DIY Rustic Industrial Garden Table

I do like doing a good garden project. Big or small they stimulate the creative and logical parts of my brain. So with a Sunday at home I had a free day. Now my initial plan was to do some inside work, but in my true distractible and fragmented style I ended up having an outside garden project day! And anyway, the inside work can wait … as it always tends to!!

So this is how it all pans out.

Steven has coffee in hand … Steven begins his morning wander around the garden … Steven thinks of sitting and relaxing for a while … Steven instead has a bright idea to sort the pile of left over oddments of timbers from previous projects in an attempt to declutter … Steven thinks of making a recycled garden project … Steven has an idea to make an interesting wall hanging that of course would include boxes for plants to grow in … Steven loves this idea … Steven has another idea to build a potting bench … Steven loves this idea too … Steven notices the small metal table frame and thinks of making a rustic industrial garden coffee table that of course would include a box for plants to grow in … Steven loves this idea even better … Steven’s mind often gets distracted and fragmented when creative ideas come … thankfully Steven copes well with this … Steven ponders … Steven makes a decision … the rustic industrial garden coffee table is the winner!

And there we have it. The day is now blissfully filled with project time. Steven starts twitching with renewed enthusiasm. The power tools come out of the cupboard. The oddments of timbers are gathered and laid out. Steven is off and running. The vision is going to be fulfilled.


Now anyone who has used old pieces of weathered timber knows that they can be prone to splitting if one is over eager and doesn’t use clamps and go at a measured pace, and so that is what Steven did, despite just really wanting to do it quickly. With no suitable flat surface to work on, a remnant piece of plywood from a previous project is pulled out to provide the flat surface (and again, yes oddments from previous projects do really come in handy!). And slowly but surely each piece of timber is clamped and screwed together.


Then Steven has a mid-project bright idea. This often happens. Not only will the table have a small red inbuilt box for plants to match the garden, but it will also have some red painted timber slithers in between the old weathered timbers. Steven is very happy with this idea and proceeds.


Once all of the timbers were fixed and the hole prepared, it was time for the red box to be made. And like magic it fitted and was fixed together.



Now for the planty treats. Steven wanders around his garden to see what he can raid … or perhaps selectively prune. Steven decides to raid an existing pot of Echeveria ‘Golden Glow’ and plants them all into this new project.


And there we have it. A successful garden project day with a project actually completed within the day it was started. Steven positions the table in the garden … Steven cleans up and packs away all the tools … Steven makes a Gin and Tonic … Steven sits in front of the new project and proceeds to admire his efforts … Steven is suitably content.


Not all of the timbers from that magical pile of oddments of timbers were used today … that is okay … there will always be more garden projects for them to be used on!

A life lesson learned from my tree

It’s December and it’s that time of year again. The time of year when my 30m tall Spotted Gum, Corymbia maculata, sheds its bark creating its wonderful spotted appearance with soft hues of greys, pinks and creams. It sheds its bark at this time each year which is its natural cycle. But last year I had a moment where nature taught me something about reviewing and shedding the experiences of the year to acknowledge them but then to prepare for the year ahead.

This year has been a great year for me, but it’s also had its moments, as no doubt we all have, that’s life. So being the end of the year I’ve reminded myself to re-read my thoughts that I shared on GardenDrum and to reflect and prepare for the year ahead. Enjoy the read.

Chelsea Flower Show goes on

There was just so much to take in at the Chelsea Flower Show. So I wrote another article to share some of the fun, fashion, flowers, fascination and fantastic gardens that makes Chelsea so special. It really is worth placing a visit to the Chelsea Flower Show onto your “Living List”. Oh yeah, I’m not a fan of the term bucket list, I prefer a living list – a list of things to do along the journey of living, not just things to do before I die!

Anyway here’s the article over at GardenDrum – Chelsea Flower Show goes on


09 - Wire sculpture by Rachel Ducker

Chelsea Flower Show

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to visit the Chelsea Flower Show this year and on a glorious sunny Spring day in London the Chelsea Flower Show delivered again. Regarded as the pinnacle of flower and garden shows with incredible horticultural endeavours and exhibitors on display I was certainly impressed by the gardens on show. As a first timer I was in awe. Check out my first article on GardenDrum with a snapshot of some of the gardens that grabbed my attention.

Chelsea Flower Show 2016

13 - Senri-Sentei Garage Garden

Howard Ulfelder Healing Garden

Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit the Howard Ulfelder Healing Garden at Massachusetts General Hospital, Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care, in Boston. Well, WOW, is my first exclamation about this garden. Located 8 floors up it is certainly a successful hospital garden installation. Designed by Halvorson Design Partnership Inc. and built in 2005 it is thriving and is true to its initial design intent.


Designed to provide a calm sanctuary of respite and relaxation for patients undergoing cancer treatment and their families it certainly achieves that. While I was visiting I noticed families meeting together sitting in the garden, individuals spending a moment sitting in chairs that viewed out over the city and the Charles River and also a mum with her young child who enjoyed playing around the water feature with that sense of child-like discovery and adventure. The entrance to the garden is via a passageway that then opens onto a beautiful glassed room that overlooks the garden. I wasn’t sure whether it was my excitement about finally visiting this garden, but the sense of reveal that I experienced as I walked into that room was amazing. The views, the greenery and the connection with a natural space within a clinical hospital setting was sensational. Quite calming, peaceful and enriching.


It was almost difficult to remember that I was 8 floors up. This felt like a garden on ground level. This to me says that this is a successful rooftop garden, and anyone who has had anything to do with rooftop gardens knows that there are lots of logistics to consider when installing gardens on top of buildings! I had to also remind myself that this is garden that is covered in snow in winter, so while the trees were the predominant feature there were still adequate shrubs that provided a depth of planting. Trees were ideally placed to ‘hide’ the neighbouring buildings and also placed at the end point. This could’ve closed the garden in, however it didn’t. Instead it created a subtle end point to gently enclose the garden and avoid the feeling of being on the precipice of the building. Sensational!


Inside the room there are various chairs and people come and sit quietly gazing out onto the garden. I’m sure that this environment helps them to stop, ponder, relax or just escape the feeling of being a patient for just a moment. A visitors book is provided and is filled with endless positive comments. And why wouldn’t there be … this is truly a desirable healing space.


For me, the sign of a good garden is having that moment of deciding whether I’m ready to leave it, knowing that I may not see it again. Asking myself “have I experienced it enough for the memory to last?”. And I had that moment with this beautiful garden. Thankfully I’ve taken a few photos to help jog my memory of this great experience.