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Hypertufa and Concrete: Planter Box (heart)

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Bareroots
Redding, CA
(Zone 8b)

February 11, 2006
1:25 AM

Post #2036436

This isn't made from Hypertufa, just colored cement. Wasn't sure if I should post here or in Garden Art.
Anyway I made this for a customer. She wanted a unique planter box that she could look down on from her deck. I came up with this idea. I don't usually do this for customers but she is a good friend also, and so gave it a try. Now I am going to have to do one for myself.

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Bareroots
Redding, CA
(Zone 8b)

February 11, 2006
1:30 AM

Post #2036451

I just finished this one here. Still want to do the heart.

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Bareroots
Redding, CA
(Zone 8b)

February 11, 2006
1:35 AM

Post #2036467

Close up

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scooterbug
Tellico Plains, TN
(Zone 7b)

February 11, 2006
3:07 AM

Post #2036655

That heart is very pretty.

This forum was supposed to be titled 'tufa and other cement ;-(

Tufa is cement but all cement is not tufa ... lol

So how deep are your borders? Do you cut your own bender-board ?

I like the way you embellish them with a little mosaic work, it makes them special.

Thanks for sharing.

Shirley

rose318

rose318
(Patti) in Houston, TX
(Zone 9a)

February 11, 2006
3:38 AM

Post #2036778

Bareroots, You did a fantastic job. It's beautiful.
Patti

Bareroots
Redding, CA
(Zone 8b)

February 11, 2006
5:19 AM

Post #2036925

Thank you.

Shirley,
I went to Lowes and had them cut a 8' x 4' piece of masonite board into 5" wide strips. So they are 5" high, though you can make them less, and you loose some when you put them down into the ground.
Lowes didn't charge anything to cut them. I reuse them all the time.

Dee
KatyMac
So. Puget Sound, WA
(Zone 8b)

February 11, 2006
2:35 PM

Post #2037381

Dee, I can do that! I know I can. Thank you so much for sharing.

PerennialGirl
Winnipeg, MB
(Zone 4a)

February 11, 2006
2:37 PM

Post #2037390

I luv it! Great job. I really the colored glass stones you've placed in the cement.
:) Donna
corgimom
Pontotoc, MS
(Zone 7b)

February 11, 2006
2:42 PM

Post #2037398

I can just see scooter's head a-turning! All I do is look and sigh.
llilyfan
South Central, IA
(Zone 5a)

February 11, 2006
4:24 PM

Post #2037616

I've been going to edge my beds for a few years now and have never 'gotten round to it'. You have inspired me to be more diligent this summer. I love them!
Bareroots
Redding, CA
(Zone 8b)

February 11, 2006
5:03 PM

Post #2037698

Thank you all.

If I had more time, I would probably really get carried away with it. I have a small retaining wall which goes from 15" down to 8" that I want to add flat gem stones and seashells. But it is about 18 feet long and I would have to cover it with mortar to set the stones and shells in.
It would be a big project. Maybe someday I will get around to it.

One thing I have found is using concrete adhesive in your cement seems to really help with the stones staying there permanently.
Bareroots
Redding, CA
(Zone 8b)

February 11, 2006
5:16 PM

Post #2037724

I also do stepping stones. I have gem stones laid out on the floor of my office of ones I want to do. DH just shakes his head at the site of it and my projects and papers. One of the stone patterns looks just like a daisy. Been so anxious to do that one, but have a hard time finding enough time.

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Janett_D
Gamleby
Sweden
(Zone 7a)

February 11, 2006
6:34 PM

Post #2037902

Bareroots I love all that you have done. One question! do you treat your Masonite with something or do you just "ripp" them off when the concrete have hardened.
Janett
PerennialGirl
Winnipeg, MB
(Zone 4a)

February 12, 2006
5:26 AM

Post #2039359

Luvly daisies!
:) Donna
Bareroots
Redding, CA
(Zone 8b)

February 12, 2006
3:53 PM

Post #2040029

Janett
No I don't treat the maosonite with anything. I usually just leave them on for 12-20 hours and pull them off. Haven't ever had a problem.
soulgardenlove
Marietta, GA
(Zone 7b)

February 15, 2006
12:26 PM

Post #2046008

I Love that! It's great! :)

Susan
Gardening_in_GA
Chickamauga, GA
(Zone 7a)

April 2, 2006
6:32 PM

Post #2157967

OK this looks like something I can do!! For a newbie who has never even done anything with cement can you give me a run down of what to do?? I would love to make a edge like the one under your window.
I can follow directions very well if you lay it out with names and measurements for me :) Also what did you use for make the form of your stepping stones? Hubby and I have been wanting to make some with the kids then let them paint all over them if they want.

To let you know how dumb to all of this I am, I dont even know what masoniteboard is. (although my husband was a Mason for many years.) All of this might make more sense to him then it does to me.

FlowrLady
-South Central-, IL
(Zone 6a)

April 5, 2006
8:32 PM

Post #2166471

And I'm wondering... On the stepping stones, did you put the marble in the bottom or on the top? Thanks!
jab91864
Northern Michigan, MI
(Zone 5a)

April 10, 2006
12:28 PM

Post #2178296

All very nice !!

I want to make stepping stones this year, but to be honest I'm not sure where to start...

~Julie =0)
tango88
Tomball, TX

April 10, 2006
3:08 PM

Post #2178664

Bareroots --- Great looking work and the "sweetheart" garden is terrific. Keep the pix coming.
Bareroots
Redding, CA
(Zone 8b)

May 2, 2006
8:26 PM

Post #2242538

Gardening in GA, sorry I have just been super busy getting the garden center open and haven't logged on in ages. You probably gave up hearing from me.

If you still want instructions on the heart, let me know and I will post them.

On the stepping stones I just cut off the rim of 5 gallon plastic paint buckets and used it for my molds. Most paint buckets have a lower edge rim and I just cut each one at that edge so the stepping stones are the same height. I have some scrap plexi glass that I lay the molds on and then just pour cement into them. Be sure and put your mold the right way. What was the top edge of the bucket should be the bottom of your mold. Your cut edge should be facing up. This is because the way paint buckets are made they are wider at the top than what they are 2" down. You will find it hard to get the mold off if you put it the wrong way. I then put the stones/marbles on the top and throw about a 1/4" of sand on top when done placing them. About 15 min later, I use a paint brush and brush off most of the sand. When placing the marbles/stones be careful not to push too far into the cement. Leave almost half of it exposed. The sand helps hide the imperfections and also makes it so the stepping stones are not slippery when wet. I do use concrete bonder (glue) in my cement, I think this helps the sand to stick and maybe the stones too. I usually watch them and before it starts getting too hard I pull off the molds, and put the sand along all the edges, and brush them. You can round off your top edges this way.
Then let cure for a couple of days and remove from the plexi glass. Thats it.

Don't attempt to do too many at one time. You have to work fast to put the marbles in and get the sand on them and brush it. Maybe if I didn't try these things in the heat of the day it wouldn't be so bad-LOL

I did do my so called daisy ones, didn't turn out as well as I hoped. Little off center and just not that nice. Oh well just have to try again.
ldy_gardenermd
Highland, MD
(Zone 7a)

May 3, 2006
12:00 AM

Post #2243027

Bareroots I would LOVE to know how you did the edging! I am in need of something for a lot of flower beds and we haven't been able to agree on anything! Please share!!!

Gardening_in_GA
Chickamauga, GA
(Zone 7a)

May 3, 2006
1:08 PM

Post #2244385

Bareroots, I would rather instructions on the borders for the beds against the house then the heart...I am going to try these stepping stones also!!! What kind of cement mix did you use?? Just regulay quick crete? And I probably sounds stupid but what does curing mean? Just letting it sit for a while?

I want my kids to paint on them or put their hand prints in them when I am done making some...
scooterbug
Tellico Plains, TN
(Zone 7b)

May 3, 2006
3:26 PM

Post #2244765

Georgia ,

Grab a cuppa joe and read this.

More than you will ever need to know about curing cementitious items.


http://www.cement.ca/cement.nsf/0/EBDC51894E9DC505852568AB000F6827?OpenDocument
Bareroots
Redding, CA
(Zone 8b)

May 4, 2006
7:30 AM

Post #2247379

Here is my attempt to explain. If I had time I would do another and take pictures of the different steps. You will have to settle for my hand drawing for now-LOL The steps are the same for either the border or the heart.



1. Mark the ground for the outside shape of your border.

2. Dig a trench about 4 inches deep and 4 inches wide along outline, or however wide you want it to be. It does not have to be exact as you can always dig out more or fill back in as needed.

3. Place the masonite board in the trench making this the outside form. For the heart, I used one 8 foot long piece for half of the heart bending it to shape, and another 8 foot piece for the other half. I temporarily held it in place with bricks until I was ready to secure it. You can make a smaller heart just use shorter boards. Be sure your boards are the same length for each half.

4. Then place another masonite board in the trench making it the inside form. For the heart the inside boards will be shorter. I found you can score the masonite board with a utility knife and then break it.

5. Now you need to space the boards the same distance, level and secure. I used pieces of 1 inch rebar all cut 4 inches long (the width I wanted my border) and placed them inside the trench between the masonite boards. You can use wood but it is not as strong, will eventually decompose and can cause cracks in your cement. Lay a spacer every foot or so and then use a stake on the OUTSIDE to hold the masonite board securely against the spacer on both boards. Be sure to stake on the outside of the forms, not the inside where you pour the cement. The more spacers you use the less likely the boards will bow when filled with cement. For leveling you can place a small piece of flat wood across the top of your form and use a level. This small piece of wood I also used to level my cement when I poured instead of a trowel. You can use rocks inside your trench to get the height to level your boards where needed. Also you can overlap the masonite board if you need a longer piece. I found duct tape worked well in holding it together and or thin wire. Like with the heart, I just used duct tape on the OUTSIDE of the masonite board where the 2 pieces of board formed the points of the heart. It was then easy to remove the duct tape, and then pull out the masonite boards after the cement had set.
6. Once in place just pour your cement and level. I used color in the cement and also cement bonding. This is regular quick crete cement. I usually would only pour about 3 ft at a time, level it then put in my gems, and put sand (about ¼ inch) on top as noted above on the stepping stones. If you pour it all at once you will find it hardens too much and then you can't get your gems in. If using coloring try to keep your measurements accurate of how much coloring to use per bag so you don't end up with different colors.

7. The next day I pull out the stakes, took off any tape or wire I used and pull out the masonite boards. I used a small wire brush to try and round the edges a bit. That's it.

It really isn't that hard. We have a flower bed we did here that is 14 feet accross and the outline border is in the shape of the state of Texas. I used aluminum flashing to form it and that was a job trying to level and space it evenly. That was before I discovered masonite board.

I am not very good at instructions so feel free to ask any questions.

Hope this drawing helps.

Dee









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Cambium

Cambium
Lamar, AR
(Zone 7b)

July 12, 2006
1:35 AM

Post #2495186

Very interesting thread. This has got my DH & I talking about how to work on our new yard rather than buying 2nds in pavers!
scooterbug
Tellico Plains, TN
(Zone 7b)

July 12, 2006
3:18 AM

Post #2495604

How do you cut all that rebar ?
Bareroots
Redding, CA
(Zone 8b)

July 15, 2006
11:31 AM

Post #2508030

DH cuts rebar using his skill saw and a metal blade.
Marylyn_TX
Houston, TX
(Zone 9a)

September 25, 2009
11:35 PM

Post #7104486

We are thinking of making a heart-shaped pond and I was wondering how to get the shape right. This would be perfect!

meadowyck

meadowyck
Brooksville, FL
(Zone 9a)

September 30, 2009
12:04 AM

Post #7117960

Glad to this thread came to the surface.

I've been trying to figure out what to do about a flower bed edge. Now I know.

Thanks so much for the detailed directions.

Janet
MechelleT
Middleton, TN
(Zone 7a)

October 13, 2009
3:17 AM

Post #7163562

Bareroots, this is amazing. I just did 150' daylily bed and this would be perfect. I like the idea of doing it myself. Is the masonite board , rebar, stakes very expensive? What is the purpose of putting sand on them? Lot of questions, I know. Thank you, Mechelle
Bareroots
Redding, CA
(Zone 8b)

October 14, 2009
2:42 AM

Post #7166765

Mechelle,
Well prices of everything seemed to have gone up, but I think this is still a reasonable way to go. When I purchased the masonite board, which comes in a 4ft x 8ft sheet, Lowes cut the sheet into 4 inch wide x 8ft long strips for me.

You could do this in sections, and keep reusing the masonite board and stakes since you have 150ft to do. Would take longer to do, but maybe worth it.

First let me say if your going to use the sand I would recommend to use the concrete binder in mixing up the cement. The concrete binder seems to really make your concrete stronger and holds the sand well in place. I use sand on top of a lot of concrete work I do specially if it has gems in it. It gives it a nice even finish, is not slippery when wet, which can be an issue sometimes, and hides any air holes, pockets or imperfections and mostly you don't have to trowel it over and over to get a smooth surface. Sometimes you can find play sand that comes in various shades---I like the one that has a tan-red cast to it but is hard to find. Most sand is in tan or gray shades. I keep adding the sand until it soaks up all the water that has surfaced, and then wait a bit and brush off the excess.

By the way the concrete binder in case your not sure what it is, I usually get a Home Depot. Comes in a 1 gal plastic jug, and looks just like milk. Cost about $10. You can mix it with more water or use it straight as your liquid to mix your concrete. I have mixed it with sand and painted it on the concrete also, while the concrete is still damp.

Hope this helps. It was years ago that I did this and have moved since then. Glad you revived this thread, because now I know what to do with an area here on a border. Get so busy and so many ideas forget them sometimes---LOL Well maybe age has a little to do with it too...
Dee

MechelleT
Middleton, TN
(Zone 7a)

October 14, 2009
4:11 AM

Post #7166959

Oh my gosh, I didn't realize this was started in 2006! I want to do the border across my DL bed but I also want to make a family garden with stepping stones with mine & my husband's names as well as our 3 children. Have you come across a tool or have an idea of what you could use to write the names in cursive? I will keep in touch and let you know how my "little" project is going! Walmart had that colored sand. Haven't really paid attn to it but will take a look next time I'm there. I am going to invite some friends from DG over to this thread or maybe start one if they want to. A bunch of us in our group got together and started a lasagna bed thread and worked on them this summer. I think they would like this idea, but some have snow already. I sure love that heart though, and the mosaic look is so beautiful! I know what you mean about ideas flying around everywere. I am 37 and I can barely keep up with the Dmails on my trades half the time!
Take care Dee and talk to you soon!
Mechelle
Bareroots
Redding, CA
(Zone 8b)

October 14, 2009
4:38 AM

Post #7167013

Mechelle,
On the colored sand, you will just want to get play sand, it would be too costly to buy actual colored sand. You waste a lot of it. I am sure you would go through a 50 pound bag to do your 150'. Maybe you could mix some of the colored and regular.

As far as lettering, Michaels has plastic letters you can use for cement. I recently bought some but haven't had a chance to try them yet. They don't have cursive unfortunately.

Let me know how your project goes.
Dee
MechelleT
Middleton, TN
(Zone 7a)

October 14, 2009
4:48 AM

Post #7167022

I will have to go look on Michaels.com or eBay and see what I can come up with. I will definitley keep you posted on my projects! Thanks Dee, Mechelle

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

December 20, 2011
1:50 PM

Post #8937126

BUMP!

Sundownr

Sundownr
(Bev) Wytheville, VA
(Zone 6a)

December 30, 2011
6:18 AM

Post #8947418

Gymgirl, Thanks for the bump, this is an interesting thread!
hillabeans
Chaska, MN
(Zone 4a)

February 11, 2012
7:27 AM

Post #9002677

I LOVE the border and the stepping stones. I actually have done many of the same type of stepping stones myself. This spring, I'm going to try with a hypertufa mix instead of concrete to see if I can "lighten" them up. I just finished putting in paver edging on all my gardens last year, but I wish I had seen your instructions back then. I do NOT like how grass can grow thru my paver seams. This would have been better... though I do wonder if the 5" can hold up to our spring thaw up here?
Thanks for the post/ideas!

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