Archive | Garden project RSS feed for this section

Zig Zag bridge project.

8 Nov

Yeah I made it with 2 days to go, although I have been working on the next project as well. 

We started with clearing and levelling, well I say we it was Karen really. Once it was clear I had a mock up of how it would be.

Walking this felt a little narrow, I say we Karen really (although she was right) so I decided to put old reclaimed fence posts down the sides to widen it.

This felt better and Hazel gave it the appreciation resting position. Now the next problem how to strengthen the corners. I made H frames to support them.

We had to deal with putting the gap through to the office and the veranda. 

Yep that should do all I have to do is concreate them in.

I added some more strength on the corners to make sure. So with all the dry fit done, I removed them all to paint I say we Karen does like a bit of painting so I let her carry on.

It was felt that the centre section (yep you guessed say no more) may be a devil to weed. So I dug it out and laid a concrete slab.

Next we put new membrane down so we can get the stones back. I have also put 3 monkey poles in for display.

Final assembly.

Just have to wash more gravel to fill area. I hope over time to wear back the centre board to give it a used look.

Over the winter I will concentrate on the Tokanoma.

Garden project. 

13 Sep

I am still alive, although the second half of this year is not going to plan. 

I wanted to have my outdoor Tokanoma project finished by now but I have had to delay that one you can see it in the background. 

This area used to be my koi pond, but now filled and settled its time to develope it into the garden. 

We had a good length of fence replaced in May, and I managed to rescue all the old fence post well I couldn’t see them go in a skip. So project is to build a zig zag bridge to link deck from office through bonsai area back to gate, to avoid walking on the grass during the winter. Something like this I have in mind.

I have a dead line in October to get it done, but the Tokanoma will have to wait.

Looking forward to getting on with it and the looming winter show time.

O and I just booked a flight for the world bonsai convention. ✈️🇯🇵🌊

Gate project update.

21 Nov

This one was started 765 days ago, but I was determined to get it done before Christmas. Biggest problem was how to build it, many sketches drawn and bined but then while wandering the Japanese garden at Capel Manor I found just what I wanted.    

Now all I had to do was convert it to my situation. So on a bright morning I got up the steps to fit the main cross timber only to find out just how much timber can twist in 765 days. Not a good start and rather a big step backwards but I cut the tops and fitted two timbers and with string and pressure twisted them slowly over 6 weeks back to near straight at least enough to get one section right the way through.


Next job was to cut the rectangle holes in the upright, these needed to be tight as they are going to hold a dood deal of the weight.


Being I had to smack them through with a hammer I guess they are tight.


Then I could get the cross timbers on this would help align the uprights and to make sure they don’t shift I notched them so I know they are going to keep it all parallel.


Once fitted they are starting to make it feel more substantial. 


I had to make 3 mitred sections to support the boarding which will have the shingles fixed to it.

 Now I had a frame that I could put the planks on.


Because I had it, I decided to put a section of felt over the ridge, just to aid any water penetration from my bad laying of the ridge as I was still not sure how it would work. 


Home stretch now and first time I had to buy anything as the rest was left over from other projects. So with a pack of ceder shingles and a pack of ridge tiles delivered, I could get going once I had watched a couple of you tube clips on how to lay them.


Two layer put across the bottom then two layers staggered back, but it left me a large length the the ridge so I put another row in.   

 After a few mock ups I was happy with ridge layout.

   Layering up the ends gave me the oriental look I wanted.

I would say end of the day but being it’s taken so long, that would be a bit misleading due to the hours spent on it. At least it’s a step in the right direction. Next project is garden Tokanoma lets see if I can get it done before spring, better not say which spring though.    


(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Garden project

23 Aug

Those that have a good memory will remember the garden project, well due to many factors I have not got far this year. We have spent hours clearing the last of the area so at least I can get to all trees now.


New winter quarters

6 Nov

With winter around the corner it was time to erect new winter quarters for all my small trees. Cold is not the biggest problem I find, but the wet in combination with it. Controlling the wet in your bonsai during the winter is very important especially with shohin and smaller bits.


These are positioned so they don’t get any direct sun this way on bright days the temperature does not rise as it would if the sun was on them, I have a third and that is in a position which does receive sun, this one I use to bring on trees in early spring.

Natsume basin feature.

7 Jun

I have had my granite basin for a number of years, and it’s time to incorporate it into the new garden layout. It will be positioned as custom on the right hand side as you enter the garden through the gate. First thing is to mock up and mark out the edging.




Having got the basic layout worked out I rolled the basin out the way and put some hardcore down.

I need to get the basin set first before I can do the edge as I will never lift it over after. I set an irregular section of sandstone on mortar and left it a couple of days to go hard, then with the help of my brave assistant we got it seated on the slab with the aid of some timber to roll and guide it.

Having got this in place I could get on with digging the trench to set the tiles in. The idea is the inset with the basin is slightly raised from the stepping stone path area. Having cut the tiles ready to set in another quick mock up to check I had enough.

So with every thing ready I decided one morning to grab a couple of hours and get them stuck in. That was fatal as it took me almost 5 hours to complete the edge with all the cuts around the pergola footings and having some break as I set them in.




I am happy with it so far the basin is offset to centre and close to the path to use it and the area to the right I want to place a pot with a fern or seasonal interest.

Flooded the area with concrete and tampered washed shingle on top. Had some muck left over so bedded two stepping stones in as well.

Project water

13 Apr

This one started a year ago, during our extension build I had them put me out a pipe from the house to the other side of the patio. So last spring I dug it up the garden to get it near where I wanted it and past where the new fence was going.




As is often the way when you have small helpers they get distracted.

So now with the pergola in place its time to get the water sorted. As well as the tap on the pergola for my trees I am taking it all the way to the end for the vegetable plot. So we dug it up a bit and put a T in, then took it across to the post and mounted the tap.




After purging the air from the system it was all done, and now I can get rid of the hose all up the garden. That’s another good step made.
Next to sort out the electrics.

Benching time

5 Apr

Phase two of the pergola build is to get the three walls built level and upright, easy if your a builder but I am not in fact I have never
laid a brick before. Still I have watched DIY SOS and they make it look easy what could go wrong.


With the first row in I realised I could not lay them with sharp sand as they would not move around. I put a fillet all around the bottom to set them well on the foundation, I had all the muck knocked up so had to use it. So back to wicks to get some soft sand and another 20 blocks, I need 18 so have two spare! The pictures don’t quite show that the levels are all over the place.

Two more rows up now and the levels evened up, now to get the first timber in. The right hand side is the back and going to be my pot store with a larger shelf at the bottom and a small one higher up. I decided to let the two timbers come through the wall so I have a large shelf to put something on.

This row had to have the blocks cut to go around the timber, doubling the time for this row.


Nice simple row of three blocks to finish off the day.
Only had half a day on day two as had to do some of the day job. So I spent two hours cutting and chipping away at the blocks to fit in the second pot shelf this time it was not to pass through but stop within the wall.


I also was getting a bit to high so decided to take a third off one block to keep it down a bit. This is where I broke my first block.

Hooray all blocks up and level (ish) to make use of the time I decided to paint what was dry from the previous day.

Home straight now so this morning it was back out and paint the rest

With it all painted it hides my laying skills or lack of them, last job is to get the timber on.





A good sense of achievement getting all the timber on, just one thing missing trees. Just at this point my Steph came up to see me and decided the low bit was hers so off she went to get her two trees and claimed it.

Bet you would like to know what it looks like with trees on, so would I as other things got on the way. O well bring on tomorrow and let’s fill it up.

Pergola finished.

3 Apr

Finally got the pergola finished and the apex section sorted the maker told me it was 10ft when it was a smidgen over 6ft. I can now turn my attention to the staging. With the foundations for the 3 walls set I had a mock up to see what would work for me. The timber bits are where I want to insert shelves in the back to store unused pots.







Garden project

26 Mar

After a good push in the autumn the winter rains have really held up work on the garden, I was also left with a gap to fill or expand and pop in another panel. So out with a huge privet and a couple of elm (one is in a pot).
Grabbing an hour here and there I have got the posts in for the gazebo.









With all six posts up now, it have turned my attention to the foundations for the benching due to the fact I have lost the apex section.
Another small step in the right direction.