Wicker Garden Furniture
Much of the garden furniture today is made of plastic rather than wood. If you are lucky enough to have a set of old-fashioned wicker or bent willow garden furniture, you can use this recipe to keep it in top shape.
Yield: 1 (12-ounce) jar
- 1/2 cup beeswax
- 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
- 1/2 cup gum turpentine
- Make a double boiler using a tin can. Add the beeswax and grape seed oil to the can. Melt over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Stir in the gum turpentine and continue stirring until a smooth paste forms.
- Pour into a wide mouth pint jar with a tight-fitting lid.
- Apply this mixture with a soft cloth to the clean, dry surface of your wicker garden furniture. Be sure to get into the crevices between the wicker-work to form a protective seal.
- Allow the mixture to dry overnight. Reapply in 24 hours. Buff with a dry, lint-free cloth to remove any excess wax mixture.
Fence posts are one of the more frustrating parts of the garden. Most pressure-treated fence posts leach heavy metal salts like arsenic and lead into the garden, potentially contaminating the soil. Untreated fence posts only last two or three years before they rot out at ground level. But finding a non-toxic wood preservative that is safe below the ground is a challenge.
The ideal wood preservative would provide a vapor barrier to keep moisture from entering the wood during high humidity. It would also condition the wood and prevent it from drying out and cracking. Ideally, it would provide a flexible finish that wouldn’t flake off as the wood cells move and breathe.
Yield: 1 (5–ounce) jar
- 2 cups raw flaxseed oil
- 1/2cup pine rosin
- 2 cups d-limonene
- 1/4 cup boric acid powder
- Melt the beeswax and flaxseed oil in a tin can in a water bath. In a separate tin can, warm up the pine rosin to liquefy it. Pour the pine rosin into the beeswax, stirring while you add it. Remove the pan from the heat source.
- Add the d-limonene to the beeswax mixture while stirring constantly.
- Stir in the boric acid powder, removing any clumps.
- Pour into a wide-mouth glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.
- Paint the portion of the fence post that will be underground with the beeswax preservative. Allow the mixture to dry on the fence post overnight.
- Wipe off the excess. Reapply in 24 hours, when the treated wood is dry to the touch.
The Beeswax Workshop by Chris Dalziel Lewis (Ulysses Press, 2016) transforms one of your hive’s most versatile products into non-toxic and useful household products.