"In my garden there is a large place for sentiment. My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful."Last week I shared with you our on going garden pond project. I thought I would share the progress we have made so far and give you a better overview of the area. We spent most of last weekend staining our back deck and the porch on the writing cottage. I did got the planters filled with dirt and did the first phase of the planting, putting in Hostas, which will love this shady spot. I added a few Impatients to the front edge for a little color. I plan on getting some of these lacy ferns I saw at the garden center to put between each Hosta and would like three larger plants to use where each back boulder meets. A finishing touch will be to add a row of lighting along the back side of the planter to give some ambient light to this dark area at night.Between the two trees in the seating area I added a couple of Hostas and Impatients and want to add one fern to this area. Potted ferns now flank the pond with two extra ones added to cover up the heating and air unit for the writing cottage and the hoses and pipes that supply water for the plants and pond.
The seating area is outlined with natural stone gathered from our property. A thin concrete base was laid in the out lined area. Loose river rock fills in the area. We chose hardscaping in this area for easy maintenance. I purchased new cushions of all the seating and outdoor fabric for making new canopies for both swings. Both canopies have become brittle and one tore when putting it back on for the season so I decided to replace them. I still need to touch up paint the two chairs and tables as well as the outdoor lanterns.
Handy Hubby and I finished his fire pit last evening. I readily admit that I really do like it even though I did not think I would. It does fill in the huge gap in the middle of the seating and I think it will make for many cozy family evenings. To keep costs down we used a ready made cast iron fire ring kit with an adjustable/removable swing arm grill. The outside of the pit is made of decorative flagstones which were stacked and sealed together using a masonry glue that comes in a tube like caulk. It was very easy to use. Once that was set we made an inner ring to elevate and level the steel ring. Red lava rock was used to fill in the bottom of the pit and around the sides to insulate between the fire ring and the flagstone.
One thing we learned in this process is that you cannot just use the flagstone as a pit because these stones are man made and have materials in them that will burn and pop, possibly causing the stone to crack or explode. You need to use a steel or cast iron fire ring with either gravel or lava rock to insulate or you can use firebrick on the inside. If you are using hard natural stones like the ones lining our seating area you don't need anything on the inside.
We are adding a small grate to the inside to elevate the wood so it will draft and burn better. Handy Hubby is having a steel circle cut for a lid. He will grind the edges down and weld on a handle and give it a coat of high heat paint. Hopefully this afternoon or tomorrow will be able to go and get the rest of the stones we need for the pond edge and begin setting them.
The rains have gone today and it is sunny and cool. I am off to paint the trim around the door of the writing cottage. Once that is complete I will head back into my studio space to finish up the give away items. Here is a sneak peek at the second project...Have a wonderful Friday!