Pedagogy of the Plants

Posts Tagged ‘DIY

Medusa Head Cases

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Tillandsia caput-medusae and Baby

Tillandsia caput-medusae Planter

Written by Cameron Brooks

June 17, 2015 at 7:14 pm

Summer Succulents

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Skateboard Deck Succulent Planter

One of this planter’s weathered sides is an old shop deck from Feral Skate Shop (circa 2005). The one opposite was made by a local company called Boulevard Skateboards. The former residents were left outside and didn’t survive last year’s coldest temperatures, so these drought resistant fatties will overwinter indoors.

Skateboard Deck Succulent Planter On the Porch

Written by Cameron Brooks

June 4, 2015 at 1:47 pm

Honeydew Trampolines

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Last year’s melons were suspended in the air, each wrapped in pantyhose hammocks hung from the bamboo trellis.  This year, they’ll stay on the ground, slightly elevated on improvised hosiery trampolines.

Six wicker baskets cost a dollar at the Habitat Re-Store down the street, and the queen size hose are less than two bucks.  Family Dollar didn’t have large sizes, but the lady was kind enough to pull a pair out to get a better idea of how to stretch them, then she recommended the beauty supply place (Joy Joy) around the corner.

First, cut the feet.

Next, cut lengths that’ll suit the basket’s diameter.

Pull the length of hosiery around as shown.

Stretch taught, then tie both ends.

Some don’t need to be tied, yet remain tight.

The original plan was to use ceramic bowls, but baskets let water through, preventing pooling (and mosquitoes).  The heavier fruit sags pretty close to the bottom of the basket, so as they swell in size, they might need an additional layer of support to remain resting mid air.

Written by Cameron Brooks

July 6, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Army Helmet Planter on the Porch

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The planter is inspired by an SOA Watch logo (¡Ya Basta!).  Click here to see photos of a ghost plant that used to occupy this helmet.

Written by Cameron Brooks

June 25, 2012 at 8:52 am

Mr. Grey

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Mr.’s been around the way, and adopted us about a year ago.  The sage’s influence spans blocks, and calls the planter above (once occupied by catnip) home base.

Written by Cameron Brooks

April 7, 2012 at 10:18 pm

Horse on the Porch

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Written by Cameron Brooks

April 7, 2012 at 10:02 pm

2012 Miniature Space Odyssey

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Slinkachu meets Arthur C. Clarke in this (belated) DIY Valentines Day gift.

“Monoliths are fictional advanced machines built by an unseen extraterrestrial species that appear in Arthur C. Clarke’s Space Odyssey series of novels and films. During the series, three monoliths are discovered in the solar system by humans and it is revealed that thousands if not more were created throughout the solar system, although none are seen. The subsequent response of the characters to their discovery drives the plot of the series. It also influences the fictional history of the series, particularly by encouraging humankind to progress with technological development and space travel.

The first monolith appears in the beginning of the story, set in prehistoric times. It is discovered by a group of hominids, and somehow triggers a considerable shift in evolution, starting with the ability to use tools.” (read more on Wikipedia)

Written by Cameron Brooks

February 25, 2012 at 8:26 am

4 Moss Terrarium

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Written by Cameron Brooks

February 24, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Tiger’s Eye Terrarium

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Written by Cameron Brooks

February 24, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Cubic Moss Terrarium

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The reflective mica suggests a pool of water.

Written by Cameron Brooks

February 23, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Mini Moss Terrarium

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Written by Cameron Brooks

February 23, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Mica, Moss, Tiny Ghosts, and Ground Lava

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The second batch of terrariums is small but curious.  Bottom-up, the layers include stones from the South Fork River near Watson Mill State Park, activated charcoal (to absorb toxins, filter air and water, and stem the growth of mold/mildew), Pacific Northwest sphagnum moss, soil from the backyard, and Hawaiian black sand. The moss was harvested from rock outcrops near Watson Mill.

According to gastateparks.org, “Watson Mill State Park contains the longest covered bridge in the state, spanning 229 feet across the South Fork River. Built in 1885 by Washington (W.W.) King, son of freed slave and famous covered-bridge builder Horace King, the bridge is supported by a town lattice truss system held firmly together with wooden pins.  At one time, Georgia had more than 200 covered bridges; today, less than 20 remain.”

Students love touching the resident succulents in the window, so there’s never a shortage of ghost and jade bits sprouting desperate stolons seeking water.

The shard of mica was pulled from a red clay hillside in Winterville.

Written by Cameron Brooks

February 11, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Moss Terrariums

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This first go at moss terrariums follows a tutorial by a Brooklyn based terrarium store.  Inspired, I hiked along a stretch of railroad that runs through Whitehall Forest, harvesting verdant rugs, small chunks of pink and greyscale granite,  and parched epiphytic aliens.

The simple tutorial fails to include instructions and tips for anyone interested in creating lasting enclosed microenvironments.  After a week, the apothecary terrarium above is growing a white, moldy beard from the sphagnum layer.  While troubleshooting, I discovered some comprehensive websites dedicated to the natural art beyond home decor trends.  These are the best so far:

The Fern and Mossery

The Terrarium Man

The next batch will include a layer of activated charcoal to absorb any toxins, cleanse the water as it travels up and down, and (hopefully) stem mold growth.

Written by Cameron Brooks

February 4, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Inspired By Space Invader

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Inspired by the French street artist Space Invader, these are what’s left of a series featuring a character from a children’s book I wrote in college.  It’s a Taoist story of  “Murky,” a raindrop afraid of the ultimate splash.  The tale consists of 16 haiku poems, with simple illustrations.

Mr. Carrot (confined to a kitchen wall) never meets murky.

Written by Cameron Brooks

January 29, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Mountain Moss

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Mustard colored oak leaves offer an Andy Goldsworthy moment.

Written by Cameron Brooks

December 27, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Stonecrop Hijacks Millenium Falcon!

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Gifts From the Garden

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Capsicum under tender Piperaceae skin dries slowly so Gemini, Leo, and Cancer friends and family get lasting garden gifts. Keep reading and see the finalized gift…

Written by Cameron Brooks

July 9, 2011 at 12:07 am

Baseball and Succulents

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My grandfather was the greatest baseball fan ever, and played minor league ball in Detroit during the Depression.  U.S. Rubber offered him a job because they wanted him to play for their company team.  The male cousins were expected to become professional golfers or baseball players.  He signed me up for private golf lessons in High Point, North Carolina, and I played little league for Tangi Finance in Ponchatoula, Louisiana.   More paternal tales and a DIY succulent planter…

Written by Cameron Brooks

May 28, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Dreadlocks

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This fridge magnet was fashioned from my cat Juicy’s dreadlock.  She’s a Rastafarian.

For The Jim Crow Mexican Restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Where My Cousin Esteban Was Forbidden To Wait Tables Because He Wears Dreadlocks

by Martin Espada

I have noticed that the hostess in peasant dress,

the wait staff and the boss

share the complexion of a flour tortilla.

I have spooked the servers at my table

by trilling the word burrito.

I am aware of your T-shirt solidarity

with the refugees of the Americas,

since they steam in your kitchen.

I know my cousin Esteban the sculptor

rolled tortillas in your kitchen with the fingertips

of ancestral Puerto Rican cigarmakers.

I understand he wanted to be a waiter,

but you proclaimed his black dreadlocks unclean,

so he hissed in Spanish

and his apron collapsed on the floor.

May La Migra handcuff the wait staff

as suspected illegal aliens from Canada;

may a hundred mice dive from the oven l

ike diminutive leaping dolphins

during your Board of Health inspection;

may the kitchen workers strike, sitting

with folded hands as enchiladas blacken

and twisters of smoke panic the customers;

may a Zapatista squadron commandeer the refrigerator,

liberating a pillar of tortillas at gunpoint;

may you hallucinate dreadlocks

braided in thick vines around your ankles;

and may the Aztec gods pinned like butterflies

to the menu wait for you in the parking lot

at midnight, demanding that you spell their names.

– Martin Espada

Written by Cameron Brooks

January 13, 2010 at 10:55 am