Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Jackie in Seattle says: Concerning leaving the moss on garden ornaments:

If the articles are made of concrete (cement), moss will "eat" the porous, older material. I know only too well! As a bride 25 years old, 45 years ago and still in the same house, I loved the beautiful moss that started growing on my front steps here in the damp Northwest (old steps) and people passing by would comment on howlovely it looked. Well!!

Now, the outer layers of the steps are crumbling and the little stones in the concrete are falling out; literally being eaten by the flourishing moss.

I have since learned that makers of new old-fashioned garden urns, etc., let moss grow on them to get the mottled "old" look.

March 11, 2010 4:31 PM

Anonymous said...With regard to soaking pieces in vinegar and water. Caution: Do NOT soak chalkware (plaster of Paris) pieces in the above solution. When restoring or repairing old oil lamps, the brass collars were attached to the glass lamp font with plaster of Paris. To remove the collar, I have always soaked the collar and font in a vinegar/water solution which breaks down the plaster so the collar can be detached. Many other early glass pieces (creamers, sugars, cracker jars, perfumes, etc.) had metal collars attached with plaster, also.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We collected 120 pieces of painted character cement garden ornaments from a large sale, they were nearly free. Very cute, from elves and little animals to a Frank Sinatra hat and many 'people' children and garden figures. They were made in 1945. Just want all to know that was probably lead-based paint. We have hated to remove the original paint and cover all cements in winter, but they do deteriorate much faster when left to the elements. Suggest if you have old garden ornaments you have paint checked, or keep from children. We repainted several 5 years ago and they are now nicely 'weathered' with safe paint. Just a warning for those who love whimsy in the garden!