Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ten Reasons to use Concrete in Gardens

Concrete is a great choice for a fountain or pond in many gardens, and the options keep growing. You can get it stamped or acid-stained on walkways, or decorate it with imprints of leaves or nuts. The local garden club recently bought a preformed concrete water fountain as a water feature for their flower garden. Now they will be coming back next year to make a concrete pond to capture the water overflow from the fountain. The nice thing about the fountain was it came in sections , so it was easy to put together.
While some projects require a contractor; others, a handy person can complete. Either way, there are myriad things to love about concrete in the garden. Here are Nine:
*1. It can be made to look old — even when it's new.
*2. You can do it yourself
If you are tackling a basic project, it's easy to learn. Edging a walkway, for example, is a repetitive process just about everyone can do.
*3. It lasts Wooden edging will rot and need to be replaced eventually. Concrete will last forever. (There's a downside to that, too. It's hard to get rid of it if you change your mind.)
*4. It can be modern or rustic
Concrete can look hard and sleek, perfect for a contemporary home and garden. Or it can be treated to look old and textured, more in place near a historic cottage or rustic cabin. Concrete gets a natural patina over time.
* 5. It's weather resistant
*6. Add other materials to it Rocks can be part of the design or a waterfall with just concrete can feel more urban and sleek,
*7.Concrete can be decorated You can throw ice cubes on it before it hardens to give it an unusual finish. Baking soda fizzes and makes it look old. Or add watered-down color (two-thirds water to one-third paint) in a paint sprayer.
*8. You create any type texture Some contractors have texture forms or you can make your own to make concrete look like old bricks, slate, textured brick — you name it.
*9. Concrete can be colored just about any color you want. The color choice is almost unlimited. Different chemicals gotten from a cement supply house will color the concrete differently.
*10. Plasticity The most important reason to use concrete is it's plasticity allowing you total control of the form.


The Pond Professor said...

Can you recommend a good quality concrete sealant for use in sealing cracked garden fish ponds in USA?
Water in the Home and Garden

Mike said...

Good question, the nature of the crack is important. did the earth move ? a narrow crack ? If it is a new narrow crack and since you are talking fish ponds one has to be careful about using anything that would affect the fish. There are some black silicone sealers made specifically for ponds. These are quite expensive. If there are not to be fish in it for a while I have also used High quality silicone that was not rated aquarium safe with good results, for me. If the crack is larger investigate a silicone fortified concrete patch. There are many brands, if possible get it at a masonry supply store as they will have the best options. I think I paid about $25 for a 50 lb. bag. It was formulated to be used under water and only had a work time of about 5 minutes.