The mandala is Sanskrit for "sacred circle" of the cycle of life and is a concept shared by most cultures around the globe.
You can create a mandala in a hidden spot in your garden or on a table-scape for a special event or just for fun. If you place it in a spot that others may accidentally stumble across it, that is even more fun to brighten someone's day and see their reactions.
This is a very easy craft that can be done by anyone with just simple materials gathered from your own landscape.
• flower petals, leaves, stems, and seeds -- harvested from the garden
• paper and pencil (optional) or chalk
1. Gather various plant materials -- the more colorful the better. I used marigolds, sedum, garlic chives, begonia leaves, sunflowers, marigolds, and butterfly bush.
2. If working outdoors, find a roughly round base. In my case, I had an old stepping stone I used. You could also use a wooden stump or a manhole cover. You could also draw a circle using sidewalk chalk. (If working indoors, take a pencil and draw or trace a circle onto a sheet of paper.)
3. Assemble your mandala. You can be as meticulous or as carefree as you like. Some people take hours to do a small one and are very precise in their placement (hint: use tweezers), while others use a freehand and let the materials fall where they may. You are done when it pleases you.
Tip: This is an ephemeral craft so take a photo so it lasts longer for you. The next strong wind or rain could erase it and that is exactly how it should be.
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This is a monthly blog series on DIY projects for the beginning home gardener. Look for the other installments in this DIY blog series by putting "DIY" in the search box here at washingtongardener.blogspot.