There’s nothing more frustrating than checking on your beautifully growing garden only to find that the markers identifying what’s growing where have succumbed to the elements!
The flimsy markers sold by most garden centres are no match for the British weather, and if your garden is growing enthusiastically, they might even be swallowed up by the very plants they are supposed to identify.
Luckily, there is a fun and creative way to create hardier garden plant markers. Stone markers certainly won’t blow away in a hurry, and they can add a quirky dash of colour to a sea of green.
All you’ll need is a selection of largish rocks (roughly hand sized), preferably flat, and ideally smooth. You might end up doing a bit of trial and error before finding the perfect stone canvases. Some craft shops sell bags of rocks for this purpose, but you will most likely be able to find all you need in your own garden or during a walk in the woods.
You can buy paints that are designed for outdoor projects in some arts and crafts shops, but any acrylic paints should do the job. You’ll need a wide paintbrush for the base colour and one or two smaller brushes for the lettering and any other intricate designs. For the lettering, you could also use a permanent marker or puffy paints. To really ensure that your beautiful designs are protected, you might want to finish with a coat of outdoor varnish, but it’s not essential as most acrylic paints seem to last well without that extra coat.
Once you have all your materials, it’s time to get creative. You might want to pick colours that correspond to the plant, such as bright red to identify tomato plants, or simply choose a scheme of colours you like. Cover the rock with a generous coating of the base colour, then leave it to dry. Even if you use non-toxic paints, it’s better to only paint the top side – no one will see the bottom anyway, and when it comes to nasties seeping into the soil, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
When the base coat is dry, you can simply write the name of the plant, or bring out your inner Picasso with some fancier designs. A drawing of the flower or fruit could be fun, or you might prefer a funny doodle to make you smile the next time you’re weeding.
Leave them to dry overnight, then enjoy the sight of your fun creations all summer.