By: Mary Femniak ~ New Hartford Garden Club Member
Mary Lou Ringklib, president of the New Hartford Garden Club, hosted a fall work-in at her home on Wednesday, September 16, and 14 members of the club gathered with wheelbarrows, hoes and heavy duty gloves to make hypertufa planters.
Historically used by European farmers to water livestock by carving out soft tufa to form troughs, hypertufa emulates the characteristics of the now rare tufa rock. Cement, water, perlite and peat were mixed in exact proportions by club members as others hand-cast a variety of shapes designing each unique hypertufa container.
Hypertufa planters have many advantages: they are lightweight, attractive and durable. They easily withstand harsh winters and are perfect for the space-challenged gardener. Their natural look makes them an effortless addition to any garden as well as a lovely centerpiece for the home. They tolerate considerable neglect and when left outside all year will act as a natural insulator against harsh elements for your plants.
A best seller for the club, the hypertufa planters are created in the fall so they may be “fostered” by garden club members who lovingly season each over the winter and plant them in time for the club’s Spring Plant Sale. The sale is held at the New Hartford Town Hall lobby the day before Mother’s Day, and along with the hypertufa planters the club offers a variety of perennials. Local garden centers have discovered the artful pots created by the Garden Club, contacting the club in the spring to inquire about the handmade planters for their retail displays. However, New Hartford residents are offered first choice at the Spring Plant Sale of which all proceeds are used to fund scholarships and to buy elements for the club’s beautification projects for New Hartford town sites.
Club members who contributed to the hypertufa work day are: Shirley Fitzgerald, Marty Jahne, Diane Brescia, Patty Tyszka, Loretta Trumbull, Betty McDonald, Madeline McMahon, Diane Bolduc, Norita Bunch, Linda Dryanski, Marg Moonen, Geri Behrendt, Mary Femniak and Mary Lou Ringklib.
Residents are encouraged to consider membership and are invited to educational seminars and meetings. Contact New Hartford Garden Club President Mary Lou Ringklib at 860-379-4612 for more information.
Many Thanks: to Mary Femniak for sending along to us this article and the beautiful photos that accompany it, so that we might learn about how those incredible containers are made.
Many Thanks: also to the members of the New Hartford Garden Club who provide the plants and the manpower to beautify the signs into town, the traffic islands, and many other places around town, including the Town Hall building.
And Special Thanks: are reserved for Mary Lou Ringklib who, with quiet strength and good humor, tends to the needs of our community.
Want to know how to make your own concrete ornaments for the garden? Â See: Creative Concrete Ornaments for the Garden: Making Pots, Planters, Birdbaths, Sculpture & More