by Michael Rusnak
Over a couple of weekends, a group of ACBS members- -Gib, Carlton and Dan showed their handyman skills--and used oodles of C-clamps to meticulously build "frames" that will support land features on each section of the penjing project. Such frames are necessary to support soil, moss and small plants that may occupy the features.
The frames were cut from angled rails of aluminum. In order to correctly size all of the the aluminum for individual tray sections, and, at the same time, ensure that each section fit neatly into any other sections, it was necessary to work with the entire composition. Each length of the aluminum was measured and cut with a miter saw at an appropriate angle.
The aluminum was then fitted so that it would fit flush along the desired edge. In addition, the tray section was checked against its joining section to test that mitered angles matched, and that the soil section correctly aligned with that of any neighboring tray.
Rails were cemented with epoxy resin and clamped into place. No doubt this was a time-consuming task, but it was an important step to completing the project. Fitting the frames in this way, holds the unity of the composition.
Next, members may start adding the individual plantings in the rock hollows and fill-in and sculpt soil features. It was reassuring to see that with all of the sections pieced together on the level garage floor, they accomplished a neat and consistent fit. Of course, once soil and moss are in place, those shiny aluminium pieces that support it will be covered not be visible in the final landscape.
With this task accomplished, it is entirely possible that the tray planting will be at the point where it can be displayed at the ACBS annual June exhibition.
Much thanks to Gib, Carlton and Dan for offering to build these sections.