Mosaic memories

This whimsical planter is a unique garden feature
Sharon Cohoon

Garden writer Pat Welsh is bringing back the old Southern California tradition of embellishing walls with Mexican river rock and whimsical objects. Her planter, pictured here, is decorated with old tools, craft projects from her children (the three tile plaques), and gifts from gardening friends (the toy watering can and the angel).

Welsh decorated her wall with help from builder Dean Johnson. She arranged objects on heavy paper in the exact dimensions of the wall, then outlined each one with a permanent black marker. Then, using the paper as a template, Welsh and Johnson transferred the design to the wall and glued each object in place with thin-set cement. To finish, they filled in the remaining space with grout and rock.