Tile On Columns, Plant Pots, And A Garden Upgrade

All the tile on the three front columns and on the two flying buttress columns at the carport are done! It took a lot of time and energy away from working on the habitability of the house, but we love the look and think it was worth the sidetrack. One of my goals in this project has been to not move into our new house when the nonessential exterior details are still an unfinished mess. Now one big item can get checked off the list. It has raised our spirits and the place is feeling a lot more like a home.

Here are a few photos of the carport columns. The first one shows the simple scaffolding I assembled so I could walk all around the column to install the tile and apply the grout. Also note in these photos that the bamboo shoots are planted in the now completely assembled pots that we built:

I like the view in the next photo; its finished elements are a teaser of what is to come for the rest of the house:

Cynthia and I would like a “water feature” somewhere near the front door. While I was hosing the grout film off the tiles, we noticed how pretty the water looked cascading down the tiles. We stored this tidbit away for planning the water feature in the future.

We plan to build a low planter between the columns in the next photo. It will be a great place to plant some mani (yellow flowering ornamental peanut). Mani is a low ground cover that requires very little care, is hardy, and will spill over the wall and add a nice splash of yellow when the plants are in bloom:

Oops. I just spotted a bit more red primer paint that has to be painted gray.

While I’ve been working on the tile, I’ve had Armando building a small stone wall around the garden. This will provide definition, keep the grass from invading the garden, and keep rain runoff water from eroding the garden:

Armando dug a small ditch about a foot wide, laid down a couple of inches of mortar, then placed rocks in the mortar. He lapped more mortar up and over the rocks then cleaned the rock faces with a wet sponge.

We also got a couple yards of black dirt and about ten big sacks of rice hulls. We mixed the rice hulls and the dirt together. This added a three inch layer of real dirt to our clay/sand topsoil. The plants are happier already:

Armando has about three more days of work on the rock border.

One area between container 1 and the garden was particularly low, and the water would wash over the garden taking all our new topsoil down the mountain to the Pacific Ocean. A four-inch tube running under the garden and out a drainage hole in the fence took care of the problem:

Bonus photo: With the sun still shining, a thunder storm rises up the mountainside and over our ridge; the storm was upon us a few minutes later:

That’s all for now.


10 thoughts on “Tile On Columns, Plant Pots, And A Garden Upgrade

  1. Some of this is looking so complete. I still marvel at your artistic thoughtfulness at adding the angle to the buttresses. It adds so much to the boxiness of the containers. I wonder if you’ll get bored once all of this work is done. : )

    • Thank you Scott.

      Sometimes I wonder about myself. Am I a builder who has a sense of aesthetics or am I an artist who happens to be handy with a hammer and welder? Such a conflict.

      Bored? Maybe in 2020, but when the house is done I will still have a houseful of furniture to build. Then I want to get back to watercolor painting and maybe dust off my guitar that I never have really learned to play all that competently.

  2. Fred forgot to mention that not only do the plants love their new soil, so do the weeds! I’m planning to move some of my gorgeous magenta flowering, quick spreading, ground cover to the garden area, along with some of the yellow walking iris that are so prolifically spreading here at the rental house. The intent is to crowd out the weeds with something that enhances the garden. Once again, a quick snip and tuck will provide much with little/no cost. I’m a happy planter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.