A while back we did a post on Securing Manzanita Branches with Plaster (and did a follow up post as well where we didn't pour the plaster directly into the pot) where we temporarily secured the branch in an inexpensive clay pot with some crushed stone and poured plaster in to permanently secure the Manzanita Branch.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Plaster works great because it is very strong and really holds the branch in the pot well. Furthermore, the weight of the plaster helps keep the display stable. These attributes are particularly important if you are going to be loading up the branches with heavy objects.
However, working with plaster can be a hassle, can create quite a mess, and it can get expensive, particularly if you need to create a lot of displays. Confronted with these issues, the author of Doodles, Dabbles and Dreams used spray foam instead and wrote a great blog posted titled Manzanita Madness! on the process.
The photo above from the blog post shows the spray foam in the process of expanding. Definitely check out the post!
We haven't tried securing Manzanita Branches with spray foam ourselves (we will soon!) but it seems like an a great alternative to plaster if you aren't going to be hanging a lot of heavy items from the branches.
As for spray foam itself, last spring I learned quite a bit about it while using it to fill gaps between the logs of an old cabin in the Adirondacks. First and foremost, you don't want it to get on anything, particularly your skin - make sure you are wearing gloves. Secondly, the stuff really expands, and when you start, make sure you err on the side of using too little.
I'll be getting some cans of spray foam and start playing with it (carefully!) soon!