Garden Rescue

Discussion in 'Gardening Other' started by Doghouse Riley, Jun 11, 2022.

  1. Doghouse Riley

    Doghouse Riley Young Pine

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    The week-day late afternoon "schedule filler" on BBC TV. Where they give gardens a makeover.

    I appreciate that some of these "rescues" are for people with disabilities, but most are not.

    They are for people who obviously, by the state of the original, are not interested in gardening, but are happy for the BBC to throw £4000 at it. Of course the owners are delighted with the end result, who wouldn't be? But whether they will make the effort to maintain it, we'll never know.
    Yesterday's was the garden of a "new build," left by the developer as entirely lawn with a few paving slabs as a tiny patio.

    This one took the best part of £6,000 to fill.

    I only start watching these shows half way through, as I like to see what they do and I fast forward through Charlie Dimmock's "clowning around" that helps fill the programme.
    Much of it is a "quick fix," gravel paths that meet either the lawn or a border with no containment, how's that going to work out?
    In another episode we got a view of a small paved,"chillout area" where they position an existing double wooden seat with a table inbetween, but the paved area was too small, so one end had two legs hanging over a flower bed. But there you go, it's just telly innit?

    The "in thing" apparently, are pergolas, in the middle of the garden, made entirely from tanalised four by four or whatever. The idea is that "climbers" will grow up over them. In reality many won't, so they are left with an eyesore that might as well have been made with scaffold poles.

    "In things" are common to gardening from time to time.

    Back in the day, when building gardens for the Chelsea Flower Show, over a couple of years, a few were built by Diamuid Gavin, whose favourite and most used garden tool was apparently, by what we saw, a concrete mixer.
     
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  3. Netty

    Netty Chaotic Gardener Plants Contributor

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    I agree, and the last thing I would ever want in my gardens is concrete!
     
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  4. Doghouse Riley

    Doghouse Riley Young Pine

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    I have to confess to having some concrete in our garden, the six foot pagoda and the two four and a half foot lanterns I made thirty-five years ago, but hopefully I've achieved making them look more like stone than concrete as they have an exterior skin of sand and cement mortar, so have weathered a bit as would stone over a few centuries.

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
     
  5. Netty

    Netty Chaotic Gardener Plants Contributor

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    Those are beautiful! I do like concrete ornaments :)
     
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  6. Droopy

    Droopy Slug Slaughterer Plants Contributor

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    I know what you mean. We have similar shows here and I always wonder what the place looks like after two-three years. Love your concrete ornaments! I need to get me some once we're done redoing the garden yet again.
     
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  7. Doghouse Riley

    Doghouse Riley Young Pine

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    I built them because I couldn't find anything in garden centres that would look aged.

    The process is much like making kids sand castles.

    I made a couple of YouTube videos about therm, together they've had well over 50,000 hits.

    Here's one of them.

     
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  8. Pacnorwest

    Pacnorwest Seedling

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    Lovely creative and surely fits with your garden style. Adore lace leaf acer.
     
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  9. Droopy

    Droopy Slug Slaughterer Plants Contributor

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    You're such an artist! I have a strong feeling our attempts would indeed look like a child's sand castle, lol.
     
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  10. Melody Mc.

    Melody Mc. In Flower

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    This is incredible. My hubby has a background in concrete work from his youth. He made some memorial stones etc for the garden. Nothing like this beauty. I showed your video to him and he's very impressed and interested. Thank you for sharing!
     
  11. Doghouse Riley

    Doghouse Riley Young Pine

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    Thanks for the kind words.

    It's all about getting the consistency of the concrete right. As I said just a like a sandcastle mix.

    The problem is that concrete looks like.....concrete. So it's important that everything has a skin of strong mortar, more cement in it than say for bricklaying. for a natural aged looking stone surface. I used yellow cement dye to get a similar colour to the York stone of our patio and paths. Over the years the surface of the tops have eroded a bit and attracted moss adding to the look of aging.

    It's surprising how much detail you can get with fine concrete mix.
    My pagoda actually has simulated pinjoints, these on a real pagoda are what holds up the corners of the roofs. Visitors don't notice the undersides.

    [​IMG]

    The biggest challenge was making the Sorin on the top. I made it from brass cupboard door knobs, the green tops of 4pt milk cartons, some wooden beads, a garden lighting stake I drilled out and the cap of a shaving gel aerosol. A steel rod connects everything.

    [​IMG]

    The only maintenance they've had in 35 years is an occasional re-paint of the pagoda and replacing the bulbs in the lanterns every few years. The latter is a right pain as there's no easy way to do it. I have to lift off the top to get at the fitting and clean the acetate film that gives the colour and it weighs a ton!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We don't often turn the lights on. But I check all the garden lights every night before we go to bed, just to make sure they are working. ( don't like having stuff that doesn't work). Easy enough, they are controlled by the four switches on the wall behind the lounge curtains, which are connected to the power in the garage by a multi-strand armoured cable I laid from the house, under the concrete raft that supports the patio in the late seventies.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2022
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