Monday, May 25, 2009

Garden Project - Gazebo Floor

I got this gazebo in 2005 for my graduation. I did put the legs on blocks, but I never put a floor in. I had considered putting sand in, but my inconsiderate neighbors let their cats roam free and I already spend almost an hour each week digging cat crap out of my front annual beds. So the floor just went to weeds. This spring things were looking so nice in my garden that I just had to do something about it. I dug out all the weeds and got some sand from the compost site.
I started with the centerpiece. I dug up this millstone while gardening years ago. Now it will have a befitting home. The square blocks are leftovers from the patio project. The smooth, blue stones are from our trips to the North Shore of Lake Superior.
I leveled out about 1"+ of sand for the floor material. I didn't have enough of the patio blocks to do the whole floor, so I just used those as borders. What I did have a ton of was chimney bricks!
My husband helped me get them all laid out before night fall to avoid having to sift through the unlaid area for cat-doo before laying the rest of the bricks. I figured we would just get the bricks down and not worry about what it looked like, but strangely enough, it ended up being perfect!
The finished product! I think it looks old-world, and it ties in the blocks from our patio and the bricks I've been using all over the garden. We didn't have to cut any bricks because we had taken brick pieces as well as whole bricks when we tore down the chimney. I filled in the big gaps with some pea gravel and the rest with more sand. To help level the bricks, I flooded the area with water and raised and lowered the bricks to water level and filled it all in with more sand when the water disappeared.

I can't use a tamper on these bricks, so now I just have to wait for a couple of really strong rain storms to help settle and compact everything naturally. It will take a while, but it is SO worth it!!


Anonymous gigi said...

Wow! That looks amazing! (btw, I happened on your site because I am new at gardening in Wisconsin (southeast) and was trying to find some inspiration and advice from other Wisconsin gardeners--so now am a fan!)

5/27/2009 9:11 AM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Hey Gigi! Nice to see you on my blog! I'm western border (just outside the Twin Cities). Are you new to gardening, or just new to gardening in Wisconsin? Hope you find some inspiration here!

5/27/2009 6:30 PM  
Anonymous Northern Shade said...

The gazebo floor turned how great. I like the pattern you positioned the bricks in, radiating out. Will you put a chair or bench in there to sit on, or have it as a focal point?

5/27/2009 9:16 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Northern Shade, eventually I would like to have a bistro set in here for coffee in the morning, but I have to wait until the bricks settle in. Since I can't tamp, I have to go through a passive settling via hard rain and re-filling with sand over a period of time. If we put weight on it before it is settled, the bricks may become unlevel.

5/27/2009 10:39 PM  
Blogger Zoey said...

Hi Sylvana,
That looks fabulous! What a great place it will be to sip some morning coffee. I really like the center design you made.

I hope your new poppies survive...wish me luck, too! The tough part will be for me not to dig them up once the foilage disappears next month.

5/30/2009 6:39 AM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Hi Zoey, I am lucky in that my poppy foliage sticks around until frost. It doesn't look as nice as it does in the spring all that time, but at least I won't accidentally hack it up trying to plant bulbs! Good luck!!

5/30/2009 8:00 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Fantastic. I love that the millstone is a found object. Perfect!

6/07/2009 6:59 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Jenn, I was so excited when I ran into this with my shovel while digging up weeds. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it, but I knew it would make a great centerpiece!

6/10/2009 11:29 AM  
Blogger primrozie said...

Sylvana that is gorgeous!! Great job. I've made my garden a place to sit and relax also.

The pond, even though it is small, offers the flowing water sound and attracts wildlife like dragon flies, toads and frogs.

The garden is just going to be a work in progress forever.

6/11/2009 9:44 AM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Primrozie, I want a pond but just can't seem to find the right place for it. Someday...

6/11/2009 2:52 PM  

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