Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Lighting in the garden adds interest and mood and with shorter days resulting in less daylight, the glow of garden lighting adds a warm, welcoming touch to our dark evenings.
It is usually a hassle for gardeners to install electric lighting and of course, they have to be turned on and off.  Here’s a simple, inexpensive garden stone you can make that incorporates a solar garden light available at the dollar store for just that, one dollar!
It goes on by itself at night and off in the morning.

What you’ll need:
- bag of sand topping concrete mix (in the yellow/black/red bag)
-plastic mixing bucket
-8 ounce measuring cup
-mason’s trowl
-mud gloves
-clear or white plastic covered work surface
-a permanent marker
-a piece of a 5/8 diameter pipe or dowel
 -glass pieces and marbles for mosaic
-1 solar garden light

What you do:
1. Spread out clear or white plastic on hard work surface.

2. Find something that will give you a 12” diameter circle when you trace it with a marker.  Trace the circle right onto your plastic work surface.

3.  Put on your mud gloves and measure 8 cups of the sand topping mix into the plastic mixing bucket.  Slow add water and mix until the concrete is the consistency of clay- not soupy, but stiff enough to stand on itself.  It has to be firm enough to hold shape when sculpted.

4.  Using the trowl, scoop out all of the mixed concrete from the bucket in the middle of the traced circle.  Form the clay-like mix into what looks like a giant cookie at least 2 inches thick with softly rounded corners.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes.

5.  Draw a peace symbol on the surface of this large cookie and with the trowl in a vertical position, cut out the spaces in between the peace symbol. (Remember to draw a peace symbol,an upside down “Y” with vertical line through it versus the logo of a popular luxury car company!). 

6.  Smooth the edges of the peace symbol with your gloved hands and poke a hole in the center with the 5/8” pipe or dowel.  Check to see that that shaft of your solar light will easily fit into this hole.  Arrange glass pieces and marbles where you want them and gently tap them into the surface of the concrete using your trowel handle.

7.  Let your stone harden overnight and the next day, clean up the rough edges using the trowel.   An old toothbrush is perfect for easy cleaning of the glass pieces.

8.  You can accent your stone with exterior latex paint.  Have them mix up a small sampler size in 
the color of your choice at your home improvement store.

9.  Situate your stone either in or along a pathway in your garden. Insert the solar light
 in the center hole and push into the ground.  If you’d prefer, remove the stem of the light and just stick the head in the center hole of the stone.  The faceted casing sends out beautiful rays all around the stone.