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Hypertufa: handmade stone
Easy concrete : 43 DIY projects for home & garden
Malena Skote.
New York : Lark Books, 2010.
Creating with concrete is easier than most do-it-yourselfers imagine, and the results can be spectacular and practical. With beautiful photography,Easy Concretemakes the material truly inviting, and the simple instructions cover everything from creating molds out of cardboard, wood, and metal to using hypertufa-a versatile type of concrete made with peat moss. There is also helpful guidance on adding the perfect finish and decorative details. With 43 projects that include outdoor pots, candleholders, garden benches, and a compost bin, this is the perfect introduction to a highly useful craft.
     

You can make your own garden ornaments and containers that look like weathered stone. Hypertufa is handsome and natural looking. It’s very light. It can easily be molded and shaped. Its porous finish makes a perfect holder for alpine plants, but other plants are perfectly happy when grown in tufa pots.

Landscaping with stone
by Tom Wilhite and the editors of Sunset.
New York : Sunset Pub., c2010.
FromSunset,the outdoor living authority, comesOutdoor Design & Build: Landscaping with Stone. This comprehensive title explains the techniques of working with block and natural stone to build both decorative and practical stone features in the landscape.Outdoor Design & Build: Landscaping with Stoneoffers step-by-step building technique instructions alongside how-to photo sequences to guarantee the information is presented clearly and is easy to understand. A range of outdoor projects from paths, patios, and steps to boulders, rock gardens, and walls gives readers the opportunity to find the project that "s right for their home.
     
Stonescaping made simple : bring the beauty of stone into your yard
Kristen Hampshire and David Griffin.
Minneapolis, Minn. : Creative Pub. International, c2009.
  1. Includes index.
  2. "Features information on basic tools and techniques for designing with stone. Includes several complete projects shown with step-by-step how-to photos"--Provided by publisher.
     
Landscaping with stone
Pat Sagui.
Upper Saddle River, NJ : Creative Homeowner, c2009.
  1. "Planet friendly publishing, green edition"--T.p. verso.
  2. Includes index.
  3. Designing with stone -- Planning your project -- Stone as a building material -- Tools & techniques -- Paths & walkways -- Stone patios -- Landscape steps - -Stone & water features -- Setting large stones -- Rock gardens -- Freestanding walls -- Retaining walls.
     
Landscaping with stone
by Jeanne Huber and the editors of Sunset Books.
Menlo Park, Calif. : Sunset Books, 2006.
- Photo galleries feature updated approaches to enhance gardens with stone, from traditional to contemporary- Detailed step-by-step instructions for projects including paths, walls, and water features- Helpful lists identify appropriate plants for specific situations, such as when creating gravel or stepping-stone paths- "Trade Secrets" and "Design Tips" give professional hints on using stones most effectively to enhance your garden
     

A basic hypertufa mix is Portland cement, sand, and peat moss. When you vary the proportions of ingredients you’ll get different textures. A standard recipe is:

  • 1 part Portland cement
  • 1 part sand or perlite
  • 2 parts peat moss

Coloring agents can be added to the mixture to make a more interesting hue.  Reinforcing material such as hardware cloth gives extra structural strength for troughs larger than 25 inches. After mixing and applying to the form, the tufa must dry and then cure. Newly made tufa is too chemically hot for plants and so it should be weathered for 4 weeks before planting.

A leaf molded in hypertufa makes an interesting garden accent.

Make one using a large leaf commonly found in gardens such as “Sum and Substance” Hosta,  Castor bean, or Rhubarb as the form.

Place a leaf right side down on a pile of sand. Put the hypertufa mixture on top of the leaf (on the back side) pressing down on the leave form.

After drying for 24 to 48 hours, remove the leaf. The resulting casting can be cured and painted, or left natural, to be used as a decorative item in the home or garden.

Troughs are the traditional containers for hypertufa since they mimic stone troughs of the European tradition. But other forms for tufa are interesting in the garden. Many objects around your home will serve as hypertufa forms. And tufa can be molded into wonderful garden ornaments such as Japanese lanterns and garden pavers or stepping stones.  Even statuary can be made with tufa using a carving technique.

This versatile material is great for gardeners with imagination. Start planning your hypertufa project today!

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff