This is Part 2 of our Garden Revamp project, part 1 can be found here, which I’ve forgotten to include the original design done by Haze on Sketch Up, it is now included in this post.
Garden Revamp Plan
We followed the design quite accurately, with the only difference being omission of the climber fence on the right bottom corner. We ended up planting kantan flower, lengkuas, and lemongrass on that particular plot, which does not warrant a climber fence.
building the water planter, aggregates, sand, cement
By far, the most difficult part of the project involved building the water planter, which serves three purposes:
- filtration system for the koi pond
- planter for water plants such as lily, lotus, kangkung etc.
- pond for edible fish (tilapia, soon hock)
We made some rough measurements on the red bricks, aggregate, cement, sand, wood, and BRC needed for the planter and went to the nearby hardware store to get the goods.
the second layer is a bit trickier
Concrete work started on the 8/5/2016 in the evening. It turned out to be quite an unfortunate timing as you must complete concrete pouring in one go, it started raining heavily half way through and gotten dark, we ended up working till past 10pm to get it done. Thankfully that was possible partly due to the lights we had bought for Mount Kinabalu hiking trip.
After the foundation is done, we built up the perimeter with red bricks and cement (1 part cement, 3 part sand mix). We’ve also added some pipings for water inlet (1.5″) & outlets (2 x 2″).
waterproofing turns out to be quite a challenge, we used Sika
To make the upper level of the planter, I laid out bricks to support the wooden mould and did the same concrete pour. Then it was another round of red bricks and cement.
The inside of the pond was done plastered with cement and then painted over with Sika waterproofing agent. Waterproofing took quite a number of iteration as our plastering job was quite corse and uneven, thanks to the lack of experience. Oh well.
Building the water planter took a month, but water proofing was another couple months since we took some time off in between.
holes for posts in preparation for climber plots
While building the water planter, we also built some fencing for climbers.
The poles were actually 1″ water pipes sourced from local hardware store. We dug 1 feet deep holes and cemented the poles in with concrete. They turned out to be quite sturdy.
we procured galvanized fencing and repainted them black
We then affixed galvanized fencing (with anti climb fence fixtures) by drilling some holes on the poles. The lesson learned here was on drill bits, always buy quality bits, I ended up spending so much effort drilling a couple holes with cheap bits while the more expensive Bosch bits did the job with ease.
We then painted the whole thing black to suit our color theme.
At this point the garden is some 80% done, awaiting piping & planting. Will update part 3 with a rough total material cost soon.
After successfully experimented with planting our own herbs and vegetable at home, we decided to actually have a garden that looks worthy of a house an artist live in. So earlier this year, Haze spent some time in coming up with a proper garden design, and we started our (eventually) 4 month long project on April this year.
While I showcased the new garden a little bit on this post, I thought having a series to properly document our journey would be nice.
grass removed, and design chalked on the ground
Haze wanted the garden to look beautiful, while I wanted a design that include a big water planter to replace the current plastic koi pond filtration system, plus something that isn’t overly too complex to DIY. That took quite a few weeks.
After finally landed on a design that satisfied both of our requirements, we started ground work in early April.
Rich was kind enough to lend us a rotavator that made removing the grass and turning the soil over a much easier job.
After clearing the land, we used some chalk to draw up the plan on site and went upstairs to take the first look on how it’ll look like.
using red bricks to confirm our design
Next, we bought some red bricks and lay them on the ground according to the design, then we started by preparing a couple planting beds ahead of time since we had some plants in pots that needs a permanent home while the garden revamp is in progress.
laying irrigation piping
Next was a crucial part which many gardeners fail to do – having proper irrigation system.
We buried the PVC pipes underground and made sure each planting bed has an outlet. This proved to be a great time saver and especially important if you’re not someone who’s going to be able to water the garden manually every single day.
Our watering system utilizes a timer so everything is done automatically once installed. I’ll end up channeling the water from fish pond to irrigate the garden.
stone pathway and planting beds
Next up was laying pathways on the plot. For this we actually put down some landscape fabric to prevent possible erosion of soil and to attempt to slow down potential growth of weed on the pathway. We used gravel on the semi-circle side and later topped up with smaller yellow pebbles for aesthetics.
old railway sleepers as pathway
For the pathway leading to the deck, we procured some abandoned railway sleepers and cut them to size. This was done using a circular saw and had to be cut from bottom and top. We actually used some mahjong paper to make samples shapes and make sure everything lined up too.
This step was quite a laborious task considering how heavy these woods were, but at the end we were very happy with the results.
Upcoming part two I’ll share the concrete work on water planter as well as the climber’s structure of our garden.