by Kathy Malon, St. Louis, MO
Reprinted form the Newsletter of the Henry Shaw Cactus and Succulent Society
There's a class in the Henry Shaw Cactus Society show called "spoon garden." What is that, you may ask?
Exactly what it sounds like, a little dish garden in a spoon. The length of the spoon is restricted to six inches and what we use are the ceramic type spoon with a flat base.
First, think small. Tiny stones, miniature animals, small shells; all these things make interesting landscaping for your spoon garden. Plants should be in scale to look good. Check your cactus and succulents for tiny offsets. Small cuttings are also go materials.
What do you use to hold this all together? Elmer's glue of course, or any other white, sticky glue. You want glue that dries clear. I arrange my materials roughly. Then remove and add a nice thick layer of glue. Let the glue get tacky. Now place your rocks and other objects. You can let that dry or start adding plant material before the glue sets up.
Our show lasts for nine days and we try to use material that will hold up for nine days. It's a good idea to water well any plants you plan to use for cuttings a day or two before starting construction.
Got the rock and props and plants arranged? Happy with it? But, you still have a bit of "ground" showing? Use a little sand, it makes a great concealer and sticks nicely to the glue.
If you are transporting this: beware! Do not leave your spoon garden in a hot car. The glue starts melting and things fall off.
I forgot about one after a show one year and it wound up stuck in a pot. It got watered-thank you Mother Nature. A year later the cactus were still alive. Spoon gardens are intended to be like arrangements or cut flowers but sometimes you get lucky. It's amazing how much abuse a cactus can take.