

Faux Bois Planters was a new workshop this year...and very popular. Here two students apply the detailing to their "fake wood" concrete vessels.

Another jam-packed new class, Pebble Balls for Your Garden, was led by sisters Carol Rademaker and Janet Heubner. Below, Carol helps a student with the finishing touches.

The Shake Rag summer schedule has lots more opportunities to get your hands into some cement, including TWO more Faux Bois classes. Click here to see the class listings.

There was also a lot of gourd art going on at this year's Garden Getaway. Terri Schmit taught workshops in Whimsies (making whimsical figures using pieces of gourd) and Carved Gourd Flowers. The Whimsies class was filled almost as soon as it was announced. If you missed out, don't despair. Terri will be teaching the class again in August (click here for the class listing).

As always, John Schakel's Bent Willow Trellis classes were a hit. This year John also led a workshop in making a willow basket...but he especially enjoys seeing his student's creative trellis designs. If you like working with bent willow, how about making a chair? John is teaching several chair classes, and even a Loveseat class later this year. Class listings here.

On a more practical gardening note, in Allen Pincus' Vermiculture workshop, even veteran composters learned a new way to use table scraps to create rich garden compost right in one's own kitchen...and even in the dead of winter. They made worm farms from plastic storage bins, learned ALL about compost and worms, and even got a supply of worms to get things started.

Allen's wife, Judy Pincus, taught everyone the virtues (and ease) of home canning in her Canning Demo. This was a "dry run" session, but next fall you can actually get some hands-on canning experience with Judy's expert guidance. She will be leading two workshops in which you'll actually go through the process and go home with some healthful and tasty canned goods. (Click here for the class listings.)

There were lots more workshops making mini terrariums, garden gizmos, dyeing silk scarves, making 5 board benches, carving hypertufa slabs, and learning about herbs and kitchen gardens. For more Garden Getaway photos, see our Photo Gallery.

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