For the Best Gardeners in the Cardiff Area

   May 22

Your Questions About Gardening

Thomas asks…

What is ink made out of. What is the entire process of ink?

I need to know how to make ink from the raw materials. Contacts or diagrams would be helpful.

GardenersCardiff answers:

There are many types of ink. India ink uses a dye from a bean grown in India, mixed with a carrier solvent. Usually acetone. Gall ink was very popular 200 years ago. It is made from iron oxide (rust) mixed in boiled linseed oil. This is the type of ink used to write the Declaration of Independance. It will fade in sun light. Gall works very well with a quill, but does not print well. Printers used many heavy metals in their inks before Inida Ink but these are considored very toxic today. Mercury was used in many of these inks along with turpentine. The easiest home made ink would be to go to the hardware store and buy a small can of boiled linseed oil, and mix in rust scraped from some old iron. The left over linseed oil can be used to prevent rust on garden tools andto protect raw wood handles. Linseed oil was used in most paints back then too. Linseed is the same plant as Linen and flaxen were obtained from. Raw linseed oil prevents wood from rotting. Flaxen was cleaned of it’s tallow and then woven into linen. Cotten was the expenive cloth back then. The tallow or tow was used to make fire from a spark off a flint. Boiled linseed oil protects wood and metal from weathering, and was used in inks and paints. Hope that helps

Sandy asks…

What can you use for the stand of a home-made mannequin?

Well see i covered a t-shirt in duct tape and taped in a piece of card board in the top to block of the neck hole so i can put all my accessories and make up on that. I found this pole and was wondering what to use for the bottom so it stays in balance kinda like a lamp. So all I want is something to put on the bottom of the pole to keep it standing.

GardenersCardiff answers:

You could use the base of a free-standing lamp, they’re often used for this kind of thing and would look nice, you could probably pick one up at a second hand shop, but an even easier way would be to use one of those garden umbrella bases, so you wouldn’t need to do anything to it, just put the pole in, they come in a variety of styles, you can get cheap ones or could go for something more expensive and they’re easy to find in most Hardware stores, Garden Centres, Home Design shops and some supermarkets, hope this helps

Mandy asks…

What do ornaments in japanese gardens serve?

What is the purpose of having ornaments and decorations. Please answer soon. My project is due on Wednesday.

GardenersCardiff answers:

They serve as functional hardscape that adds beauty, function, and value. Many japanese hardscape objects are large rocks and fountains.
It would really depnd on the object and setting. I mean the land could be really muddy so they made it into a pond and the land could be really dry so they made it into a rock garden with a layer of crushed rocks and then large rocks as the beauty.

Often in japanese culture it will have to deal with family and so on. If their ancestors was known for being a great gerneral or something then maybe they may have war type statues and so on.

They would also add a bench and small japanese pld style shed to place their equipment in and to add beauty.

So this would be a example of a garden and the hardscape in it.

Lets say you are at the entrance and there is a rock pathway leading to a mulch and stones pathway. Well the items there would be there to make a walk way with beauty and funtion. There maybe a few large rocks or some kind of statue or birdbath foutian next to the entrance on one side and on the other side it may be a small retaining wall with a rock garden to ground cover garden. The purpose of those would to make the entrance and exit easy to locate and invite people in or out with a good impression.

The pathway may be on higher ground and in one direction the ground slopes down by 3 feet so they may do something like this. They create a small deep pond on the higher ground and it exits into a stream that turns into a waterfall that goes down the slope and at the lower ground ends into a larger more shallow pond with some water lilies in it. The purpose of all of that would to work with the land so create something that would go natural with the slope and so on and add beauty.

Around the pond on the top and bottom would be a barrier of stones or wood or some kind of water loving plant. The purpose would to add beauty and its function would to help keep people from getting to close and falling into the pond so they place something between the persona nd pond.

Obviously steps or a ramp would led down the slope and the purpose would to be helping people get down. Then the pathway would contine and the function of the pathway is to keep people on it and not stepping on grass or plants or wondering off.

So I hope that gives you some indeas to run with and why they place what they place where they place it.

Everything will be there to have a funtion first and then beauty second. But both are equally important. Like the steps on the slope could be plain or detailed with ground edged away and steping stones with sideings and so on but either way the first thing would to help people get down.

With the pathway it could be plain or also very detailed. But the main purpose would be to keep people on the path.

Normally retaining walls and rocks are used to keep poeple from going to the otherside.

The path is to keep people on it.

Ponds are to add beauty and value and add a refreshing sound to the area. Same as with the fountains.

Fountians may also serve as birdbaths to add beauty and attract birds.

Nice sheds are normally there to add beauty and to store stuff in.

Rails are to keep poeple on path and from a possible dangerous outcome if they wonder from the path in that area.

Signs and so on are there to help direct people and add info and reading to add a learning atmosphere. (such as names of plant or interesting facts or to give acknowledgment to the founders or people of importance.

Birdhouses are there for beauty and to attract birds.

Benches are placed in areas that they may want to encourage people to sit and listen to the sounds of the ponds or to look at the beauty. They may also be placed every so far for those who need to rest more often then others.

Hope this helps and wish you best luck. You can email me with more pacific details.

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