Garden mirror project.
I think by now you will have got the message that my garden is rather small! So how to make it larger; there is no hope of grabbing a few extra yards from the neighbours so what else can I do. The only solution seems to be a "make believe " one where the area is made to look bigger by the use of a mirror. A neighbour of mine has done this to great effect. He has a garden the same size though in a lovely Japanese theme. As you leave the back door there is a patio area and a glass house to the right. He has put mirrors on the side of the glass house reflecting the left side of his garden. In the autumn this reflects Acers , as seen in the photograph below, and in the spring it is particularly pretty as it reflects some lovely Camellias.
You can see that if the reflection of the Acers was not there one would be looking into a glass house.
For me the options of placing the mirror are somewhat restricted. At first the wall at the bottom of the garden seemed the ideal place until I realized that it is I who would be reflected as I walked towards it; not a good idea! It is extremely difficult to find a spot where at some stage you won't see yourself but the aim is to place it so the impression of size is given prior to getting a glimpse of oneself.
This picture shows the reflection of Camellias in the mirror.
So after much thought and consultation with this friend who has done the deed we decided on a site to the right about half way down; the mirror will be angled to reflect some plants of interest. I have taken a photo for a "before" viewing but will have to wait for the film to be finished before showing it. How I wish for a digital camera!! The area of the mirror will be 4ft by 4ft; a wood backing will be glued to it and the structure then screwed to two pressurized wooden posts sunk in hard core. We may put it in concrete but that would make moving it a problem.
I am lucky that a friend who has a glass business is doing the cutting and backing for me.
There will be no problem about the reflection starting fire as we seldom get sun that warm . In the unlikely event of a heat wave I can always put a cover over it!!
I will be writing progress reports and putting in pictures so if you like to see how the project is going please check back.
Well the mirror arrived and shock ensued !! Obviously I had not made my intention clear as it is too large and heavy. The backing is very thick as is the mirror itself . Posts have already been attached but they are not pressurized or treated wood. I will have to get the thinking cap on as to how to rectify this problem.
As usual nosey cat has to poke his nose in!
Well the mirror was heaved out to its place in the garden...boy did I have aching muscles; and the greatest weight was borne by kind neighbour (KN). He cut off the unnecessary part of the posts, dug two deep holes and we plonked the mirror in. There followed the process of KN holding the mirror while I ran up and down to see what kind of reflection we were getting. An angle was decided upon as was the fact that we would leave the mirror leaning against the fence to save dragging it back to the garage. My next task was to track down two 4 by 3 posts of pressurized wood. However the more I looked at where the mirror was going to be the more I disliked the location!! There was no way it was going to blend in. How to break the news to KN ??? I walked up and down all of my 30 ft garden trying to pick another site. Eventually decided that the only place was a wall at the back of my fuel shed. This will not be seen from the house , but will be visible walking back up the garden.
Broke news to KN who received it with great calmness! Then today we lugged the mirror out of its holes and to the new place. KN had decided to attach it to the wall by means of large hinges...a stroke of genius....two at either side. I acted as apprentice as it was marked and drilled. It is up now and I am Delighted with it. Despite the fact that there is a large conifer in front it shows nice reflection and furthermore there is no way that one sees a self-reflection.
This is the area and wall prior to mirror.!
Here we see the mirror attached.
In the area marked on the photograph there will be plants reaching up to aprox. the bottom of the mirror. The Photinia robinia to the left will be pruned. Finally I fear the conifer just in the pictures to the right will have to be removed later in the year. It is too tall and blocks a lot of light. Removal would also give a much greater area of reflection. Anyway please come back and see how it looks when cleared out by pruning and with new planting in place.
Well the verdict still remains that I am pleased with it! I have put two lots of cuprinol on any exposed wood and when it stops raining and all is dry I shall paint the wood white to blend in with the walls.
It was interesting that the more I viewed it I realized that from the location from which one sees it the conifer does not fit into the equation.
It now remains to see what I will plant under it. Has to be an evergreen not more than 14 inches tall , and one that likes the shade.
April 20th.What horrid weather this month. Put a stop to a lot of garden jobs but at last I was able to continue with this project.
Growth is screening the bottom of the mirror and a trellis has been placed at the side.
As you will see from the new photograph I have put trellis to the side of the mirror giving it a more finished appearance and hiding the hinges which attach it.