April has been and gone off again – somewhere. I can hardly believe how fast this season is flying by! I still have 52,000 things to do – that hasn’t changed – but several things have been lifted off the list to be replaced by others.
April was a great month to share my love of my bulbs and my concrete! I had so much fun watching the hyacinths grow and frame some of my favorite concrete garden statues. These photos of the toad house and the angels in the hyacinths were taken in my yard.
This year we have many new concrete statues. And Cathee, Joanna, and I have had a great deal of fun painting them this winter. If you are interested in doing some concrete painting yourself, it’s really quite simple.
1st: Get the piece you are painting really wet. Soak it.
2nd: Base coat the piece with a ½ water ½ paint mix. It’s best to use an outdoor acrylic paint or outdoor latex. Flat will allow you to do anything over top – gloss or semi-gloss will require you to continue to use a semi-gloss or gloss paint.
These first 2 steps allow the paint to soak into the concrete. This process is what should keep your concrete piece from peeling over time.
Choose a base color that best fits your artistic plan. If you want to be more realistic, choose a dark base and add lighter colors to paint over it. If you have a different artistic vision and want to choose a white or light base, that works too – it can be striking. The photos here of the “sea-side welcome” and the betta fish are done with a white base, the Rottweiler and eagle were done with a black base. You can also do a dark brown or really any color you prefer.
3rd: When you begin to paint – decide if you want a soft look or a bright look. Using a dry brush technique produces a softer, more detailed realistic look that will bring out more of the concrete’s detail as well. A brighter look will allow you to work a bit faster to finish the piece and will show less of the detail of the concrete. Both choices are equally sound and totally up to you.
From there – enjoy. Make it yours. If you decide you don’t like how it turns out, base coat it again and start over. Paint is very forgiving. And the concrete will speak for itself with color on it. Allow it to. And if you just love the piece “naked” that works too!
As for the bulbs: we sell those in the fall for you to plant in the fall – so that everyone can enjoy them as the first signs of spring. Tulips, daffodils, crocus, allium, you name it, we probably have it. If you want us to carry it – ask us in spring for the fall season. Like you, we never stop planning.
Now that May has come, can I get the spring weather back, please? Oh well, this too shall pass. Remember what “they” say about NE Ohio? “If you don’t like the weather wait a minute.” And in the meantime, come visit us in the greenhouse. It’s warm in there.