Saturday, January 31, 2009

Mossy Tea Pot

It's been a cold winter so far in Middle Tennessee this year. January is ending on a sunny note though which has made me want to get my hands in the dirt and plant something...anything really.

So I decided I find a planting project. I rooted around in the kitchen looking for just the right thing. Everyone has something fun to plant in if they just look in the right cupboard, something just sitting around collecting dust (or wood ash as in my case since we put in a wood stove insert).

Hmm, then it hit me, I have an old chick wire tea pot that I've never quite figured out what it's use really is. I dug into the old blue hutch and soon produced the pot. It's perfect for a topiary, why hadn't I thought of that long ago?

Annie (the garden dog) and I were soon out the door looking for moss. I found what I needed in the mossy ground under the magnolia tree. While Annie played games with a pair of cardinals, I gently lifted slices of moss with the pointy end of a trowel and stacked them in a pail I had brought with us.

Next I took the moss and lined the wire tea pot (mossy side out of course). Filled the empty space in the center with some decent potting soil and went on a new search for low growing sedums.

I found some out by the green house that had quickly covered the ground around the stone steps and slight bank that leads up to the greenhouse. I liked the color, a soft green-gray, that makes me think of spring. I gently lifted up little tufts with the trowel and placed them in the pail ready to transplant onto the tea pot.

Transplanting procedure was quick and easy and the sedums looked like they had always lived in a tea pot. I also found some sedum that likes to weep out of it's container on the back deck so I cut off a few pieces and stuck them into the sides of the moss - holding them in place with un-bent paper clips (forming a u shaped pin). It will be fun to have different textures covering the pot.

Sedums have to be one of the easiest plants to propagate. Cut (or just break off) a piece and stick it in something that resembles soil and it soon takes off and makes a new plant. Very encouraging for anyone who thinks they have a brown thumb.

Come spring I will move the tea pot out to the screened porch where it will be a cute conversation piece for the table.