Saturday, July 14, 2012

You Very Own Floating Island

Whether you have a fish pond, birdbath, or even a pool for that matter, add life and color with your very own floating island. Easy, unique, and totally different, you can now own your very own island for little cash. The size and variety of plants is up to you. Just remember to use low maintenance plants that require minimum care. If you have a skimmer as part of your water feature, then you may want to anchor your living island to something heavy to prevent it from blocking the skimmer’s opening.

Supplies needed for building your island:
Sheets of Styrofoam - we used several
1/2” thick sheets about 10” x 12” that
we collected from packing materials
Straight edge, pruners, scissors
Twine, greening pins, assorted rocks
Assorted Moss and moss clumps

Step 1
We are going for a rounded rectangular shape for
our island. You can make yours any size and shape
you want... what is important is the layering. On the
underside you want to start with a large piece of foam
and 2 smaller pieces. Center the smaller pieces in the
center and pin with greening pins. This will allow the
larger base piece to float above the water.

Step 2
Now flip your foam over and break off the corners.
Pin the corners to the top. This will create levels for
us to build on.

Step 3
Add a few more small pieces to create additional
levels, pinning as you go.

Step 4
Once you have everything pinned in place,
tie some twine around the center. This will insure
that everything stays in place. Leave an extra long
tail that can be used to weight your island down.

Step 5
Now lay your island, face down in the
middle of a piece burlap. The burlap will
hold everything in place and keep the dirt
from getting into your pond filter. You are going
to wrap the burlap around to the back
leaving the top layers uncovered , and
pinning in place. We curled up our twine
and pinned it down so we don’t accidentally
cut it off.
Cut off the excess burlap as you go. We are
Not worried about neatness folks, no one
is going to see this part!

Step 6
When you are done your island will
look something like this. This is the top.
Notice the crevices which will be perfect
for planting.

Step 7
Choose your plants carefully. Make sure they
can handle the shade or sun and alot of water.
We used mini mondo grass, ferns, begonias,
and mazus.

Step 8
Begin planting your plants, adding dirt
as needed. Use pins to pin plants roots
to Styrofoam so they stay in place.
Continue adding plants, adding dirt.

Step 9
Once you have all your plants in place,
cover the entire island with moss and pin
in place.

Step 10
Add a few assorted mosses, rocks, and
other natural items and you are done!
Now remember that string you tied up
underneath your island? You can unpin
it and tie a chard of pottery or a small
rock to the end. When placing your island
in your pond this weight will help keep
it where you want it.

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