TART UP YOUR GARDEN WITH ART
Create timber totem poles and a log bench
Find your spirit by making totem poles to plant in your garden. Whether your design is industrial or floral, punk or pretty, it will reflect you and give your home interest. Then sit back and admire your handiwork from the log bench you threw together.
PROJECT 1 LOG BENCH
Let the beautiful, natural qualities of timber shine.
STEP 1 Plane tops of logs to remove roughness, then sand for a smooth finish.
STEP 2 Measure 60mm from top of logs and mark a line on each log with pen about 45mm wide.
STEP 3 Wearing appropriate safety gear, use chainsaw to cut slots in the logs where the marks are, cutting almost halfway through.
STEP 4 Space logs about 2m apart, with the slots facing opposite directions, and use rubber mallet to bang timber into slots.
STEP 5 Finish bench and tops of logs with oil.
PROJECT 2 ARTY TOTEMS
Strong, vertical lines in a small, densely planted garden will create an illusion of space.
STEP 1 Plane faces of sleepers to remove roughness, then sand for a smooth finish.
STEP 2 Lay sleepers flat on ground or work bench, butting up against each other.
STEP 3 Lay metal objects in an attractive pattern on the sleepers.
STEP 4 With the blowtorch, burn timber until it is black, holding torch 10-15cm above timber.
STEP 5 Wearing leather gloves, remove metal objects from sleepers. Wait for timber to cool, then wipe down to remove excess or loose charcoal.
STEP 6 Apply timber oil generously to the sleepers with brush to bring up grain and colour.
STEP 7 Dig 3 holes with spade and post-hole digger to 600mm. Cut sleepers to different heights to suit, put in holes and add rapid-set concrete. Use spirit level to check they’re plumb.
STEP 8 Put mulch generously around base of poles.
Two drinks tables and plenty of seating. It’s perfectly natural!
You can create sculptural totem poles with timber sleepers and a blowtorch!