A solid gift idea: How to make con­crete mush­rooms

Ontario Gardener Magazine - - ONTARIO GARDEN SHOPPING GUIDE - By Ta­nia Mof­fat

Most gar­den­ers love adding art to their gar­dens, if that art hap­pens to be made by a loved one, well, it’s all the more precious. Con­crete mush­rooms are very easy to make and chil­dren love paint­ing them.

Thank good­ness for dol­lar stores, they of­fer a wide se­lec­tion of in­ex­pen­sive bowls in a va­ri­ety of sizes. The boys and I chose ones that weren’t too stiff and that didn’t have any ridges along the sides. We choose some large bowls, and a cou­ple of smaller ones. Af­ter se­lect­ing our bowls, or mush­room caps, it was time to look for our “stems”. Plas­tic beer cups are ideal for the larger bowls and we also chose a few smaller sizes for the lit­tle mush­rooms.

The next stop was the hard­ware store for the rest of sup­plies we needed. We pur­chased crack re­sis­tant com­mer­cial grade Quikrete. This mix han­dles freeze and thaw well and only re­quires wa­ter to mix it. All of the other sup­plies we needed we had a home.

Des­mond helped cover the in­side of the bowls with oil us­ing a bast­ing brush while I cut the ends off of the plas­tic cups we were go­ing to use for our stems. For the larger mush­room I cut the bot­toms off of two beer cups and taped them to­gether with pack­ing tape.

Taeven helped me mix up the con­crete while Des­mond added the wa­ter. Af­ter a few ad­di­tions of more con­crete and more wa­ter we fi­nally achieved a nice oat­meal con­sis­tency. The boys both helped add the con­crete into the bowls. I then pushed the cups, small end first, into the bowl and filled the re­main­der of the bowls and cup with con­crete. Us­ing a putty knife we all took turns smooth­ing the bases of the stand and un­der­side of the mush­room.

We mixed our con­crete in the late morn­ing and left them to cure un­til din­ner time. They would have been fine af­ter a few hours but we chose to wait a lit­tle longer. Be­fore turn­ing the mush­rooms over I used a util­ity knife to cut the plas­tic cups off of the mush­room stems. To do this, cut a cir­cle as high up along the base of the cup as pos­si­ble so as much of the cup as pos­si­ble can be

Con­crete mush­rooms can dress up the gar­den, porch or any­where! They also make great gifts.

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