EASTER ISLAND? Gwen Smithers created this face by carving away an aerated concrete block, then putting the mosaics on it.
EASTER ISLAND? Gwen Smithers created this face by carving away an aerated concrete block, then putting the mosaics on it.

Pretty mosaics lead the way to a master class in gardening

VISITING the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show would be a dream come true for many gardeners.

However, travelling to the other side of the world is not necessary when Gwen Smithers' garden has the wow factor, showcasing her beautifully decorated ornaments using painting, pottery and mosaics.

Having the ability to think outside the square helps, as creativity becomes easier and less daunting, so undertaking projects such as an outdoor table, chairs, a mannequin and artworks is absolutely achievable.

A mosaic workshop run by Gwen was offered in Nambour about 12 years ago, with expenses paid by the Cooloola Arts Society.

PAVING THE WAY: Gwen Smithers, Gympie mosaic artist, shows some of her mosaic work along the driveway of her home.
PAVING THE WAY: Gwen Smithers, Gympie mosaic artist, shows some of her mosaic work along the driveway of her home. Contributed

Gwen ensured participants were given the chance to acquire the knowledge and skills she had learnt.

They made a bird home using a saucepan with the handles removed, keeping the lid, and also cutting a hole in the pan.

Another interesting feature in the garden is an Easter Island type face, near the driveway.

Gwen bought an aerated concrete block, then carved and sanded it, shaping it into a face. She then completed it with mosaic pieces.

PEEK-A-BOO: Pottery, created by Gwen Smithers, lurks in and around her garden.
PEEK-A-BOO: Pottery, created by Gwen Smithers, lurks in and around her garden.

Gwen finds making garden ornaments rewarding and satisfying, so she was devastated when a palm frond landed on one of her pieces and broke it. She was able to put it together again but removed the piece as she did not want it to happen again.

Walking through Gwen's garden showed four things: she loves gardening, garden ornaments, flowers and paths.

"You never know what is around the corner. That is the beauty of gardening," Gwen said.

Gwen also has an ambition to make a triffid plant, which can be divided into three components - the base, trunk and head - which contains a venomous sting.

BLING BABE: A mannequin Gwen Smithers has transformed with mosaics.
BLING BABE: A mannequin Gwen Smithers has transformed with mosaics.

The Day of the Triffids was a 1951 novel adapted to the small screen through the years. The book and adaptations are about a fictitious, tall, mobile, prolific and venomous plant species, triffids.

In a 1981 TV series, a plane carrying triffid seeds is shot down, allowing them to be carried all over the globe by the wind, resulting in death to many humans.

Creating and making a triffid will be a tough task but Gwen hopes it will create interest amongst gardeners when they visit.

Gwen's garden will be open to the Gympie Municipal Horticultural Society sometime next year. Do not miss the wonderful opportunity to visit. It will give you plenty of inspirational ideas and you may like to incorporate some of them into your own.

The Gympie Municipal Horticultural Society bus trip to Gardening on the Edge, at Maleny, on Saturday, leaves PC Place at 7am. Please be there by 6.45am.

 

BLUE BIRD: A mosaic plinth which stands at the front entrance of Gwen Smithers’ home.
BLUE BIRD: A mosaic plinth which stands at the front entrance of Gwen Smithers’ home.

 

Gympie Times


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