Sunday, September 11, 2016

At Last, a Pond

I have longed for a pond, since forever.  There is nothing like the soothing sound of water in a garden.

(Funny, but it does not translate to indoors.  Our windows leaked and there was NOTHING soothing about that.  Quite the opposite.)

I always knew what I wanted but my wallet did not agree.  We never agree.  An adversarial relationship at best. Like the time we had to pay to have the leaky windows repaired, for example. 

Like you, I pored over photos on Pinterest...

See what I did there?  
A water pun.
Inspiration from Detroit Garden Works

More inspiration...from Antique Art Garden Blog

If we had the money, I would buy everything Deborah Silver has to offer at Detroit Garden Works.

But for now...
I dream
...and scheme...

Enter a free steel plaster mixing trough! 

The mortar box is 8ft x 4ft. The perfect size for the bronze spitter I found years ago! 
It weighs about 200lbs, so it's not going to blow away.  I am going to keep it above ground. 

It is also 32 square feet of lawn I no longer have to mow! 

I'm so excited that I am unintentionally writing poetry! 

When we rearranged the rose arbor we removed many boxwoods.  They will surround the pond. 
The cherub spitter will sit inside the pond.  

Oh.  I forgot to share the arbor after we encircled it with arborvitaes we moved from the side gardens!

What a difference!  In a few years the only view will be the verdant arborvitae backdrop! 

I am looking for ways to seal the steel trough.  More on that as it develops!  
Any advice?




  1. This is going to be stunning! I can't wait to see it! Look into marine spar varnish. I know it works on wood, not sure about metal. Hugs!

  2. This is going to be stunning! I can't wait to see it! Look into marine spar varnish. I know it works on wood, not sure about metal. Hugs!

    1. Thanks, Leena!

      I think I will use it un the underside of the pond to keep it safe from the damp.


  3. Congrats on finally getting your much Dreamed about Water Feature. Wallet and I never agree either, my tastes are much too exquisite for the Wallet's abilities. Can't wait to see your completed Pond Project, it will Inspire me! Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

    1. Hello Friend!

      You always seem to find the right thing at the right time. I am sure it is waiting for you to discover it.


  4. HI ANDIE,



    1. Billie,

      Thank you for your kind words. I will send you a message so you will have my email.


  5. There must be some sort of sealing wax? Definitely don't want that to rust. maybe check out websites based on swimming pools? I know you've already done will be lovely!

    1. I discovered a pint that turns rust into magnesium. It goes on clear but turns black when it comes into contact with rust. I think that, covered with a waterproof paint should work?
      Great to see you, my friend!


  6. don't forget to put a drain of some sort. When torrential rains pass by your estate you don't want all the goldfish floating away over the top edge! I love your enthusiasm and your eye for usable trash. Best of luck on this new (old?) project. Keep us involved with many pictures.

    1. Wouldn't a hose used as a SIPHON periodically accomplish the same purpose?

      Just asking ... ;-)

  7. Hi, Andie,

    First, I congratulate you for staying away from any talk about The Election. BRAVO!

    Second, I immediately thought of Rubberized Roofing Cement when you asked about waterproofing the trough. Here are a few of the ads found on Google:

    Black Jack 4.75-Gallon Fibered Waterproofer Cement Roof Sealant 6230-9
    In store

    Black Jack 10-Fl Oz Waterproof Cement Roof Sealant 2172-9-66
    In store

    Henry Matte Black Roll Roofing Adhesive, 5 gal.

    _____ Firestone Bonding Adhesive - 5 Gallons
    $175.00 _____

    Liquid Rubber Liquid EPDM Rubber- 5 Gallon Rubber Pail
    EPDM Coatin...

    Leak Stopper 3.6-Quart Fibered Waterproofer Cement Roof Sealant 0311-G
    In store

    Flex Seal ® Liquid - Large 16 OZ - Available in multiple colors
    Flex Seal Pro...

    Epdm Bonding Adhesive Lg-Ba10 High Strength 5G
    Best Materials

    Flex Seal Liquid Coating Lfsblkr01

    henry he289gr046 roofing sealant, .9 gal., white

    Special offer
    Black Jack 3.6-Quart Fibered Waterproofer Cement Roof Sealant 6230-9-3
    In store

    As you can see, this stuff ain't cheap, especially considering the amount you're apt to need.

    SUGGESTION: Why don't you consider SINKING the trough, lining it with an appropriate amount of "pond liner" –– a black rubber substance that comes in sheets? Then you could cut ut to fit with sufficient overlap, then edge it with stones, bricks or manufactured curbing stones, rim that with plantings, and Bob's your uncle! ;-)

    I don't believe you must have koi or other fish to make it lovely. A simple reflecting pool can be do wonders to soothe the savage breast. ;-)

    As for fountains, i do NOT recommend those powered with a small recirculating pump. I made the mistake of falling for that sixteen years ago, and have finally had to give up trying to keep it "alive." Those pumps are a BIG maintenance headache, and have to be replaced every year, because they get so badly clogged with algae and pond sludge, etc.. Better to go whole hog, dig a trench and install genuine underground plumbing that you can control from the house.

    I love your ideas, and the clever ways you always seem to find to make your dreams a reality

    1. I am indebted to you again, my friend. I agree that if you do anything it should be done right. One large expense at the outset saves myriad expenses down the road.
      I have studied ponds to the point that I dream of them!


  8. OH, and I must ask you AGAIN please to tell us how you ANCHORED that wrought iron pavilion to keep it from blowing away in the next windstorm –– or is that a "trade secret?"

    PS: If you still have my gmail address, I'd love to hear from you. I promise to write back this time. Best, FT

    1. I have been writing to you, my friend. I wonder if the messages went into a slam folder?
      We anchored the pavilion with tent stakes. So far, so good.


  9. Andie, you must have a magic wand. How on earth do you always find the perfect thing? I love the idea of a pond. Can't wait to see this all in place.

    1. Hello, Beautiful Soul!
      This is taking longer to get it all in order. I thank late Fall it will be complete.


  10. Meditation on a Tragic Anniversary

    A radiant cloudless morning
    _____ air fresh and clear
    __________ sky the brightest blue
    _______________ mood mellow
    A lovely young day bright with promise ––

    And then a gleaming silver shell appeared
    _____ mirroring beautifully the morning sunshine
    __________ A Thing of Beauty –– but horribly out of place
    _______________ like a spacecraft from an alien planet

    Dipping crazily far too low upon the skyline
    _____ before anyone could feel the menace ––
    _________ it smashed directly into a gigantic upright construct ––
    _______________ one of a pair ––

    Twin monuments to Greed and Vain Ambition some were quick to say

    But sudden violent death eradicated an entire investment firm
    _____ in one horrific instant ––
    __________ dozens of bright young lives incinerated –– gone!

    Before dazed onlookers could begin to understand what was happening
    _____ another silver shell acting as a missile
    __________ crashed into the second of the giant pair.

    Ugly buildings! A hideous blot
    _____ on the once-graceful Manhattan skyline!

    “Ada Louise Huxtable might secretly rejoice at this,”
    _____ part of me though wickedly, for I had always resented
    __________ the overbearing, outsized twins ––
    _______________ bounders, interlopers, invaders!

    But before that ruined day was halfway through
    _____ three-thousand innocents had been
    __________ burned alive, brains and eyeballs boiled
    __________ skulls pulverized, skeletons crushed
    _______________ between twisting, white hot girders
    _______________ pelted with falling rubble midst the flames
    _______________ caught, crippled, crumpled, smashed to bits ––
    __________ Smothered in collapsing stairwells and buried alive
    _______________ in a torrent of red hot cinders and debris

    In so many ways the scene must have mimicked the final hours
    _____ of the residents of Pompeii and Herculaneum

    And then there were those hideous echoes
    ––––– of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire ––
    Where so many jumped to their deaths
    _____ to escape being burned alive ––
    In an instant smashed skulls, broken bones and bloody pulp
    _____ were all that remained of their vibrant young lives ––
    __________ and locked inside the ruined sweatshop ––
    _______________ cinders –– ashes and soot.

    And just a year ago in Benghazi –– to mark the anniversary
    __________ of this Great Triumph of Barbarity over Civilization
    _______________ our young, handsome, well-meaning,
    _______________ hopelessly naive, ambassador to Libya
    _______________ was surrounded in his quarters,
    _______________ dragged out into the streets
    _______________ beaten, sodomized and brutally murdered.

    But what does any of this matter? What difference does it make?
    _____ Let’s just forget about it, and MOVE ON.
    __________ Might as well.

    We are privileged to live in interesting times.

    Kyrie eleison!
    Kyrie eleison!
    Christe eleison!

    ~ FreeThinke

    1. I don't always feel so privileged. I mean, of course we are so very privileged but the interesting times don't seem to fall into that category.


  11. Now the leaves are falling fast,
    Nurse's flowers will not last;
    Nurses to the graves are gone,
    And the prams go rolling on.

    Whispering neighbours, left and right,
    Pluck us from the real delight;
    And the active hands must freeze
    Lonely on the separate knees.

    Dead in hundreds at the back
    Follow wooden in our track,
    Arms raised stiffly to reprove
    In false attitudes of love.

    Starving through the leafless wood
    Trolls run scolding for their food;
    And the nightingale is dumb,
    And the angel will not come.

    Cold, impossible, ahead
    Lifts the mountain's lovely head
    Whose white waterfall could bless
    Travellers in their last distress.

    W.H. Auden (1907-1973) On This Island


  12. Alone I walk down shaded garden paths.

    Bright sunshine filtered through the trees

    Dapples the ground beneath my questing feet.

    Here at last I am alone with God.


Farther on a little pool catches 

    And reflects the filtered light which beckons

    Kindly like a White Witch of the Wood.

    I feel a thrill without a trace of fear.

    I cannot stop myself from moving closer

    Toward the Edge to see the Tadpoles
In myriad stages of development.

    I feel a wish to be part of their world.

    The pool is a Mirror enabling me to see

    Myself more clearly in a tranquil light;

    Also an Eye that opens the mysteries

The Universe to peace-filled understanding.

    ~ FreeThinke (1956, revised)

  13. _____________ FRAMED _____________

    What is this bewhiskered face I see
Looking up at me from the bottom of the well?

    Wreathed in glowing green ferns
It might be that of a Faun –– a Satyr ––
Perhaps the Devil, himself?
It couldn't be me. I don't have horns,
And besides, I never have looked well in green.

    ~ FreeThinke };^)>

  14. Love the inspiration! I am dreaming about having a pond too ♥

    1. Good, but won't you tell us what you think having a pond would do for you?

      In making that effort, you might wind up writing a poem . ;-)

    2. I will keep you up to date. It doesn't seem to difficult a task.


  15. I think you will have to use a plastic or rubber liner if you plan on having fish because the cement will leach into the water and kill everything. But it isn't only the inside that will need waterproofing. You said it was steel so you will need to coat the exterior. I've had luck with elastomeric paint which is intended for coating roofs.You are going to have a lot of fun with this project and when it is finished you are going to have a great deal of pleasure from it. Good going. Ann

    1. Thank you for making excellent suggestions that fill out the advice I gave Andie above. If we all took note of each other, and worked together, we'd doubtless get superior results. I neglected to mention the need for rust-proofing the exterior of the steel trough. I think looking back that standard "pond liner" found in most better garden shops would be the best solution to waterproofing the pond –– and safest for fish too, since it is designed with them in mind.

      The large cast concrete fountain graced with two dolphins at play in my densely wooded back yard never has any trouble attracting frogs and the myriad pollywogs they produce –– volunteers all, who seem to thrive without any attention from me –– a fascinating spectacle!

    2. There is a a paint that exists that turns rust into magnesium, I think? I am researching now. I do not plan to put fish in the pond because my dogs would likely eat them.
      Thank you for the advice. This looks like a late Autumn project now.

  16. The Grave my little cottage is,
    Where, keeping house for thee,
    I make my parlor orderly,
    And lay the marble tea,

    For two divided, briefly,
    A cycle, it may be,
    Till everlasting life unite
    In strong society.

    ~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

  17. I am thinking the stuff they paint on basements to waterproof them. My husband has to do that on foundations he installs. That might work. But looks like you mentioned something to that effect. Can you do a test? To see if it holds water? Anyway I think its marvelous!!!

    1. Thank you Amy! I am going to try that. It already holds water fine but it would help it from rusting, I think.

  18. ___ October Greeting ___

    Scratching –– astringent!
    the brilliant sky assaults the eye
    While wads of cloud, though blinding white
    soften the blows of stinging light.

    Summer’s splendor
    claws at the commanding blue
    hating –– supplicating ––
    Submitting at last in a fiery blast ––
    a scornful array –– deceptively gay
    of every vigorous hue.

    Walls made of stone crack and groan
    at the coming of frost ––
    Flowers die beneath the sky ––
    Pods of seed split open and bleed ––
    scattering –– Hope ––
    on earth –– in air ––

    Riding on wind that sounds like Despair,
    But sings in harsh voice ––
    as it stiffens the frost ––
    Nothing is lost!
    Nothing is lost!

    ~ FreeThinke

    1. Beautiful, my friend. Would you mind if I share it?

    2. Of course not, Andie. Please go right ahead. I'm flattered. ;-)

  19. "...The kiss of the sun for pardon
    The song of the birds for mirth
    You're nearer God's heart in a garden
    Than anywhere else on earth."

  20. I am thinking the stuff they paint on basements to waterproof them.



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