Friday, June 5, 2009

Garden Pond Project Update.....

"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."
~Abram L. Urban~
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!

Miss Sandy


Lady Farmer said...

What sweet memories will be made at your pond and fire pit! It is so nice to get things accomplished ~ to check them off the list! That is what we are trying to do this week but seems there is more list than time!
Your new project looks intrigueing!
Can't wait to see it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sandy, I love seeing the progress you are making. I love the sun dappled area where your sitting area and fire pit are located. The hostas, fern and impatiens are lovely tumbling over the rocks. I'm not sure I've ever seen a photo of your writing cottage from the outside before. It is exactly as I pictured it in my mind. Absolutely charming! Blessings to you this weekend.

Becky K. said...

Your project is one of those that will last and make a great impact on your relaxation times. It looks great too!

Coralie Cederna Johnson said...

I love seeing the progress on your pond! Thank you for the update! Everything is just beautiful already!

Elaine said...

Dear Miss Sandy,
Thank you for the welcome to your writing cottage and lovely yard. It was such a pleasure to see sun, it is raining in Maryland and we are quite saturated this spring. Blooms have come and gone in the weight of the rains. I love the combination of hostas and ferns and have them planted together in my own yard.

SharDon Exclusives said...

I really really like the wonderful finished project. I have talked about you with my hubby & had to laugh with him on your last post about the work. We have decided to not run the overflow to the second pond because there is a "problem" & we have done everything we can think of. We enjoy our spot so much but have found that it is never finished. We want to add more rocks & less it goes on & on. The pleasure we have gotten from it far outweighs the work. You are so fortunate to have a space to write & create!!! Have a blessed & restful weekend...sharon

Barbara H. said...

It's coming along nicely.

Shopgirl said...

Miss Sandy, this is a beautiful post. Love what you are doing. Hugs, Mary

Anonymous said...

Miss Sandy, I love it all the landscaping, the firepit, and your little cottage! Your husband is so handy, and we all know that you are very creative what a great combination you belong together!
Vicki Page

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Oh how wonderful things are looking!
I am sorry that I haven't visited quite as much.
School is already out and I seem to be busier than ever~! :)

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