Tag Archive | brickwork

Look What Mark Built!

Stacked brick bird bath

My New Brick Birdbath

(Click to Zoom)

After showing Mark the article on using bricks in the garden in that South African e-magazine which featured our pond, we decided we liked the stacked brick birdbath pictured.  We also decided we needed to add a few more birdbaths in our garden, too.  (I’m convinced one can never have too many!)  Since we have enough salvaged brick to build a second house piled here and there in the pot ghetto area of the back yard, we didn’t have to buy a thing!  We also have several stacks of salvaged slate from a demo job in downtown Orlando, too.  So Mark built one of brick and one of slate.  I love both of them, and best of all, since the bricks and slate are just stacked up, they would be easy to relocate or take down completely, if we wanted to make changes.  It only took him about an hour on each one, to be sure every layer was level and neat.  I’m all smiles!

Stacked slate birdbath

(Click to see Full Sized)

This makes at least five birdbaths in my backyard, alone.  How many do YOU have?  Even birds that don’t use feeders need water, and will usually make use of a birdbath, even if it’s just a shallow bowl on the ground.  And watching them bathe is so much fun!  

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Ponds In The Garden

“Cold, wet leaves
Floating on moss-coloured water   
And the croaking of frogs—
Cracked bell-notes in the twilight.”

The Pond by Amy Lowell

(Click any image to zoom)

There is nothing like a water feature to make a big splash in your garden.  Once again, pun intended.  Even a small container of water with a potted papyrus plant or elephant ear adds a special grace note to a flower bed.  We have a large backyard, by urban yard standards.  Slightly less than a double lot, or close to 1/2 acre.  I knew I wanted a pond in the center, set up to be the main focal point.  For a long time, we talked about digging a large, free form pond with a waterfall and stream, but one day, we realized we were never going to have the time or energy to get it done by ourselves, so we needed to go to Plan B.

Galvanized Water Trough for Pond

Visiting a local feed and farm supply store, I purchased a 6′ x 2′ galvanized trough and had it delivered.  I would have been happy to set it up as is, and go with the country look of galvanized metal, but Mark, being the bricklayer of the family, wanted to tie it in with our patio and brick pathways already being established.  Two feet tall is higher than you might think, so we decided to lower the profile a bit and set the trough into the ground about 8″ deep.  Perfect. 

Filling water trough for goldfish pond

After leveling the pond in place, we filled it with well water, and hooked up the pump.  

Mark enclosing galvanized water trough with brick to make goldfish pond

Then Mark stacked bricks around the pond to enclose it…

Brick enclosure around galvanized goldfish pond almost done.

…taking a few breaks, here and there…

Brickwork surrounding galvanized water trough goldfish pond completed.

…and voila.  A beautiful brick pond! 

The entire project, including setting up the pump and the bamboo spitter, only took one weekend.

Finished galvanized water trough goldfish pond with brickwork enclosure.

The pond today, with additional brickwork walkways and seating areas.

Galvanized water trough pond with brickwork surround and friendly dachshund.

As you can tell, many, many more bricks have been laid since the pond was set up a couple of years ago.  Most of our backyard is a courtyard now, with free flowing flower beds here and there.  It’s wonderful.  No mowing or fertilizing a huge lawn, for one thing.  And so many places to pull up a chair and sit.  The pond is home to fat, colorful goldfish, and a few frogs can be heard there on summer nights.  The sound of the water is relaxing and helps disguise the sound of nearby traffic.   It’s the best thing we ever did out back, and I’m so glad we aren’t still waiting to dig a bigger one.  This one is actually perfect for us! 

If you have added a pond to your garden, I’d love to hear about it, and see pictures, too. 

Early Summer Garden Photos

The dog days of summer are here.  It’s so hot and muggy outside, I’ve given up on the garden until cooler weather arrives.  Now is the time for indoor projects, and other pursuits conducted in the heavenly bliss of air conditioned comfort.  The yard has turned into an overgrown jungle now that the rains have returned, after our long year of drought.  That’s the story in Florida.  It’s either drought or monsoon, with nothing much in between.  Thankfully, I took plenty of pictures this year, before the black-eyed Susan, scarlett morning glory, and sweet potato vines ran amuck over everything in their paths.  If you stand still longer than 30 seconds, they will start climbing over you, too!  Here are a few photos.  Enjoy!

An overview of a new rose bed, with my goldfish pond in the background. 
Hubby did all the beautiful brick pathways and patios over the last couple of years.

“Peter Pan” dwarf agaphanthus in the same bed, keeping “All American Miracle” hybrid tea rose company.

The world’s happiest cigar plant (cuphea).  Hummers love it!

Another view of the pond, and more of Mark’s brickwork.

So there you have just a few pictures from this year’s garden.  I’d love to know what you’ve been doing in  your own gardens.  Is anyone else into ponds?  Roses?  Laying brick?  Hope you’ll share your ideas, and please feel free to ask any questions you like.  Gardening in Florida presents a lot of challenges at times, but much of what works here will work in other parts of the country, too.