I’ve been looking at a lot of garden design books lately. These books always contain a photo illustrating the concept of the focus point, which is inevitably an 18th century marble bust of some ancient deity. Try to source one of those busts from your local big box store or Amazon and you’ll find some really scary stuff.
I can’t afford those 18th century busts, so I decided to try a two dimensional alternative: stencils. Above is my first primitive attempt–Seneca, spray painted on a chunk of concrete and propped up against a palm tree in the parkway.
Green Roof Grower Bruce was inspired by Novy’s work to make his own koi stencils on the sidewalk in front of his house. Now if enough of us adorn these edge spaces (in a neighborly fashion, of course) perhaps we’ll be able to reclaim our streets from the distant bureaucrats who hassle us over our parkway gardens. It’s precisely the kind of intervention on the permacultural “edge” that Mark Lakeman of Portland City Repair talks about.
So let’s make some stencils! Here’s how I do it:
First step is to find a suitable image. This tutorial shows you how to use Photoshop to make your stencil.
Materials and tools
I used acetate, but it’s expensive. Bruce used old manilla folders. A cheaper alternative is freezer paper. I cut my stencil using an exacto knife.
First I spray the surface I’m stenciling with some Krylon Easy-Tack. This temporarily holds the stencil down. The rest is easy-peasy and the stencil can be used many times.
My next stencil will be a three color stencil. Here’s a tutorial on how to do this.