No matter how beautiful your garden is with flowers, shrubs and trees, it can be enhanced by well executed crafted features. Geraldine Rudge’s book, Garden Crafts, provides a wealth of information on creating unique handcrafted items, both practical and ornamental, in a large variety of media. Although combining crafts and gardening is nothing new, new techniques and the desire for environmentally sustainable sources have resulted in fresh, innovative ideas and these are the focus of this unique work.
The book is divided up into chapters based on the craft and include mosaic, metal, wire, glass, pebble, slate, shell, wood, and willow. The historic origin of each craft is explored with numerous examples of objects suitable for both large and small garden spaces. Suggestions are provided for obtaining materials and tools, basic techniques including finishing, design considerations, and placement of objects in the garden. Each chapter includes detailed instructions for completing two projects. One of the most eye-catching is a spider-web like construction made of wire and the lenses from eyeglasses that responds to changes in seasonal and atmospheric conditions. Breath-taking!
Garden Crafts has a project to inspire every gardener. Not every gardener, however, has the skill to make them; certainly not me. Don’t expect to pick up the supplies at the local craft store and complete the project in time to cook dinner that night. The projects are unique, personal, and awe-inspiring but are for the serious craftsman. That is not say that reading this book is only for the expert. The examples and ideas presented will give you a whole new appreciated for garden crafts and educate your eye to discern elegant pieces when you search for garden ornaments. The information on placement of craft objects and the weathering of materials is especially useful when making such decisions. An excellent resource for anyone interested in craft ornaments, whether they are craftsmen or craft aficionados.