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Bathtub Pond

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

I have an old cast iron tub and it has some history. I have childhood memories of it sitting up at my Uncleís summer place along Shermanís Creek. Bathroom facilities consisted of an outhouse and this outside tub with a hand pump. Later after Uncle built a more modern facility it graced my corral as a watering trough for the horses. As a young boy my son would bring small fish up from our nearby creek and keep them for a few days occasionally going down to pet them. The horses didnít seem to mind. Later after the horses were just a memory it was moved out to the edge of the pasture near the yard where it held excess water plants, provided water during a summer drought to the local deer herd and more than once was filled with ice and beer kegs. It had become a bit of an eyesore as I tended to pile up rocks around it as I was working around the yard and didnít bother with weeding that area. Then in a fit of excess energy I removed that last vestiges of old pasture fence, moved out the rocks, pulled the weeds and leveled the ground. I had Ric drag it out to the edge of the road where it was destined to places unknown. At the time I had thought what a shame to get rid of it but I have no use for it. Besides my mind was centered on that new clean area and how nice it looked.
My son an adult now showed up saw the tub sitting out along the road and said Mom you arenít getting rid of that! So it was moved back into the front yard and I turned my mind in a new direction. Letís make a water garden.

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Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

I had the boys move it back down into the old corral (now a work area) and set it up on some cinder blocks to make it easy to work on and then put in a good bit of time with a sandblaster and grinder.

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Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Then moved on to the paint. I had decided to keep the old porcelain insides as they were scratched and stained, but wanted to paint the tub outside and started looking for a color. Started with the idea of cobalt blue as I have a lot of blue accessories in the front yard. But decided that anything that wasnít bright would just blend in so I went for this hot reddish orange. Ric got out his trusty spay gun and did a great job.

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Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Son Jamie came and used his plumber skills to do this copper work. There is a small filter and pump in the pond where they attached a flexible plastic hose and ran it through the bathtub drain in the bottom of the tub and hooked it up to one of these copper pipes. The larger pipe in the middle comes from the over flow drain in the top of the tub and the electrical cord from the pump is fed through the overflow drain and down the pipe. The old looking facet with ceramic knobs each marked either Hot or Cold came from a bathroom remodel at Joshís house.

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Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Then there is the question, Where Oí Where do you put a bathtub pond? Originally I had planed to put it out by my entrance next to the arbor. We would not be able to see it from the house, only people coming and going would see it. In fact I was so set on that location that the orange/red color was picked because it was similar to the color of the Trumpet vine that grows on the arbor. But I soon came to realize that I could never grow water lilies and lotus in the shade the evergreens create.
If I moved it to the other side of the walk it would be blocked by cars parked in the parking area and clash with some other points of interest on that side of the front yard. . I didnít want it in the middle of the front yard. The back yard already has two small ponds, didnít really need a third back there. So this spot seemed to fit the bill. It is in the lower front yard but screened from street view by those same evergreens, which make a nice backdrop. It is easily seen from the front porch, where we quite often sit.

This message was edited Jun 27, 2009 11:58 PM

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Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

So now I have picked my location and had the boys move it up. I had them put a brick under each leg, didnít want it sitting up too high but didnít want it sinking into the ground either. Ric put a piece of black rubber under it to keep the grass from growing under it. Then started digging, removed the sod, added compost, tilled up the new bed and yelled Holly itís time for you to plant.

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Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

So far I have a taro, pickerel, White Aethiopica Calla Lily and a couple of small water lilies in the pond along with a few gold fish. Planted along the front and sides there are decorative grasses Hakonechloa macra Aureola and
Festuca Boulder Blue, Dahlias, Calla lilies, Creeping Jenny, Alyssum and a few stepping stones.

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Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

I wanted all the sod removed from between the evergreens and back of the tub as well. So I dug in removed the sod and then planted several Cannas behind the tub. I was late getting the cannas in so Iím not sure if they will flower for me this year. I also have no idea what color or height they are as they were stored over from last year and were never marked. (Note to selfÖbe more organized)

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Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

All that was left to do for now was mulch, water and sit on the porch and watch it grow.
View from the porch.

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Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Given a little time the plants should all fill in nicely. Both in the tub and out. This fall I will be planting some spring bulbs and thinking about what else I might want to put in.

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Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Last Pic. I would love to see some of your small ponds and water features. Feel free to post pics on this thread if you would like. I know that there are a few other tubs out there.

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Norristown, PA(Zone 6b)

Great work as usual Holly & Rick! Your plantings look very nice, Holly and Rick did a great job on that paint. I like the color. It suits your setting. Now, can't wait to see the Gazebo project...

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Thanks Stormy, Don't you ever sleep? LOL

Norristown, PA(Zone 6b)

What about you, Holly!!!!

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

LOL, Yes and I need to be up early to make food for a family picnic. We are a pair.

Denville, NJ(Zone 6b)

looks nice Holly..... you guys did a great job

Virginia Beach, VA

What a beautiful story!!! Dh is not sentimental at all, he had gotten rid of lot of stuff now that our children has moved away but our daughter took some of our old furnitures and looks very nice in her guest room.You did a good job painting it and now your memories of the beautiful tub is alive. Bellieg

noonamah, Australia

I've an old enamel tub which is my current temporary lotus pond. But it's never had the treatment yours has.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Holly, your tub is pretty cool. I love the colors and your plantings look wonderful.

I have 2 half whiskey barrels and liners but the liners are too small for the barrels. I am at a loss as to what to do with these things.

For years I used the liners in whiskey barrels but the barrels finally gave up so I bought new ones. They don't fit so now what????

Any suggestions?

Jeanette

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Jnette, I saw you post about your liners and have been thinking about them.Do you want to use the liners or the barrels? Are the liners bigger or smaller than the barrels? If they are smaller you could put something in the barrel to fill in the space between like sand and then use small pebbles at the top to give a more decorative look. If the barrels are smaller you could get some vinyl liner like a small piece of pond liner or rubber roofing. I have even seen a couple of layers of heavy duty plastic trash bags used but don't know how well that will hold up. Have you been over to the Hypertufa and Concrete Forum? Maybe you could make something from Hypertufa to fit the liners. If you like the look you could do some mosaic using stained glass, pebbles or other material.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Wonderful tub! Glad you did not get rid of it with all the memories. You did a great job finding the right location and setting up the spot. I found a scuptured marble tub on the curb in my neighborhood this spring. After getting permission to take it, a couple of strong neighbors brought it home for me and I covered it with hypertufa and planted a herb garden. Could have also been a water feature. Here is the link davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/977916/ Need to post an update with new photo now that it is completly planted and growing.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Holly, the barrels are larger than the liners. I would have to fill in with water around them to keep the barrel staves swollen so they don't fall apart. So, if I do that, why use the liners. The only thing is the one liner has the spout to pour into the bottom pond.

They aren't so much bigger that I can use decorative items around them. I'm thinking that maybe I will just do like I said above and then put the plants around them.

My DH doesn't like plants in them because he says they get so nasty. dirty. Do you have a pump running Holly? I have a pump to run a fountain that keeps it arreated. Don't know how to spell that, but you know what I mean.

Jeanette

Phoenix, AZ

Extreme bathtub pond envy ☺

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

No Fishy you don't have room for one!!
Holly you and the family have done a great service to memories and a piece of nastalgia (sp). Make sure to post a picture at the end of summer when the plants have filled in.

(Zone 1)

Holly: What a wonderful job! I love your bathtub pond! Back in the late 70's a friend of ours was remodeling one of their bathrooms. Their house is about 56 years old and the tub he took out was one of those heavy cast iron things, looked just like yours! I sooo wanted it for my front yard to use as a planter but our friend and my DH thought I was nuts. Needless to say I didn't get the tub and would love to have one for a water garden!

I've seen some of your photo's here on DG in the past and your garden is really lovely! You and your DH have put a lot of thought and care into your property and it shows! I bet your front porch is the perfect spot for sitting and reflecting!

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Thank you everyone for the very kind words. Glad you like it, it's been a lot of fun and I'm very pleased with it. My Uncle was at the family picnic last weekend and I was telling him about the tub, we had such a good time sitting and talking old times shared up at the summer cabin on the creek.
We sure do enjoy our small ponds, the larger one planned keeps getting pushed back every year but these little ponds keep me pretty happy until we get one of those rare coins, a round toit.
Sheila, I will post some pics from time to time and let you all see how it is coming along.
Plantladylin, what a nice compliment. Ric loves to sit out on the front porch It's not a big porch and Ric likes to sit on the steps, I prefer the small rocker. It is the spot for the smokers and they laugh, as they smoke outside due to my allergies and I quite often follow them out, trying to stay upwind of the smoke. You may remember the "Bird and Blooms" decor.

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Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

I think it is wonderful!!!!! I had wanted to turn an old comode into a planter (tank) and fountain (bowl) but DH nixed it. I thought it would look nice out in the back garden. Perhaps the trick is to not ask.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

LOL, No I don't ask but I do take into consideration his tastes. Some times when things just don't seem to be getting done. We discuss that his priority list and my priority list aren't always that same. LOL

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

I can care less about annuals, baskets, and pots that you have to bring inside for the winter. DH wants color on the deck so he does those and I have "control" of what goes in the yard.....usually. Lately he has gotten the whimsey bug too. He build some shelves by the shop and I painted them bright purple of which he approved. I also have a purple mirrored window, watering can, pump, and our box by the box that we use as a table. He mentioned the glider needed painting again and picked out the paint. Would you believe a bright lime green!! No telling what else will be painted before the summer is over! LOL! It is going to be a bright winter in our backyard.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

That does sound bright and pretty.

Lakeland / Memphis, TN(Zone 7a)

Great job on your pond/tub HollyAnn. Love your evergreens you are able to have up North too. Such an established backdrop for your water feature.

Here is my tub that I did last year, but we just did the filtration for it this year. I actually didn't "do" the tub, other than buy it and redo the feet. Yours is much nicer than mine as my DH didn't want me to disturb the existing "blue" paint because he thought if it is on there and is ok - better to leave it alone. We do have 2 bream and 1 koi in there. The koi is an extra that I don't need in my larger koi pond - so he got dumped in there with the bream. They may all end up in the fishing pond before winter. lol.

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Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

I NEED a tub!!!

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

n2birds....I wasn't able to pull up your tub, but love the color. Can you post a larger picture maybe?

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Thank you all for the kind words. I will say that I do love my tub.
n2birds, can you post another pic of your tub I would love to get a better look at it. I love the blue color. That is my evergreen grouping, It runs along the edge of the road. Ric and I first planted that close to 30 years ago. The Norway Spruce was a gift from him to me at the beginning of our relationship. It was only about 2ft tall. There had been a Austrian Pine but we lost that several years ago and there is damage to the top of the Blue Spruce hopefully with time it will regrow a new leader and fill in. There is a Frasier Fir, White Pine and Hemlock in the group as well.

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Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Water Hyacinth

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Sapulpa, OK(Zone 6b)

Here is my bathtub I did this Spring! I have 4 baby koi in it. I want to get a Rain Showerhead but I am just waiting to get a cheap one! :) I have a old pedestal sink I would like to sit by it with a misting action for the hummingbirds. But I haven't yet figured it out yet!

Have a great day!
Hazel

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Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Great tub! Now your making me want another one for a bog garden.

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Nice, Hazel!

Lakeland / Memphis, TN(Zone 7a)

Sorry - I copied my pic from another thread. Was at work so didn't have access to the original. Here are a couple more pics I just took.

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Lakeland / Memphis, TN(Zone 7a)

Well, the second pic didn't work for some reason.
Here it is.

HollyAnn - I am amazed how fortunate you are to have such an established background. I have always loved the large spruces/evergreens up North that we can't typically do down here with our heat.

Nice Hazel ! Love the contrast with the yellow flowers against the blue of the tub. Yours looks so imaculate !

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