A while back I mentioned that we were replacing the side fence, which was leaning so far onto the walkway we could barely walk from the front gate to the backyard patio. The fence was leaning over…way over…at 36 years old, the wood was rotted out, and a vine that covered it was the only thing now holding it up. Big vine roots were deeply planted and two Japanese Maple trees’ roots trailed in the area where new fence posts holes had to be dug. Captain took advantage of this time to re-pot and redesign the bonsai area before moving them back. He thought this project could be “Post material” and when he suggested it, I said, “Hey Captain (ha, not really) “Why don’t YOU write a post for MML about this?”  He agreed! So, here we go…to Beam Captain down (Click)

This is the Captain speaking (Click) with my first blog (Post). It all started with a fence that was falling over. The fence had a massive fig vine that required annual trimming. The last time I trimmed it I realized the fence was about to fall over. With the help of my son, I was able to remove the vine over about a two-week period. Everything takes longer when it’s fit between golf & coffee groups.

Fence Before…


Fence After…


Early on I realized I would have to move my bonsai collection to make room for the fencers, which led to the idea that it would be a good time to redesign the area, re-pot and trim the bonsai plants. The photo below shows the Before condition of the bonsai area.


The new design would have wooden stands of varied heights to display the bonsai UP, off the ground, where they can be seen. I purchased 2 x 10-inch cedar boards then cut them into two 2-foot lengths, and three 4-foot lengths. Those lengths were screwed to block legs cut from a 4 x 4 fencing post, making wooden stands to hold twelve bonsai plants.


I also cut a 7-inch round post, leftover from another project, into three heights. To bring out the natural grain and protect the wood of the pot stands, I stained the tops with oil based Minwax Golden Oak, and painted the legs with black oil-based paint. After arranging the new platforms Kathy came out to tweak the rearrangement and suggested one long board be made into two shorter lengths and lower heights. Photo below shows my arrangement on the top and the bottom photos after her tweaks. (For the most part, I stayed inside so I would not affect the project  – Click)


Top photos: I thought was done. Bottom photos: Stands stained, painted and re-arranged, & round posts added. Then I was ready for first layer of pea gravel.

With the plants placed on their stands, a new watering system was re-configured. Using existing hoses the drip system was reconnected again, but this time I added a backup drip system to run every two days, in the event the first drip system fails. Our summer weather is so hot that the shallow roots of bonsai would not survive 2 days of extreme heat without water. To set up the backup drip, I used an adapter (below photo) to connect the drip hose to an existing spray sprinkler head.  The other photos show how I was able to bring the water to the upper pots and shows the (simple) water-timer that runs it all (it is connected to a faucet on the patio.)  At this point I recommend you carefully watch the water system work over a period of a week.


After the irrigation proved to work well, I added pea gravel to the ground (and he brought back my vintage door (Click)  p.s. – I think more pea gravel is needed).



Someone suggested, everyone has an opinion, that I add landscape “ambiance” lighting…I did, in the form of an LED up-light. The light is solar so I moved it around, over several nights, to see where it looked best. (looks great! Which sister suggested that?)


Over 4 weeks the area went from a path we could barely pass through and a sickly Bonsai Hospital…


To a nice newly GATED pathway leading to a peaceful Zen Garden.


I hope you enjoyed my first blog (Post) edited by the First Mate. There’s always another project to work on around here (wait, did he mean Planking?), but for now, I’M GOING TO TAKE A COFFEE BREAK (Click)


Thanks for Meeting US Lakeside!


Thanks, Captain, for testing out your blogging skills and giving me a little vacation from posting, and time to play with my new find, *Star Trek sound effects:

8 thoughts on “CAPTAIN’S bLOG 2016.8

  1. Captain, I am very impressed with your project unveiling. I raise my virtual glass of champagne to a successful and attractive project. The difference is huge. It looks like a peaceful place for reflection and calmness. And I’m sure your bonsai collection is happier too.

  2. Pingback: Weekend Wanderings 5.7 | Meet Me Lakeside

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