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Gardening with kids A solid gift idea: How to make concrete mushrooms By Tania Moffat

Concrete mushrooms can dress up the garden, porch or anywhere! They also make great gifts. The next stop was the hardware store

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 inexpen- sive 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.

42 • Spring 2016

ost gardeners love adding art to their gardens, if that art happens to be made by a loved

for the rest of supplies we needed. We purchased crack resistant commer- cial 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 mush- rooms 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

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