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Sunday, September 27, 2009


HELLO from the garden home! I want to share some photos and notes regarding the "hypertufa" workshop (pronounced "hyper-toofa") I attended yesterday, Saturday. Hypertufa is the art of making artificial stone using various compounds of peat moss, cement, sand, volcanic rock, etc. Since volcanic material is hard to come by we use coarse perlite, available from your local garden centers in bulk or smaller bags usually from your DIY "Big Box" stores. Our recipe yesterday was: 2-parts Portland Cement, 3-parts peat moss & 3-parts "perlite" (makes it lighter). There are other recipes but this is the one that was used yesterday and it seemed to work well. I will know today when I un-mold my form.
I chose a Styrofoam cooler for my initial form. Many of my MG interns chose bowls, cat litter boxes, cardboard boxes, and many other shapes. The ideas are only limited to ones imagination. Our workshop leader and his wife had a lovely garden home and one of the items featured there were some hypertufa "gnome homes" or garden art. This were just precious and gave me so many ideas. They had even made their own flower bed outline bricks using old plastic newspaper bags for the forms. This was really easier than the leaf molds. More like playing in mud pies mixture. Just premix the dry ingredients, add enough water to make it moist, not soaking or muddy - more on the dry side - then add to your form. For spheres, cut a hole in a soccer or basketball and stuff the mixture inside. When set just cut away the ball material and you have a sphere. You can make pedestals as well as leaf forms and really anything that sparks your imagination. Enjoy these pictures and let your mind run wild with this new project. And remember your daily gardening affirmation: GARDENING: ONE YARD AT A TIME!"


  1. Can one build with this? Does it wick? It sounds somewhat like papercrete. Any literature and/or websites that you can recommend?

  2. This is not a building material "Mr. C" - for yard art only. One can build chairs, stools, containers, spheres, etc from this material but due to the extremely pourous material this made from it cannot be used for building. I will add some websites today for you to look at. Thanks for your daily following!

  3. Again, Charlie, not to give the wrong impression about being porous...not to the point it does not contain or hold water as it will and will not leak but it is not STABLE enough for building materials to withstand home-site use. And it would also be cost prohibitive as well due to the cost of perlite and peat and the amount one would be required for that type of building project. Stick with the "mudobe" building you are interested in!