The picture is of my beat up garden shed mat. It is on its last leg. I thought it would be fun to grow a garden mat.
This is a work in progress. Plants grow at their own speed. This is at least a season and more like two or three season summer project. If you are willing to invest the time the result so far looks very promising
Step 1: Materials and Tools
Nature is doing the heavy lifting so virtually everything is from the earth.
One Wheel barrel or other suitable shaped container
A weed or plant with very prolific roots
Moss or some other decorative material
A heat gun or other heat source
Time, lots of it
Step 2: Creeping Charlie
Every year I deal with mounds of creeping charlie. A common weed in Chicago. This project sort of came about by accident. I had prepared the wheel barrel with holes for drainage and filled it with dirt. I planted herb seeds but creeping charlie took over. The next season (this one) I was annoyed and didn't feel like weeding so I tried flipping the dirt. The whole thing flipped as a sheet exposing a dense mat like root structure. I am now letting the other side grow over. Consult your local botanical garden for advice. The Chicago botanical garden was very encouraging.
Step 3: Drying
I plan on doing this later this summer. I usually dry my tea on non windy days outsides on sheets. I plan on using a heat gun to dry after sun drying. I have some smaller samples but I am not 100% sure how this will go. If this does not work I may look at the oven or an outdoor fire as a way of further removing water from the mat.
Step 4: Decorating
I have a large patch of moss adjacent to my home. Once the mat is dried I plan on setting the moss on the mat with the negative of the word Garden or Home. Really you can decorate in whatever way suits your taste. I love the look of garden made objects like recycled wood planters or plant made signs so I am really looking foward to the finished mat.