From the gifted, inimitable Ozark Hillbilly:
The so named by my wife ‘Zen Garden’ is finished. Well, for now anyway.
We had a pain in the ass postage stamp’s worth of lawn between the car port and the house that cried out for… Something. I knew back in 2017 when I dug up the old flagstone path and poured a sidewalk that… Something would happen there, I just didn’t know what. During the ’17-’18 winter I built the flower beds y’all saw last year but even then I knew that… Something more was called for. This past winter I bought a 50 gallon kidney shaped “pond”, just like I always knew I would.
For the first few months I just kind of moved it around to see where and how it worked best. I knew that by itself it was lacking and that… Something more would be needed. Obviously we would need a place to sit and a place to park our feet. We would also need to walk to the bench and past because our trash cans are on the far side of it. Also I would need to plant… Somethings or others. All of this required a lot of digging, including the removal of the top 4-6″ of “soil” (actually a concrete like accretion of clay, potosi dolomite, and chert).
Then I set the treated 4x4s for everything to be built on. Laying out the curves for the decking was mostly by trial and error. I could have planned it all ahead of time and worked out the math on paper but that would have made sense and required planning, which after 35 years of following blueprints to the fraction of an inch, I am averse to these days.
When all that was built I was finally able to plant some stuff behind the bench. I had originally planned on a Japanese maple but DUH! I can always use another redbud. The ground covers are a mix: Hosta, Deadnettle, Creeping phlox, wild violets, and a couple primrose. No doubt that will change.
Meanwhile I was also working on the fountain, forming and pouring the concrete for it. I used a ‘lightweight’ concrete formula (sand, portland, peat moss)(not very lightweight) for the catch basins. They took 5 weeks to cure. I let the columns cure for about 2 weeks. I dry fitted them together for about a week turning them this way and that way before finally giving them a permanent fit (the plumbing fittings made this part easy) Even then I had to cut the copper pipe and add some fittings to direct the water where I wanted it to fall. They are not yet finished as I may want to change it a little here or there.
With the last of the construction finished I was able to plant around the pond. There I put Beard Tongue, Salvia, Lambs ear, Sea thrift (armeria martima), Baby’s breath, Ice plants, thyme along the walkway and a Wormwood my son gave me some years ago. With the exception of the Beard Tongue, I bought them all at 50% off. It’s a real mish mash of stuff and as time goes on I will no doubt replace some of it and try to give it a little cohesiveness.
All things considered, Mrs OHB is happy with it, and if Mrs OHB is happy, I breath a sigh of relief.