With the help from Daddy-O my Sheep Topiaries have been built,
wrapped, planted, watered and now are being babysat in a cool area of our backyard. The extra set of hands was much needed not only to help hold the sphagnum (I think this is kind of a gross word) moss as it was wrapped with floral wire around the sheep forms, but to swat all the HUGE mosquito’s that were swarming us! I have about two weeks of growing time before the Alaska Botanical Garden’s Gala, Art Show and Garden Fair! The “Lambelia” family will be one of my entries. The form I used was the same one I used to create the "Steel Wool" garden
sculpture sheep. For the topiaries, I welded more 1/8” round stock to the body as “ribs” and added and wrapped poultry wire for the form to better hold the sphagnum moss. The big tip came from Patty at Sutton’s greenhouse and that was to wrap my
poultry wire in plastic wrap! She told me her son came up with this idea as a better way to hold in the moisture of the plants and moss-
what a great idea! Thank goodness I’m holding in some moisture –I couldn’t imagine how dry these topiaries would be without the plastic helping hold some of the moisture. As it is, I’m misting and watering at least 3 times a day. For the plantings, I’m using my favorite Regatta Sapphire Lobelia and Bambini Mix, Splendid Blue & Yellow, Sorbet Lavender Ice Violas. So far none of the plants have shown any shock but Derek and I laughed while having our coffee because yesterday morning there was a clump of potting soil on the ground right behind the Mama Sheep that looked like she left us a little “present” overnight!
Speaking of needing an extra set of gloved hands, this morning Daddy-O helped me make three trips to Alaska Metal Recycling. After a few months and the side yard starts to look a little hill-billy, I can usually have about 2,000 pounds of scrap metal that are cuts left over from plasma cutting and welding –today there was a lot of the galvi duct work that I had up-cycled for the “Steel Wool” sheep sculptures. For you local artists, Alaska Metal Recycling is also where I purchase all my copper wire by the pound and copper pipe I use for the garden chimes –they are located off King Street here in Anchorage.