We are now in the time of year when there is all this extra garden material from your harvests or just what is left in the field. Why not find a few creative activities to occupy one or two of these fine autumn days. Some crafts are geared to display your bounty, to improve or make your garden more functional, or something to have a gift for that holiday visit. You can find a craft for just about any interest.
Some crafts that show your garden materials include, flower arrangements of dried flowers and plant material. Flowers that dry and show very well are hydrangeas, purple cone flowers, asters and sunflowers. Place these all in a vase with some small pebbles or marbles to stabilize, and add a few dogwood twigs and a festive bow to finish the arrangement. For those who have access to ornamental squash and small gourds, a table centerpiece with several of these arranged in a bowl makes a nice show for that special dinner event.
Another way to display your garden crafting is the use of a gourd to make a bird house. Use a larger gourd, and carve a hole large enough to clean out the inside of the gourd as a container. Make sure to let the gourd dry and cure for several months. You can then use a varnish or a polyurethane to cover the exterior to protect the house from the elements. Let that dry for a week or two, then tie a string to the top and hang on a tree next spring as a bird house.
Making concrete pavers is another fun activity for fall. Creating your own personal pavers with impressions of fall leaves and twigs makes for an interesting accent to your vegetable or flower garden. One can find kits for about $20 that will provide the molds and the instructions on how to make your own pavers.
Some crafts that make good gifts include garden wreaths made of evergreen sprigs or dried grape vines. Potpourri made from dried aromatic leaves like lavender, sage and some pine sprigs or a Thanksgiving centerpiece made of a colorful basket of berries and leaves both make nice house-warming gifts too.
For other ideas, there are a websites dedicated to show how to do some of the projects mentioned above as well as other projects. A couple of these websites are: gardening.about.com/od/crafts/Crafts-from-the-Fall-Garden.htm and gardenguides.com.
Have fun gardening and sharing your harvest by creating masterpieces from what you have grown.
The mission of the Chautauqua County Master Gardener Program is to educate and serve the community, utilizing university and research-based horticultural information. Volunteers are from the community who have successfully completed 50-plus hours of Cornell-approved training and volunteer a minimum of 50 hours per year.
For more information on the Master Gardener program, please contact: Betsy Burgeson, Master Gardener coordinator at 664-9502, ext. 204 or Emh92@cornell.edu.
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