“Garden Proof” Your Blooms

If you love your outdoor blooms as much as we do, chances are you are counting down the days until it’s warm enough to start working in your gardens and putting your blooms back outside. Hopefully, that will be sooner than we expect! But, before you put your blooms back outside here are a few tips on maintenance and care that will help preserve their beauty.

Sculpture Maintenance

First of all, outdoor concrete ages more quickly. Both rain and sunlight can cause the concrete sealer to breakdown and fade the color faster than those left indoors. That being said, if you are comfortable with that natural aging process, like many of us are, feel free to keep putting your blooms outdoors to enjoy!

Cleaning your Blooms

Sometimes all your blooms need to look shiny and new again is a good scrub down. You know what they say, a little elbow grease goes a long way! Try first cleaning with warm water and a soft dish cloth. If that doesn’t work you can then try using a mixture of 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water. A soft toothbrush works wonders to get into the crevices, but please never use a wire brush! Rinse the whole sculpture down with water and let air dry for two or three days.

Re-sealing your Blooms

But wait! you’re not done yet. Resealing your sculptures will not only give them that extra bit of shine, but will also add another layer to help protect against the rain. To re-seal, use a non-oil base concrete sealer from almost any hardware store. Apply with a soft brush and let dry for at least 24 hours. (Note: do NOT re-seal the Garden finish sculptures. These are finished with a different process and do not require sealant.)

Once your sculptures are cleaned and resealed, they are ready to be put back outside!

Garden Finish

We have incorporated so many different finishes into our line over the years and certain ones, such as our “Garden” finish, DO NOT require a protective coating. These sculptures are “etched” to give it that rough texture similar to weathered concrete you would find outdoors. The reason we etch these garden sculptures is to speed up that weathering process, which would normally take years to achieve, and to give it a more natural “outdoor” look.

Now,  if you are asking yourself, “How do I know which ones are considered a garden finish?”,  here are some examples.  As of right now we have two different garden finishes; Garden Moss Rose and Garden Stone. To clean these you will need to use warm soapy water, then let air-dry for a couple of days.

If you are uncertain about the finish of your bloom, give us a call! 563-336-3766.  We’d be glad to help!

Indoor Sculpture Care

It’s no secret that pets and little kids LOVE our blooms! They use them as scratching posts, coloring books, teething toys, etc. Although we no longer can repair extensive damage to sculptures, we can offer advice on how to get rid of certain residue that may get left behind by little mouths, fingers, and paws.

Removing Marks

Marks such as crayon, marker, lipstick, or whatever other creative tool our little ones pick up for the day can usually be removed by using finger-nail polish remover. Make sure it is one that contains acetone, and does not have lotion or conditioner in it. You can use either a q-tip or cotton ball to try and remove the mark. Be careful not to scrub too hard, as the acetone will end up removing  the coating and finish.

Reattaching Extremities

Some of our taller sculptures can tip over on uneven surfaces like plush carpet; especially when knocked or pulled over by little hands and rambunctious animals. This may cause some fingers, toes, or even heads of our blooms to become dislodged. As I stated earlier, we can no longer repair broken sculptures but if you’d like to try and reattach the broken extremity yourself, we recommend using a construction adhesive like “Loctite PL”. This won’t cover up the break but at least you won’t have the scene from the headless horseman in your back yard.

If any stones or eyes become dislodged from your sculptures, we are happy to replace them! Bring your sculptures to any of our showroom locations or you can send them to our warehouse at 736 Federal Street, Davenport, IA 52806. Attn: Repair dept.

If you have a special concern regarding your sculpture, you are welcome to email [email protected] or call 563-336-3766 and we will do our best to answer your questions!

by Lexi Johnson

Lexi has been with Isabel bloom for 16 years, since she was a youngin’. She has over 50 sculptures of her own because she LOVES Isabel blooms. Lexi has a wonderful husband and a son who challenges her every day but she wouldn’t trade being his mom for anything in the world. In her spare time, she loves being outdoors with her family, golfing, kayaking, and hiking when they can.

Comments

6 Comments

  • Nancy Stevens

    March 28, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    I repaired a bunny ear that had gotten broken off. After reattaching it with glue. I rubbed a white crayon into the cracks and rubbed again with my fingers. It’s still there but the crayon helped blend it in with the natural white of the Isabel bloom finish.

    • Lexi Johnson

      March 28, 2018 at 2:43 pm

      Way to be creative, Nancy! You’ll probably be the only one who can tell.

  • Denise Coiner

    March 28, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    Thank you so much for this article – I have many Isabeles and it’s good to know how to clean them. Thank you so much

    • Lexi Johnson

      March 28, 2018 at 2:41 pm

      You are welcome Denise. We try to offer as much care advice as we can so you can enjoy your blooms for years to come!

  • MaryAnn Kenyon

    March 29, 2018 at 10:03 am

    Would it be helpful to put a sealer on before putting Gned and Gnora in the garden the first time?

    • Lexi Johnson

      March 29, 2018 at 10:08 am

      Hi MaryAnn, Gned and Gnora should not be sealed. Their special finish allows them to withstand the elements better than our traditional finish, therefore a sealant is not needed.

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