Saturday, 30 March 2013

Hardy Petunias

The Daily Telegraph reports today (Saturday 30th March 2013) that a 10 year mission to create a frost-resistant petunia has come to fruition.   The summer bedding favourite is usually killed by the first frost but the new 'below-zero' variety will last through snow and freezing conditions.  

This isn't the first mention of a hardy petunia and as long ago as 2009 the 'wintunia', a variety with small star shaped flower, was touted as a frost resistant form.   This doesn't appear to be readily available, however.  

Below-zero is available from

Hardy petunia Below-Zero

The 'wintunia'

Friday, 29 March 2013

Want to see my underpants?

Following on from the post on women's underwear, especially bras, I can now show you my underpants.   I couldn't resist these but unless I wear them Superman style on the outside of my trousers, no-one will ever know how appropriate my underwear is!

Underwear featuring Monstera deliciosa, Chamaedorea elegans and Spathyphyllum

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Geological terminology

Dendrite - crystal that develops with a typical multi-branching tree-like form
Pelite: Sedimentary rock composed of fine fragments, as of clay or mud.
Stylolite - an irregular discontinuity or non-structural fracture in limestone and other sedimentary rocks.

Al -ite terms, with the following not always included in glossaries of geology:

Leaverite:   a large glacial rock or boulder that is uninteresting or too difficult or expensive to move and is left in place.  Leave 'er right there, mate!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Pet rocks

In April 1975, advertising executive Gary Dahl was in a bar listening to his friends complain about their pets. This gave him the idea for the perfect "pet": a rock.  A rock would not need to be fed, walked, bathed, groomed and would not die, become sick, or be disobedient. He said they were to be the perfect pets, and joked about it with his friends.  However, he eventually took the idea seriously, and drafted an "instruction manual" for a pet rock. It was full of puns, gags and plays on words that referred to the rock as an actual pet. The original had no eyes.   It came with an instruction booklet and around 1.5 million were sold.

I'm not talking about that kind of pet rock.   I'm talking about a pet rock in the same way you would say pet bedding or pet food.   In other words a rock for a pet, not as a pet.   My pet rock is a kennel of sorts.   Simply cut a hole in the flat side of boulder G, available in sandstone, grey, black and granite and a range of signal colours.

St Andrews Aquarium in Scotland have just ordered a number of these to use as penguin nesting boxes for their Humboldt penguins.

Pet rock (simulated image)

Boulder G from another angle

Monday, 25 March 2013

Light rock.

How I love a play on words.   Lightweight fake rocks with lights.   Perhaps the title should have been Light light rock.   I haven't tried this as it looks very time consuming but this US company makes them:

Fake rocks with lights.


In an earlier post I mentioned that a number of rocks were hired by, a manufacturer of beautiful, figure-enhancing bras. This was in order to recreate a beach scene in February.   Michelle George, the photographer and make-up artist, has shown the before and after enhancement images on her website: and when I say enhancement, I mean the images, not the figure.   Thinking about it though, the swimwear is 'after enhancement' in both shots.

York 3, 7 and 9 appear on the left with tall stone 3 in the middle and B1, E2 on the right.   What do you mean you're not looking at the rocks?

Fake rocks and model before Photoshop.

Fake rocks and model after Photoshop.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

3D fishtank, terrarium or vivarium backgrounds.

Very realistic 3D fishtank, terrarium or vivarium backgrounds in sizes ranging from 1000mm wide x 500mm tall to 3000mm x 700mm.   These are made from dense polyurethane and can be cut to size. UK nationwide delivery.

You can see videos here: videos

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Wasn't me

I didn't supply this one.

Wasn't me two

...or this one.

Classic rock

In the 1990s, the American toy manufacturer Tyco offered a series of spy kits for sale.   One of these, the Electronic Secret Message Finder Set, contained a fake rock with electronic equipment inside that responded to a secret whistle.   There was also a small compartment for hiding messages, much like geo-caching rocks today.   In March 2013, one was offered for sale on eBay. The seller,Vintagemania10, may still have it!   It's great to know that in the fake rock world there are classic rocks!

Tyco classic Spy Tech Secret message Finder Set

Art: Control Mechanisms by Moorland Productions

A conceptual art installation by Moorland Productions using shredded paper and fake rock (boulder G to be precise).   As shown on, an online community that facilitates interactions and collaborations among artists, curators, organisations and open call opportunities. Wooloo has a  growing network of more than 27,400 art professionals in 140 countries.   

Control Mechanisms by Moorland Productions

Control Mechanisms by Moorland Productions

Friday, 22 March 2013


You've heard of Stonehenge, you may have heard of Woodhenge, now take a look at Airhenge.   This amazing interactive work of art by Turner prize winning artist Jeremy Deller and produced by inflatable manufacturers toured London parks in 2012.

Enter inflatable Stonehenge as an image search in to your favourite search engine for more wonderful images.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Boulder shaped furniture

MERCURIO by il laboratorio dell’imperfetto

BIG boulder

You know me.   I love fake boulders.   I love these, but I can't call them a lightweight artificial boulder as it runs in at 200Kg.   By Atelier Vierkant.   If you have to ask the price you can't afford it.

KR 150 by Atelier Vierkant

KR 150 by Atelier Vierkant

Lightweight rocks for green walls.

You've seen the lightweight artificial rocks for green roofs, now see the lightweight artificial rocks for green walls.   Remember that you saw it here first folks!

Lightweight fake rocks for green walls

Fake rocks on green wall (simulated images)

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Lightweight rocks and gravel for green roofs

Loading for green roofs can vary between 50Kg and 200 Kg per square metre.   The lightest at 50Kg per square metre is the sedum roof.   If loading is critical, with Sedum the only option, the green roof could be considered rather plain in appearance.   The landscaping could be greatly improved with the addition of a zen style garden in places using rocks and gravel.   Normally, the gravel itself will be around 75Kg per square metre and adding just small rocks will take that to 100Kg or more.    There is an alternative: the lightweight zen garden!   Using lightweight artificial rocks and boulders and lightweight lava gravel, the loading per square metre can be just 30Kg.   The image below shows a lightweight fake rock (9Kg) surrounded by lava gravel ( 21Kg of 10-15mm gravel at 40mm depth),

Lightweight artificial rock in lightweight gravel (simulated image)

Lightweight lava rock and gravel

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Lightweight rounded river-worn style rocks

A set of seven artificial rounded rocks or boulders in a range of colours.   


length 50cms, width 75cms., height 66cms. 
length 62cms. width 65cms, height 36cms, 
length 75cms, width 53cms,height 23cms.
length 45cm, width 51cm, height 25cms,
length 41cms, width 39cms, height 22cms.
length 36cms, width 31cms, height 15.5cms. 
length 31cms, width 26cms, height 15cms

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Oase FM Master rock cover

Oase are a well-known manufacturer of high quality garden pond products.  The Oase FM Master 3 is a remote radio controlled pond technology unit with four outlets, two are switched on and off via a hand-held transmitter, one is permanent and one is a dimmer (for use with Nautilus and certain Aquamax pumps). Using a remote control, power circuits are turned on and off, lights are controlled or the filter capacity can be regulated.

Oase FM master rock cover

The FM master is simply installed by pushing the spike in to the ground.  If it's not convenient to position the unit behind foliage there is now a rock style cover to disguise it.   One rock on it's own, however, can look a bit lonely in a garden and  would appear more at home with some boulder buddies.   You can buy buddies for the boulders and get respite for your rock here:

Another product from Oase is The Oase Filtoclear Filtocap. The Oase Filter Rock Covers are for the indispensable Oase Filtoclear range of pond filters.

Filtoclear cover

Buddies for the FM master rock including  a 6ftx6ftx2ft boulder on the right.   Lightweight fake boulders.

View the Oase products here:

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Lightweight artificial rock panels

Lightweight artificial rock panels for wall mounting or portable display use.   Used in conjunction with our rocks and boulders, these make an impressive but easily transportable display for shows and events.  We supply two types of fake rock panels.   The polyurethane panels are tough and durable and can be handled quite roughly without damage.   These weigh around 20Kg and two people are needed to handle them.   The other type is made from GRP or fibreglass and weighs around 9Kg.   The detail on the fibreglass stone panels is very realistic although when used for portable displays for exhibitions and shows, more care must be taken when handling as fibreglass is more brittle and can chip or crack.

Fibreglass rock or fake stone panels can be made to appear as a continuous length by bolting together.   Some patterning or style is repeated but the panels can be turned around to give a different appearance.   All panels must be provided with a method of support.   They can be drilled for fixings or can be made with fixing brackets.

Lightweight GRP or fibreglass fake rock panel

Friday, 15 March 2013

Fake meteorite in crater

In fact this is a faked picture of a fake meteorite in a crater.   This is an ideal film prop, 900mm long and weighing only 12 Kg. Available in a range of colours, it wouldn't take much effort by the art department to add some silver highlights to give the appearance that the meteor is made of metal.

There are a large number of websites explaining how to make fake rocks.   It's not easy to hand carve a realistic looking rock and the best method of making a faux rock is with the use of a mould and suitable casting material.   Jesmonite is very popular with creatives and there are additives that will give the appearance of metal when polished.    Of course it is far easier and more economical overall to buy them from here:

These are not just for film use.   GRP or glassfibre artificial rocks are very durable and can be used in landscaping schemes or green roofs where weight is an issue.   GRP is a hard material and can be damaged with rough handling.   Apart from GRP, lightweight rocks can be made in polyurethane and polyethylene or plastic.   The poly or plastic rocks can be thrown around without damage.  Ideal for avalanches, landslips and rock falls.

Faked image of a meteor using a fake rock.
These could be meteorites.

Surface detail on fake rock.

Natural rock effect penguin nesting box

It does exactly what it says on the tin.   1100 long x 800 wide x 600 tall.   Also available in ice white to match the lightweight rocks coloured to simulate ice for the penguin enclosure at The Deep, the award winning aquarium in Hull.

Artificial rock penguin nesting boxes

Natural rock style penguin nesting box (simulated image)

Fake rocks coloured white to simulate ice for the penguins at The Deep, Hull.

Lightweight artificial ice