i’m having a go at a water feature, to go in my shade garden. I don’t know if it’s worked yet, but this is where I’ve got to so far.

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If you want to do this, you’ll need two flexi tubs, one which fits into the other, a bag of concrete, some oil, a collection of stones (it helps that we live near the beach) and running water, oh, and a spade and trowel. You will need a space to mix the concrete, or even another big tub!

I started by oiling the inside of the big tub, and the outside of the small tub, I dropped one inside the other and squidgged them about in it. My glass tutor recommended WD40, we’ll see if she was right in a bad way later…..

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Then I put an array of bigger stones into the bottom of the big tub. The idea is that these will stop the interior bucket squishing too much of the cement up and so thinning the base. They will also help make the concrete go further and look nice.

i’m not going to tell you how to mix concrete because I’m sure you can read the instructions as well as I can, but it’s a bit like making pasta with a spade.

First though, I laid out my other stones in size order (roughly) so I can grab what I need easily. Then began mixing…… And once it was mixed, I shoveled about a third into the big tub and smoothed it down, trying to insure no gaps.

Once the base is flat, as much as is reasonable to expect, I then put the smaller, red tub in. To weight it down and stop the pressure of the concrete deforming it too much, I filled it with water, which if I need to, I’m hoping I can bale out later.

Then I began trowling concrete down the sides between the tubs, pushing in the stones as an when, so they’ll be trapped on the outside of the finished vessel.

After the last of the concrete had gone in, I pushed in a ring of stones to create an interesting edge, and there we go. I used 25kg of concrete, and I feel I could have used maybe a half a bag more, so there is a risk that the finished vessel won’t be deep enough, but this is all part of the learning process.

nothing to do now but clear up, cover the whole thing with plastic to protect from rain, and leave it to cure. As it’s now raining, I’m not going to try unmolding for three days, as wet weather slows the process. I’m guessing that even then, the rubber tubs will slow things down too, so will probably leave it a day out of the mold too. Unless it all goes a bit Pete Tong……..

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