Our willow dome is coming on very well this year. On a hot day it is a lovely cool place full of dappled sunlight. We wanted a table inside it, and some friends gave us a cable drum last year, so we had the perfect candidate for the job.
We started out by adding a few pieces of 4”by 2” to the underside for ventilation and to prevent the base from rotting. We painted the whole underside and base with bitumen paint for waterproofing and longer life.
We cut out a section to make room for the willow uprights in the middle of the dome. Now a few chairs will fit nicely around the table.
The centre of the drum was then painted in a blue garden paint for wood and the top was the perfect place to get creative with some found tiles.
We often visit a tile shop in a nearby town and they kindly let us have a rummage through their skip. We found some lovely tiles there that had been taken out of an old bathroom or kitchen and we think they are from the 1950s or possibly 1960s.
The floral design and muted colours was perfect for this project along with some light green tiles left over from making our big floor mosaic in the extension. You can read about that project here.
As our whole garden design is based on spirals and circles it was natural to choose a spiral design for the top of the table. We needed to use quite a big tile for the centre of the cable drum to cover up the hole.
For this project we used tile adhesive in powdered form and mixed it up quite thick as the small pieces would sink and make for a very uneven finish otherwise.
We worked for a couple of hours over a couple of days with the mosaic. We put down the green spiral first and added the floral pieces when all the green tiles had set into position. After that we let the whole table and mosaic dry out for a day before grouting the entire top and sides as you can see in these pictures.
After two hours we did a quick wipe down with a damp cloth to clean the surfaces of the tiles and a couple of hours later we did a final clean and polish with a dry cloth.
We are very happy with the result and the natural colours of the design that blend well into the surroundings. The sun shines on the mosaic through the leaves and the wind creates an ever changing pattern of light.
The willow dome is now a very relaxing place to be, where you are not quite sure if you are inside or outside. The birds are singing all around you and you can get glimpses of the garden through the windows. You can read more about all our willow projects in the garden here.