Make, Not Bake, a Forest Cake


It’s a holiday vacation week at O’Reilly Media, the parent of Craftzine. And in that vein, I’m taking a smidge of a break today from creating DIY’s. Instead I am sharing my first-ever, and perhaps most favorite, project that I wrote while I was still just guest blogging for Craftzine. This forest centerpiece is so pretty, and a great way to bring the outdoors inside. Cheers!

First, find a stump, or better yet, a slice off a log. You should have some decent luck scavenging one — I found mine buried in a brush pile. Next, find some moss, either in the garden or at the nursery. Put the moss in a blender, cover it with water, and add a dollop of buttermilk or beer. Mix it up and pour it on the stump to rapidly cultivate it with the moss. Keep the whole thing in the shade, and be sure to water it and never let it dry out. Soon the stump will be covered in velvety, dark green moss.
Because you are watering the stump, as the moss grows, the middle of the stump should begin to decay. When you are ready to plant the stump, forcefully carve out the center with a spade. Set the stump on a cake stand, and then carefully set a dainty plant in the center.
I used a woodland bulb called Ledebouria cooperi and very well-draining soil. Cover any soil you can see in the center with stones and more bits of moss.
To keep the plant happy and keep the moss fresh, mist it with water as it dries out. Take the stump off the cake stand to water it. After a week or two has passed, move the stump off your table and to the outdoors, where it will thrive. You can even replant the stump seasonally.

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