I wrote a short piece on 05th June 2022 called “Restoration of an old fountain” just to back track the purpose of the story. Sadly my fiancée lost her mother Susan Dickens in January 2022, Susan left us on her 67th birthday, the shock has been unmeasurable to us all as a family, aswell as her close friends. To remember Susan we decided to build and create a memorial garden at our cottage, which was Susan’s home also. After planning what we wanted to do and what colour plants to place in the garden, work commenced I did all the building, painting, planting etc my fiancee Michelle planned the layout and how she wanted the garden to look, as a family we wanted it to be an explosion of colour each summer a place to sit quietly to think and remember all that Susan was and is.
Scattered around the various corners in our cottage gardens we had various Japanese stone ornaments, extremely weathered and faded and not really in any position to of any visual benefit. So I tasked myself with scrubbing each item down, repairing where I can the items then embarking on a repaint and colouring. I started with a large Japanese fountain that was no longer functioning as a water feature, after moving this 1/4 ton piece I set about the cleaning and repair as it begins its new life as a bursting colourful flower bed, I then salvaged a large Japanese Pagoda tower again ridiculously heavy, two Japanese lanterns, two Japanese Dragons, Japanese stepping stones and lastly a Japanese bird bath (still under repair).
The fountain was finally ready to receive plants to become a stunning focal point to the memorial garden, its been so amazing to watch the flowers grow and bloom to see the display of colour unfold before our eyes, it doesn’t bring Susan back to us but does give us a place to reflect and remember her amongst the colours she adored.
The Japanese Pagoda tower was a difficult item to clean up and restore due to its weight and intricacies but once completed it looks amazing and it is an amazing addition to the memorial garden’s ambiance and theme.
From the Pagoda I then moved onto the Japanese lanterns which again through years of weather damage and bad positioning were just wasted items slowly rotting away with time, but with a generous helping of TLC, they came up beautiful and now sit proudly next to the Susan’s memorial bench, a truly stunning feature to the memorial garden now completed and restored.
Hidden at the back of the garden under a very large conifer tree was a Japanese Geisha statue. She was originally a water feature but over time ended up hidden and covered in Wood Pigeon poop, after a substantial power washing and scrub down and some different colours added to give her an element of realism she now resides in the garden, restored once again.
I also found buried under some garden sacks several extremely weathered and rather tired Terracotta coloured plastic plant pots, they at one point ended up on the pile bound for the tip! But I thought I’d give them a clean up see if they look any better restored, have to say I was so pleased I chose to save them! 5 pots in total restored and looking great to be enjoyed for a great many more years! These pots are at least 20+ years old.
Numerous other projects are taking place in the memorial garden, which I will share in due course along with pictures of the restored Japanese Dragons and the Japanese bird bath, but to close this current blog post im sharing some pictures of the beautiful flowers all bursting with colour, already as we progress with Susan’s memorial garden when you sit there or even work in it, you get a profound sense peace a small detachment from the chaos the world throws out you, a place to quietly reflect and breathe without interruption surrounded by bird song it really is an amazing place to be.