Here is a relatively quick garden project – literally done in one afternoon – with just minimal help from some strong guys: create a small pond from an old discarded cast iron bathtub.
We did have all the necessary supplies:
- cast iron bathtub
- fiberglass resin and reinforcement cloth
- left over spray paint in shades of black, brown or dark green
- pond pump and access to electricity
- spade shovel and digging iron
- slate or other larger stones
- water hose
- optional: fountain and goldfish
Our project was not planned at all. It started out with us cleaning up all the junk metal to be taken for recycling. Among those metal pieces was our old bathtub, which we had taken out when we installed the whirlpool tub. Later that day, as I was weeding a flower bed, I was bothered once again by the fact that our pretty “pouring-lady” fountain really should be put back to use, rather than just leaning against a tree stump. I mentioned this frustration to Jeff, who suggested re-using the old bathtub.
We had a perfect spot already, in the extended herb garden on the side of the house. I carried the “lady” fountain to this area and we experimented with the perfect position. Once we determined where the pond should be, I started digging a hole that looked suspiciously like a grave, while the guys (Jeff, Jens and Lars) where doing manly things, fortunately involving the tractor.
They brought the tub over (with the tractor) and used fiberglass to close the drain and the hole for the faucet. It did not take that long to dig down 30 inches for a 3ft by 5ft hole and as soon as I had this done, the fiberglass had dried. The guys brought the tractor back and we used it to lift the the bathtub, which Jens helped guide into the hole.
We leveled the tub, which just took a few smaller rocks, and then I back-filled around the tub with the help of a digging bar to get the dirt into all the cracks. I used the other end of the bar to pound the dirt tight around the tub.
I found several nearly empty cans of spray-paint, all conveniently in shades of camouflage, and spray- painted the tub in a muddled pattern. I was careful to keep the top edge very solid dark, so that no white would show once it is filled with water.
While the paint was drying, I gathered a stack of slates (we have a rather large rock pile, including slate from my previous pond at our old house). It took a while to arrange the slates and smaller rocks around the tub, to disguise it’s shape, and make it look more like a pond…it’s kind of like a puzzle – to make odd shaped rocks fit together.
Jeff helped connect the pump to the fountain (which took some finesse), and then I filled the pond and planted more herbs and some flowers around it. By Sunday evening, the “lady” was pouring water into the little pond and it looked like it had always been there!