Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Garden Getaway – Shake Rag Alley’s Rite of Spring

Students made both a rectangular AND
a round planter (there are bowl used as molds
hiding under those mounds of hypertufa)
Ah, Garden Getaway, Shake Rag Alley's annual harbinger of spring that comes just at the right time, just when the long Wisconsin winter begins to seem really gray and dreary. By mid to late March, who isn’t looking forward to warmer days and a little greenery? And what better way to gear up for spring than getting your hands busy with some gardening projects.

Garden Getaway signals not only that spring is on its way, but also that the Shake Rag Alley workshop year is now fully in high gear.

Hypertufa planters curing
in Popcorn boxes!

Often a first introduction to Shake Rag Alley, Garden Getaway workshops are very approachable. All are half day and materials are supplied, perfect for all experience levels from novice on up. Students leave each workshop with either a completed hands-on project or armed with new gardening know-how.

Last weekend's 2016 Garden Getaway featured perennial favorites like Willow Garden Trellis and Hypertufa Planter, but fun new projects were also on the schedule.

Instructor Jim Arendt helps a student with her Willow Garden Trellis

Concrete "stump" planter
As usual, the Longbranch basement was abuzz with Judy Sutcliffe's cement/mosaic projects. When dry, these "Stump" Planters look like the real deal, but they are artfully made from concrete. Very fun!

New this year was a Mosaic Garden Trowel, another very creative project. In fact, Judy's sample trowel was the hit of our booth at Garden Expo in Madison. Here's one from class that's almost complete.

Over in the Smeja Annex, students were learning to bend wire to make a Wire Bird Mobile. Not quite as easy to do as Cheryl's experienced hands made it look, but they succeeded beautifully.

Wire Bird Mobile

Wire Bird Mobile

But the stars of this year's Garden Getaway were flowers - flowers, flowers and more flowers.

Painted Garden Canvases, floral paintings made by Flower Pounding (extracting the natural dyes in flowers by pounding!), and Zentangle® Inspired Botanical Notecards,

Regardless of previous painting experience, everyone had a ball and came away with lovely flower paintings. Many of the students had never painted anything before so this was really a treat!

Painted Garden Canvas

Flower Pounding

Flower Pounding
Botanical Notecards

Click here to see our complete gallery of Garden Getaway photos.

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