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The Garden Scoop

The Garden Scoop is a collection of reflections about the Master Gardeners in Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, and Vermilion.
Leaf Cast Garden Day 2016
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Learn to Make a Leaf Cast

By the end of summer the perennials, shrubs and trees in your yard may have produced some Jurassic sized leaves. When you look out the window in January those leaves will be a distant memory. Fortunately, there is a creative way to preserve what nature has created and enjoy it for years to come.

Leaf casts make unique and beautiful garden art. They also provide great gifts and also make excellent conversation pieces for visitors to your garden. What's nice is that they can be made with all sorts of leaves: hosta, fig, rhubarb, sycamore etc. Large leaves make great bird baths, stepping stones or even fountains. Medium size leaves can be used as candle holders, to hold jewelry or even paperweights. The actual cast is made from products you can find at a local hardware store like concrete, sand, outdoor paint and sealer. The process is done over several days but is fairly simple and inexpensive.

Master Gardener Pat Sollars has been making leaf casts for years. An experienced artisan, she will walk you through the process with samples of each stage. You will learn how a leaf's natural depressions and veins can be captured in the smallest detail. Pat will also explain how to paint a cured cast. There will be detailed instructions for you to take home. There is a $5 admission fee and due to logistics this is not a 'Make and Take'.

Join the University of IL Vermilion County Master Gardeners for this unique program at the Danville Public Library on Tuesday, September 20. The program will start promptly at 6:00. Call the Extension office at 217-442-8615 or visit our website to register .

Proceeds from monthly classes are used to fund Master Gardener programs and community gardens in Vermilion County.

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