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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
Hburger527... maybe a drip irrigation mister might do the trick... the hose would be small enough to snake though the sink... and they have tons of misting heads... not sure if you can hook it up to a pump though
Great thanks for the updated pics. I must say that both tubs are really great looking. n2birds, Love the old blue paint really adds character. So very pretty.
Hburger527, I too love the shower head and I have seen sinks done as bird baths. They can be really cute.
I have a few gold fish in mine just cheap feeder fish and a few fantails. Wasn't too sure how fish would do as I thought maybe the water would be a bit warm for them but so far so good.
Yeah, Sheila, the pot behind the tub serves as the filtration system. We have a pump coming from the tub going into the big pot and then back out into the tub. So really, there is 2 sounds of water we hear. We didn't have anything filtering the tub last year and had to keep cleaning it out. Was a bummer because back in that corner is like a sauna. We get alot of run-off from the corner of the roof there and it dumps alot into that area, so we really didn't have a choice, but to come up with something. Thanks for all the compliments.
Jeanette, Here is a close up of the pickerel.
Not sure how many fish I put in there, maybe 10 or 12 very small fish. Just a few fan tails and some small feeder gold fish. Not quite sure yet what I will do about the fish this winter. I have a small in-ground pond (the Birdbath Pond) that is deep enough for the fish to over winter an I may put them in there or possibly just bring them inside and put them in a tank for the winter. The hardy plants will all go into the bottom of the Birdbath pond to over winter, too.
Have you got any aeration in there for oxygen? The fish will over-winter in the pond if you get a (very inexpensive) pond heater, to insure it doesn't freeze over, and allows gas to escape. (I got mine on ebay). Don't feed them when the water temp gets below 50 degrees.
Brenda, We have a pondmaster 190 in the bathtub which filters and pumps the water through the piping and out the faucet. That's about all the aeration there is. I was a bit worried that the water in the tub would get too hot for the fish this summer but so far they have done well. I have a heater in the other small in-ground pond. I usually empty the box pond and move what is in there to the other pond for the winter so I will do the same with this one. I have an almost empty aquarium right now so I may just keep the fish from both of those ponds inside this year.
Hi, I just found this thread, WOW!! I love all the pictures and the bold colors.
Two years ago my DH was going to finally take a tub that had been here as long as we had, 30 years to the recycle center! I looked at it and said WAIT, a water garden.
So he cleaned it up, painted it and set it where I asked him too. I don't have as many plants this year, don't know why but I have 3 goldfish that I over wintered. I have so much fun with them, I scoop mosquito larvae out of the rain barrels to feed them. They are friendly and I enjoy them as much as the plants in there this year.
We painted it dark green and I have EE's and hostas growing around it. My cat Camou fell in last night!! He sulked all evening!
All the Ponds are super nice and creative!
As far as the cat he is not gonna give up he see's seafood treats in that pond.
My parents used to say there fish would disappear from their tank. I kept telling them the cat was eating them.
They would laugh and say no she just like to watch the fish, till one day they saw her actually scoop up one of the goldfish.
Haven't seen a claw foot tub discarded down here in a long time. When people changed tubs for shower / tubs long ago; they all ended up as stock tanks for the animals in the country. I am sure out there they had plants and fish too! LOL!
Love your tub and your Camou kitty Joy!
My late Feather cat used to walk the edge of the pond just hoping one would jump out for her. LOL!
You guys all did great with it. Our solar fountain is so cute and works good, but we only have a couple of hours to enjoy it when we get home, since the sun goes down and it stops unless we hook it up to some sort of battery.
You guys all did great with it. Our solar fountain is so cute and works good, but we only have a couple of hours to enjoy it when we get home, since the sun goes down and it stops unless we hook it up to some sort of battery. I took a picture but the sun was not shining much over the solar thing so it barely trickled out. H is downloading right now, so will post later.
Sheila, WOW I wondered where I got a picture of my Camou in your setting!!! Your Feather sure is a look a like to Camou. He loves to walk the rim of the tub and has fallen in a few times! LOL. His pride is so damaged if we happen to be watching when it happens.
Hellnz, waiting patiently for you picture!!! Hope you can fine tune things so the fountain works longer. Of course there is always the movement of the sun to give it a different light.
I just realized there are 2 "bathtub" type threads going on!! Wondered how you all saw pictures of Camou when I was sure he hadn't been in the pictures I posted. Went back to look and finally saw the date on that picture! How strange.
Thanks for the kind words about tub and Camou. He is very special to us as his older brother and sister (Carman and Ashes) from a prior litter were both killed in the road out front. A dead end road in the middle of no where to boot. We still miss them dearly.
We have had it since 2004 and love it. It and other landscaping was the cause of several back surgeries later down the road, but if I had to relocate, would definately have some type of pond put in. The toads are my Rat Terrier's latest quest. She chases them from one side of the pond to the other.
I love those bathtub ponds. But don't forget dead chest freezers. when our chest freezer died we dragged it out to a place on the edge of the front driveway, put in a black plastic liner and surrounded it with a piece of bamboo fencing. I held the plastic in place with a wood shelf all around the top edge. Water hyacinth and swordtail fish love the pond and small pots of annuals can be nailed to the wood shelf to stop them toppling in.I will try and get a photo to post.
Oh yes, with a little tweaking that will turn into a lovely water garden. I think I would hang the containers off the sides rather than sit on the ledge that would open the top up more. Maybe some brackets that would hold the container so that the top edge of the containers are at the same level as the top ledge. I like the bamboo, what an inventive idea.
It's a Costa Rican weaping bamboo. It actually sheds most of its leaves in our Hawaiian winter but right now is nicely flushed out and making new growth and canes.
Thanks for the suggestions. Yes you are probably right about opening up the top but having just put pond #33 in the ground I tend to have a lot of areas needing attention and always available for improvement. I stay away from finely manicured areas and like the partially wild. Always have surprises when plants that were forgotten suddenly show growth or blooms unexpectedly.
WOW 33 ponds. I have 3 all small we still haven't put in the big pond yet. Not too sure when that will happen. I had really expected it to be in by now but there is always something else that needs done. There are a lot of areas here that need attention, too. LOL
OK, sorry for the misunderstanding Holly, but there is a weeping bamboo arching across the top of the pond. Not easy to see against the green background.
Hopefully we will see less freezers in the land fills (oh and you can do it with refrigerators laying on their backs and get two side by side ponds) I might try painting the next one green instead of using the bamboo. Would look good but probably have to fight rust.
I wouldn't mind finding someone with an old boat. That would look great standing in the right place in the garden filled with water and plants.
Enough rambling, have to get out in the garden now the rain has stopped.
I think it would fun out a few feet in a corner of a block wall. You could add a hill in behind and buy the back of it, grow plants up the hill and put rocks and dirt in front and make a rock garden or have rosemary dripping down in front. You could run a recirculating pump and have a fountain too.
HollyAnne, I'm back and ready for spring. Love what you did. I got my greenhouse out ot the old windows and a sunroom porch last summer. This year my goal is to convert as many plants as I can to evergreens. Getting older you know. Hit 56.
LOL curvesarein, I sure do know what you mean I turned 59 this year and for some reason I am still expanding flower beds. My friends think I'm nuts but they love my garden. Your porch looks great. We picked up a 10 X 12 Harbor Freight GH last fall and are waiting for the weather and ground to be good enough to put in a foundation and we have a large pergola and brick patio to put in. I also found a beautiful bowl to turn into some kind of water feature. Not sure what yet but I have a few ideas
Holly...I am turning 64 this year and started switching over to the native plants and perennials a few years ago. Got tired of buying those annuals and picky plants and watching them die. We have way too many hanging baskets to bring in during the winter and water year round too.
I think this is the first year we have not done a major project in the yard.