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Pool’s open! but only just


Now that I can get to that end of the garden, decided I should scrub out the old baby bath that’s been collecting rain water and dirt and re-arrange that bit of space. The water was a bit grotty, but at least it was “pure” rain water, so rather than throw it I dipped a small watering can and gave the plants a drink; it was cold, but naturally so, rather than tap-cold. Scrubbed it out, then had to decide how to place it.

I wanted it off the ground a bit, to make it easier for me to see and reach, but full of water it’d weigh rather a lot, so it’d need some solid support. Eventually I inverted five strong plastic pots and stood the old worktable surface on top; added two more pots to the front of the row for where the bath would stand, for extra support.

Put some grasses around it – recently cut them back, hope they’ll eventually grow enough to arch nicely around and over the bath.

Filled the bath, only tap water, but it’ll settle and warm to current air temperature. Future weather should keep it topped up, and it’ll be with more natural water, apart from gunge it picks up on the way down.

Next problem was to provide a ladder for anything that fell in that couldn’t get out without help – I did think of using an old metal mesh oven tray which I’ve kept on the “come in handy” principle, but no idea where it might be and didn’t feel like diverting to search for it; know I’ve seen it recently, but where? When it does turn up, I’ll try it.

Also needed to provide something for standing on; saw this obelisk lying on the ground, where it’s been for months, got fed up with picking it up when something seemed determined to knock it down again; took it apart and placed it in the bath; parts of it break the surface, and there’s still space for swimming:

Took it out again; didn’t know how long the metal would last when totally immersed! I tried various ways to provide “islands”, even submerged, to give standing room; even tried filling plastic milk bottles with water, but the damn things kept floating, even when capped underwater so there wasn’t even a smidge of air caught in the lid.

Finally tried this tub – had it ages, rescued it from a bin, someone must have been very heavily into “health food” to have bought so much! Filled it with water; it does float a bit at one end, but there’s enough water in it to keep it from bobbing about, I hope. Also took one of the obelisk pieces and jammed it against a pot to keep it still; hope that’ll do for a ladder until I can do something better.

Also filled the small double-tray that came with the bath, or at least was dumped with it and rescued with it: that’ll do for drinking and as a paddling pool, I hope!

Not sure about placement: is the small one too close to the big one? And is the big one suitably placed? I’ve read on other blogs that birds like to have some cover nearby to duck into in case of emergency when their feathers are still wet; hope the grass will provide that. But sure they’ll also want a clear field of view to keep an eye out for threat, not sure I can supply that.

This is purely temporary; still not sure whether to make the bath a pond or water garden – in either case it’ll need insulating (bad enough to freeze from the top, let alone round the sides as well!). Did think of bubble wrap, then hypertufa; wonder if both’d work? ‘tufa over a layer of bubble wrap? There’s a plug in the bottom, not sure I’d need it for a water feature, so I could insulate the base as well.

But it does stand out rather; I need it off the ground to be able to see it and get at it, but it’s hardly unobtrusive as it is, where it is. I hoped that plants around it would help to disguise it, but then how to disguise the pots that the plants are in?

Maybe once I do get into hypertufa, or concrete at least, I can do more natural-looking pots and planters.

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you have been very busy Fran..lots of recycling going on..good luck with your pool...:o)

3 Mar, 2012


thanks, dear! I'll probably have an idea and re-arrange it all tomorow ... don't know how long it'll take the birds and other local fauna to notice it, to investigate it and maybe even to start using it - if they ever do. But at least if I use only the smaller divided tray for birds, I can garden or pond the bath, and the smaller tray will be a lot easir to position where it'll do some good.

3 Mar, 2012


look forward to pics of it in the summer...

3 Mar, 2012


lol it'lll probably be totally unrecognisable by then, at least I jolly well hope so!

3 Mar, 2012



3 Mar, 2012


Gosh, Fran, you do keep busy! Another project in hand already.
Keep us posted.

3 Mar, 2012


Hi Fran, why not put a pond plant in the water, an iris or something as pretty and then the earth will attract some insects and any little creature could use the leaves for climbing out etc.

3 Mar, 2012


thanks, Ojib, I will!

nods to Grandmage, part of me wants to do a water garden, another part is longing for a pond with water lilies - and yet again I want a mini-landscape with scaled plants and miniature features and maybe a tiny waterfall rock feature at one end. Dunno how many of them I can combine!

To make an "authentic" pond I'd need to raise the level all round so that the "soil level" comes where it should around the edge of the bath. shee, this is gonna take some working out, and then some working on!

But first has to come the insulation and-or 'tufa-ing, and finidng a p ermanent location that's high enough and strong enough to take the weight and the associated plantings - should have tried weighing it on me bathroom scales, or at least measured how much water I put in and calculated the weight from that - and how much will a tufa'd bath weigh?

I don't want to get plants in now, they'll only have to be moved later, or I'll acquire so many that it'll never get sorted and everything will freeze solid come next winter.

think I'll leave it a few days to see how it settles - and keep looking out of the windwo in the hope that it'll be found by the local animals. besides, the tables need to be sorted: the three-tier plant stands need rethinking, something keeps knocking the pots off, or over, so I need to rethink all that too.

oh, heck! lol it's 22.15 and I've just remembered taht I put some washing outside earlier!!! rushes out ....

3 Mar, 2012

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