Cast Iron Bath Garden Pond

by Carole
7 Materials
2 Days

So a friend offered me the old bath tub on his back yard. Not knowing what it was made of, we went over with another friend and a utility vehicle (flat bed truck) to pick up the bath tub. Turned out, it was an old cast iron bath and weighed a ton! Had thought to make it into a garden bed but thought it would need more drainage holes than just the plug hole and not wanting to attempt to drill through the cast iron to make more holes, I decided instead to make it into an above ground garden pond. We managed to get it onto the ute and brought it home, where it was placed up on bricks to prevent it rolling to one side. The plug hole was blocked with soil so I used a wire coat hanger to push through the soil and then gave it a good wash out with the hose and some gumption on a scouring pad. It was filthy. After a good rinse, I bought a bath plug for it and filled it with rainwater from our water tanks. Some purchased river stones and it was starting to look like a pond. A trip to the plant nursery and purchased a few water plants and placed them in at the levels specified on the label of each plant. Some sit closer to the surface, some are submerged in their pots.

I added some potted plants around it and a ornamental duck. The Buddha is sitting up on bricks in the water. As I want frogs to frequent the pond, I added a log at the rear edge, to allow them to climb up into the pond and a large rock protruding from the water gives them a way to climb out. The plants will also provide cover for the frogs. Frogs can drown in a bucket half full of water as the sides are slippery and they cannot climb out, so you need branches, rocks etc for them to clamber onto to get out. I later added some rocks and branches to the edges of the bath too for a more natural surface. Some tea cups are in the mulch on their sides in the large pot on the right which holds a Cordyline plant. The cups will also provide hiding places for the frogs. The plant tumbling down behind the Buddha is Dichondra Silver Falls and I wanted this to look like water tumbling from the container.

The crate is there to hold the water hibiscus plant up and prevent it falling over.

The container for the tumbling plant is actually a copper helmet shaped coal scuttle. It has lions heads either side of the handles and white porcelain decorative handles with blue print. This is affixed to a rusty star picket post with black, plastic zip ties. I also put a water oxygenator in there, although if you use oxygenating water plants, you don't really need one. Mine is a small solar panel driven pump (hidden on the large tub to the right of the photos of the bath tub and the plastic tube from that with the little stone on the end which makes the bubbles, sits in the bath tub itself). The solar panel needs to sit in full sun in order for it to work. This pond is in 70 per cent shade and 30 per cent sun during the day.

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  • Wendy Wendy on Feb 25, 2019

    Wow, this is beautiful!

    • Carole Carole on Feb 25, 2019

      Thanks. I since added more plants around the outside and 4 fish to the pond.