Sunday, December 30, 2012

Walled Garden

So begins another challenge.  The garden needed to be laid out, and decisions be made about how this little garden would be used. I wanted to indicate a space for relaxing, flower and vegetable  gardens, utility area, paths and peek a boo views through gates and walls.

A centre circle for a fountain feature perhaps? Path edges built with stucco covered cardboard, textured and painted. Underpaint is where the gravel will be glued. I have already increased the amount of gravel as I was a bit daunted by producing foliage for the larger areas.

Gravel coloured and glued to board.

The stone-look walls were built using blocks cut from 1/2"/15 mm. acoustic ceiling tiles. I did one large section cutting them with a mat knife which took a long time but failed to keep the edges straight. Very discouraging.  Bruce thought we may be able to use the table saw to cut it.  Success and it only took a few minutes.
 I painted the blocks with colour appropriate latex paint then textured some of them with a wire brush and sealed them with acrylic matte paint.  I was worried that the drywall mortar would get into the layers of paper.
Bruce mortared  a section with drywall mortar but found some bricks were not stable. We needed to apply mortar or spacers to get some definition between each brick to show the mortar - otherwise they seemed too closely packed. I did consider rendering the bricks to give a finish similiar to the exerior of my mini house but wanted a different look for the walled courtyard. I'll save that technique for another time. Once the bricks were set with a combo of white glue/drywall mortar I scraped the mortar out in part to give more dimension to the stone-look slabs.

Gates looking satisfactorily rusty.

Birds-eye view of space taking shape.

Bruce, supportive husband and side-kick extraordinaire fabricated the two gates. He used solid brass wire stapled to a piece of plywood to hold the wire in place while he soldered them together. The centre is a decorative medallion.  He painted and used fine sand to texture and give a rusted appearance to the gates.

Here you see the staples holding the wire. Bruce says if you are soldering, the rod needs to be secure to prevent the heated rod from releasing the adjacent soldered joint. If you prestaple the whole frame it allows you to position each rod before soldering.
Perhaps a few brass beds are in our future!

Now I have come this far I had to play a little!  Garden tools, pots, seed packets and row markers in a basket. Ball of string in a clay pot and window box for the window sill. Already the space seems smaller.

Cushions and tray by Elizabeth. Lucky me! You can visit her blog by clicking the link:

Leather diary and lavender plant in thimble pot made by J. The steamer chair was a Christmas decoration from the Restoration Hardware store a few years ago.

Soon to follow - experiments in landscaping. Thank you for visiting.

Regards Janine


  1. Ah yes....what beautiful minis! The garden is certainly coming along very well and might I say very fast. Can't wait to see all the greenery you will come up with.

  2. Janine This is sooo You! I know it is yet unfinished but I can already envision you sitting there in that steamer chair taking in the warm rays of the sun. You will have to take care that you don't burn. The stone walls look fabulous, what wonderful work Bruce does( under your direction naturally) This was worth the wait, but now I'm hungry for MORE, Mrs. Greenthumbs.


  3. Dear Janine,
    in these days of exchange of greetings I want to thank you for your explanations and all the inspirations that I get from your beautiful blog.
    Looking at your work I learn a lot, while I make a pleasant journey in your mini world!
    I wish a very special New Year to you too!

  4. Lovely garden! And kudos to your sidekick for that cool rusted gate. Stapling the wire to plywood was a brilliant thought and one I will use... The masking tape just was not working for me :-)

  5. Your little garden is looking superb and I love the gates - well done hubby.

  6. Dein kleiner Garten wird bestimmt wunderschön !!
    Ich finde Deine Steinmauer echt beeindruckend, aber am allermeisten liebe ich Dein Gartentor !!
    Bin sehr gespannt, wie es weitergeht......
    Liebe Grüße Mokiba