When we moved into our new house, the previous owners left an empty fish pond with no content behind. As we did not have the funds straight away to transform this into an outdoor kitchen area, I decided to develop it over the next months into an area which the young ones and the grown ups would both enjoy.
Relaxing beach style area & enormous sandpit
The first step was…. opening up one side of the fish pond construction to gain access to the inside. There was yellow builder’s sand remaining at the bottom of the fish pond which stayed for the first summer making it a huge sandpit. Hurrah for the children ! Not so much for me though. The sand stained all clothes as well as the carpets indoors and when water collected in the sandpit, it would stay there until some really dry days came along.
I painted the rough, untreated sleepers inside of the construction in an off-cream white matching the garden houses and the play house further back in the garden (see different post). I bought two deck chairs and voila: we had our shared sandpit/relaxing beach style area made quite cheaply.
A touch of Far East: Bamboo & exotic plants surrounded by modern shapes
But I wasn’t fully happy with the result yet.
Ideally I would have loved some sort of decking or easy click deck tiles in a greyish colour for the next summer. But we ended up with something different.
The following winter, I undertook some de-cluttering; removing all the pots and planters in various styles on top of the construction. I picked up some very fancy looking planter bowls in the January sale and some large modern rectangular planters. The idea was to create an exotic plant display in an arranged way with similar shapes reflecting in the planters as well as in the type of plants. I chose Aloe Vera plants from IKEA and bamboo plants from the local garden centre as well as fountain bamboo planted in two pots to the left and right of the entrance.
A decking area with no decking but play bark as floor covering
As putting in decking would be quite expensive, I decided to try something different: To create an affordable but still fancy looking flooring.
I picked up quite inexpensively about 2 bags of play bark/bark which cost me about 8£ together. Before covering the ground with them, I was laying out cardboard on top of the builder’s sand as a weed barrier to save on the cost for landscape fabric/weed control fabric which works according to my research in the same way as weed control fabric.
I sprayed the cardboards down with the hosepipe and covered them with the bark.
We repurposed two of the side sleepers which initially were taken out to create an access point to the construction and put them out in a T-shape. What a wonderful garden feature since T stands also for our family name!
The left hand side transformed into a sandpit area with proper play sand and the right hand side was decorated with little white stones picked up at the garden centre for about 55£ for 11 bags.
The same left over decorative stones were used as plant toppers for the exotic plants in the grey bowls (Aloe vera plants) and give a luxury feel in combination with the white lounge furniture.
The final touch this summer will be an outdoor chevron/zig zag rug for on top of the play bark as well as zig zag cushions. What do you think?
In the future I might add a few more finishing touches, for examples a bamboo ladder for towels after a swim in the garden pool which I saw in the sale but missed out to buy it. I keep checking periodically online if it is reduced again. I won’t buy full price. You might know me by now. The fun thing is to create on a budget.