Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Frugal Landscaping Continued

Our home is on a septic system and has a dedicated septic tank off the kitchen sink right by the front door. It was a huge eyesore, covered up by some thick plastic pool liner to keep out the weeds from growing up around it. The previous owners had some small pebbles tossed over it, but I was trying to come up with a better solution that is easily removable if and when the concrete tank needed to be pumped out every few years.The solution eluded me for almost 4 years, but I finally had an "ah ha" moment! An ornamental foot bridge! It would span over the tank, not place any additional weight on it, and it would be easily removable, AND it would be pretty to look at.  One big problem. The cheapest mail order "assemble it yourself" foot bridge cost $299 plus shipping. Forget THAT.

So I decided to make it myself. I already had some 2 X 11's long enough to cut into the curved supports. I measured it to completely clear the top of the tank plus extra for the two supporting ends. Here, I had already cut out one and I'm working on the second with a jigsaw. It was quite a bit of work, even with the power tool because the wood was 2 inches thick. (Blogger still has not fixed the glitch in photo quality when uploaded from a smart phone. . . Drat!)

Next, I cut some 2 X 4's into 24 inch lengths and screwed one at each end to stabilize the structure before I figured out how many more I needed to cut out.

Then I started screwing in the rest of the 2 X 4's to complete the structure. The total cost of this project was a whopping $15.00, including some new blades for the jigsaw! Sure beats $299!  With a little bit of elbow grease, I saved a ton of money!

And here it is, placed on top of the aforementioned septic tank. The flowers were purchased last weekend for $4.99 and planted in pots I got for free from the dumpster when we lived in an apartment complex in between houses.  The lily plant ( the green mass of leaves on the right) is a transplant from our previous house. It blooms year after year in May without fail. After this photo was taken, I transplanted some in front of the bridge, so it should fill out nicely in a couple more years to soften the line where the bridge and the walkway meet.  I can't help it, but I'm awfully proud of myself!

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