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Living Garden Sculpture

Our readers who follow us on Instagram will know that we have seen lots of amazing garden sculptures recently. First, during our visit to the wonderful Abbey House Gardens in Malmesbury, where both the formal and woodland gardens are home to some wonderful pieces, and since, at the incredible Elemental Sculpture Park, Somerford Keynes. I will be sharing the afternoon we spent there, later in the week. Both visits have really inspired us to try our hand at making some sculpture for our own garden, this is our first creation, which turned out to be really simple to make.

 

Wonderful garden toadstool living sculpture, made from chicken wire, moss and succulents.

 

We started with an old piece of chicken wire, which we folded into four, and then wrapped around a bowl to give us a rough shape. Although we did then have to open the wire up again, to remove the bowl, I think it still really helped to get the basic form.

Wonderful garden toadstool living sculpture, made from chicken wire, moss and succulents.

Wonderful garden toadstool living sculpture, made from chicken wire, moss and succulents.

Wonderful garden toadstool living sculpture, made from chicken wire, moss and succulents.

We then simply filled our wire form with moss that we collected from a wooded area behind our house. The area we live in has a clay soil, and is permanently damp, so we have an abundance of moss. It is important to bear in mind, as with many of our native plants, that many species of moss are protected in the UK, and I would recommend that you only collect it with the landowner's permission, and in a way which is sensitive to the environment.

Once we had filled our shape, we simply folded the wire in, to hold the moss in place, then planted some tiny succulents straight into the top, using a pencil to make little planting holes.

Wonderful garden toadstool living sculpture, made from chicken wire, moss and succulents.

Wonderful garden toadstool living sculpture, made from chicken wire, moss and succulents.

Wonderful garden toadstool living sculpture, made from chicken wire, moss and succulents.

To make the stem for our toadstool, we used another piece of chicken wire. This time we folded the wire in half, and then rolled it up into a tube, lining the final third with a little more moss. We used bamboo canes to secure this to the ground, and to help secure our top to the stem.

Wonderful garden toadstool living sculpture, made from chicken wire, moss and succulents.

Wonderful garden toadstool living sculpture, made from chicken wire, moss and succulents.

Wonderful garden toadstool living sculpture, made from chicken wire, moss and succulents.

From start to finish, this project only took about half an hour. It was super easy to make, and it really does look fabulous. I plan to move it to a more shaded area of the garden, which will be a nicer habitat for the moss, and hope that it will continue to grow and develop over time.

 

Wonderful garden toadstool living sculpture, made from chicken wire, moss and succulents.

 

Wonderful garden toadstool living sculpture, made from chicken wire, moss and succulents.

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52 Comments

  • Reply Ann

    I wonder if you occasionally spray it with a slightly watered down buttermilk solution as I have heard it helps moss grown on objects that would perk it up and help it grown during dry,spells? It looks lovely and I would like to try something a little smaller as I live in a condo with a small garden patch just outside my patio. Lovely.

    July 2, 2017 at 10:45 am
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      Thanks for the tip Ann. I have heard of spraying it on pots to encourage lichen to grow but not thought of applying it directly to moss – I’ll have to try it out!

      July 5, 2017 at 9:33 pm
  • Reply How To Create a Gorgeous Garden - C'mon Get Crafty

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    May 22, 2017 at 2:02 am
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    May 22, 2017 at 2:01 am
  • Reply Rhonda

    This is so cute and so “British” – I went to visit back in the early 80’s and fell in love with all things “Britain” especially the gardens and woodland areas. Wish I had the money to come back.

    October 27, 2016 at 12:59 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      You are so right Rhonda 🙂 I love the ‘greeness’ of our countryside – I always miss it of I visit another country!

      November 3, 2016 at 10:23 am
  • Reply yvonne

    Wow this is so creative! I love it! Out of interest how did you get on with it over the summer?

    September 12, 2016 at 1:39 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      The moss has browned in some places, but the succulents are still alive so I think it’ll green up again over the winter 🙂

      September 20, 2016 at 2:27 pm
      • Reply Debbie Hoops

        When it begins to dry….mix green food coloring with water…put in spray bottle…and squirt away! I do this annually to some of my moss creations!

        December 22, 2016 at 6:38 pm
        • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

          That’s a fab idea Debbie, thanks so much for stopping by and sharing it with us x

          December 30, 2016 at 5:07 pm
  • Reply Mary-the boondocks blog

    Sarah this is really cute. I have never seen anything like it before and certainly wouldn’t know how to make one if you hadn’t shown us. They make a lovely addition to any garden. Thanks for providing us with some sweet inspiration.
    Mary-the boondocks blog recently posted…Between the Lines – The Boondocks BlogMy Profile

    May 26, 2016 at 12:28 am
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      Thank you Mary, it really was a simple make (which are always the best sort!) got a few other ideas to try when I get a spare few minutes 🙂

      May 30, 2016 at 12:14 am
  • Reply Me, You and Magoo

    I’ve never seen this idea before, looks really effective! Hope it stays lovely & green over the Summer 🙂 #trash2treasure

    May 21, 2016 at 7:18 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      Thanks, we were really pleased with how it turned out – we might try some animals next 🙂

      May 24, 2016 at 2:16 pm
  • Reply Fiona Cambouropoulos

    Sarah this is brilliant, how fab would this look in my fairy gardens? I wonder what will happen to the moss over time? Will it shrivel or hold it’s shape and brown, do share what happens to it over the summer. It looks amazing right now and ready for minibeasts and fairies to play. Thank you for sharing on #Trash2Treasure. Is that my badge gone squiffy at the top?
    Fiona Cambouropoulos recently posted…Play to Invent with EnginoMy Profile

    May 10, 2016 at 4:42 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      Apologies about the badge – no idea what happened there. Would be gorgeous in your fairy gardens – will let you know how it fares over the summer. Jenny suggested making caves which would be great as well, so am going to make some of them next x

      May 11, 2016 at 11:06 am
  • Reply Nikki Frank-Hamilton

    You do the coolest projects with the kids, I love this! I’ve never seen anything like it before and love that you can do it yourself with a few supplies. Yours is shaped really cool and I love that it’s sitting in the middle of the bluebells. What a fun project! It turned out great.

    May 9, 2016 at 3:57 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      Thanks Nikki, I have a thing about moss so I love it – do you get much moss over in your part of the States?

      May 11, 2016 at 11:01 am
  • Reply Jenny - Monkey and Mouse

    Aww, this is so cool! You could easily make a little house for the kids to play in with their toys, or even a cave?! Love how well your mushroom turned out! Thanks for linking up to #HowtoSunday 🙂 x
    Jenny – Monkey and Mouse recently posted…How to Sunday #31My Profile

    May 7, 2016 at 11:46 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      A cave is a brilliant idea, it might be something that the wildlife would enjoy too – I’m going to try that next. Thanks Jenny x

      May 11, 2016 at 10:52 am
  • Reply Shaz Goodwin

    I love this Sarah. I have a shady place at the bottom of the garden where something like this would be perfect.
    #Trash2Treasure

    May 5, 2016 at 9:11 pm
  • Reply Cliona

    Oh this is gorgeous! What a lovely idea, I might try this myself. It’s great that you mentioned being careful about the moss too, I don’t think people always realise that it can take some time to grow and should be protected.

    May 4, 2016 at 9:20 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      People can be really thoughtless about what they pick and where from. Although we do forage we are really mindful about protecting our wonderful environment. Let me know if you try it Cliona 🙂

      May 6, 2016 at 10:05 pm
  • Reply Cal at Family Makes

    Wow this is awe-inspiring! I can’t believe it only took you about half an hour. My son has something of an obsession with chicken wire sculptures at the moment (don’t ask – I blame CBBC!), but he’d love to try this I’m sure. Thanks for sharing on #HowToSunday

    May 2, 2016 at 11:30 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      Tell your son if he sends us photos of his sculptures we will put them up on the blog, and let us know if he tries our toadstool 🙂

      May 6, 2016 at 10:01 pm
  • Reply Dean of Little Steps

    Love that toadstool sculpture! Would like to do something like this, but I’m afraid it won’t be anything like yours 🙁
    Dean of Little Steps recently posted…May Chat with a Mum: Tamsin of Chasing EsmeMy Profile

    May 1, 2016 at 11:37 am
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      Honestly Dean it was really simple to make – yours would be great, just try it and see:)

      May 6, 2016 at 9:55 pm
  • Reply DannyUK.com

    This is brilliant, you really have a skill there!
    DannyUK.com recently posted…Taking kids on the tube (Don’t be a dick!)My Profile

    April 30, 2016 at 4:02 pm
  • Reply Random Musings

    This is fantastic, and sounds much easier to make than I thought it would be! I’d love to give this a go one day
    Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK 🙂
    Debbie

    April 29, 2016 at 4:42 pm
  • Reply Agent Spitback

    You are so creative! Looks gorgeous! I wouldn’t have thought of using chicken wire. Thanks for sharing with #PasstheSauce
    Agent Spitback recently posted…I Have Chosen Not To ForgetMy Profile

    April 29, 2016 at 1:20 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      Thank you. Chicken wire is brilliant as its so easy to shape. Thanks for having us x

      May 1, 2016 at 11:12 am
  • Reply Honest Mum

    So magically beautiful, love it!

    April 28, 2016 at 10:28 pm
  • Reply Erin | A Welder's Wife

    I love this idea! I never thought about using chicken wire and miss as yard decor! Thanks for sharing this!
    Erin | A Welder’s Wife recently posted…20 Questions Minimalist Style: Sophie from Canada!My Profile

    April 28, 2016 at 4:43 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      Thanks Erin, I’ve thinking about what other shapes I could make now – maybe a cute little hedgehog 🙂

      May 1, 2016 at 11:07 am
  • Reply Sarah

    Awe!! So cute… this would look so cute at my house.

    April 28, 2016 at 3:06 pm
  • Reply Emma | Creative Explorations

    How quaint and beautiful looking this is…and so much easier to make than I would have thought! It looks like it stepped right out of Alice in Wonderland, and would be inhabited by all manner of gnomes and faeries.

    April 28, 2016 at 2:59 am
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      We have left room inside in case the faeries want to move in – my daughter was most insistent about that 🙂

      April 28, 2016 at 2:51 pm
  • Reply Justine Y @ Little Dove

    What a fun idea! We just spent all of last weekend in the garden and something like this would have been so fun to do! My kids would love it. 🙂

    April 28, 2016 at 12:53 am
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      It definitely has a magical look about it – let me know if you decide to try one with them 🙂

      April 28, 2016 at 2:50 pm
  • Reply Stacy

    This whole idea is amazing and beautiful! What a special talent!
    Stacy recently posted…Two Cheese Broccoli BitesMy Profile

    April 27, 2016 at 7:30 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      Thank you Stacy, but trust me I don’t have any special talents – everything we make on the blog anyone could do 🙂

      April 28, 2016 at 2:49 pm
  • Reply Brittany Putman

    Super cute!

    April 27, 2016 at 4:58 pm
  • Reply Debbie

    Hi Sarah, how clever! I wouldn’t know where to start to create something like this, but you’ve made it sound so easy. I’m sure that your ornamental toadstool will continue to grow and make an interesting live garden ornament.

    xx
    Debbie recently posted…Take Care Of Your Skin This SummerMy Profile

    April 27, 2016 at 2:25 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      Thank you Debbie. It really did turn out to be easier than I expected. Hoping to make quite a few more – it’s the sort of gardening I can cope with 🙂

      April 28, 2016 at 2:46 pm

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