Concrete orb how-to
June 12th, 2011
Last summer, I wrote a little piece about using orbs in the garden. Better Homes & Gardens illustrated the words with a photo depicting a trio of concrete spheres that looked like they were stained a denim blue color. Really pretty.
I posted two photo galleries of spherical ideas, emphasizing design principles for using circular and round elements in the landscape, but people still wanted to know how to make those concrete balls!
Fortunately, I found the instructions, posted by Fairegardens, a blog based in Tennessee. Francis of Fairegardens is heading to Seattle this summer to attend the Garden Bloggers Fling, an event that I’m organizing with three other writers, so it will be fun to meet in person!
Frances not only explains how to make these balls (which she first saw done on an HGTV program), she also goes into great detail on the steps, shares a supply list and many photos of the progress.
She calls these Hypertufa balls, but explains that quikcrete mix can also be used. I hope this gets you motivated to make a big mess for satisfying results!
June 12th, 2011 at 6:23 pm
How do I follow your blog and the blog of Fairegardens? I would love the directions on how to make these and I like to see what other gardeners are doing
June 13th, 2011 at 6:07 am
Hi Debra, what a sweet surprise to see the linkage from your beautiful post, many thanks! I cannot wait to meet you and everyone else in Seattle. These blogger meetups are the best place to meet others who share your gardening passions with the bonus of also living the life of blogging and writing.
I love the idea of painting the concrete balls, those blues are otherworldly. Thanks for the idea. 🙂
Frances at Fairegarden
June 14th, 2011 at 11:00 am
Love this! Wow, great blue orbs. See you all in Seattle in a few weeks time.
June 24th, 2011 at 11:14 am
I Agree with Mary, these do look great
October 13th, 2011 at 5:26 pm
I really like the orbs! I have a few scattered about the garden as well. However, whenever I have found them they are pretty costly.
October 18th, 2011 at 11:32 pm
I am insanely in love with the beautiful, beautiful blue orbs. I’ve hither and thither for the “recipe” on how to make them. I’ve found several references that take me to “Concrete orb how-to”; they all show the orbs but no instructions. Please, how does one obtain a set of instructions or they still obtainable? I thank you in advance for any information you can give me. I’m tempted to spray paint some children’s plastic balls, but they wouldn’t have the wonderful texture of the concrete ones. Also they probably blow away in a strong wind. jp
October 19th, 2011 at 12:45 am
Eureka! I’ve just stumbled onto the magic link to “Fun with Concrete” and there was the orb information that I had just ask about along with a myriad of neat ideas for steps, stairs, etc., etc. Hummm, I wonder if plastic balls would work, be a lot cheaper than rubber. Just give the cured ball a whack with a rubber mallet. Suggestion–there is a new (sort of) concrete that is light weight. It’s used for raised flooring in houses. We used it in a second story bathroom to hold radiant heat tubing. Worked great. Also, there are little porous cement-type pellets used in hydroponic gardening that might work in your concrete mix instead of gravel (or do a gravel/pellet mix) to lighten the load. Rather than ruin an entire bag of concrete, just mix enough for one ball to see if it comes out OK. The pellets come in several sizes and are sold at stores specializing in hydroponics, also on the web. Final thought–I believe that there is a ratio for using x amount of pellets with y amount of concrete in order to retain concrete strength. Check with your friendly concrete dispenser (I doubt that he’d give you the recipe but at least you could get the name of the mix and Google. Again, many thanks. jp
January 27th, 2012 at 4:32 am
Its really nice post. Blue orbs and your article about it are doing a convincing job here.
February 4th, 2012 at 11:17 pm
Rather than ruin an entire bag of concrete, just mix enough for one ball to see if it comes out OK. The pellets come in several sizes and are sold at stores specializing in hydroponics, also on the web. Final thought–I believe that there is a ratio for using x amount of pellets with y amount of concrete in order to retain concrete strength.
March 18th, 2012 at 12:43 pm
Any ideas on how to get the blue and green colors like the BH & G picture? My friend and I pick a project when we visit their lake home every summer! Hands down, this is our 2012 Summer Lake project!
March 19th, 2012 at 9:47 pm
wonder if plastic balls would work, be a lot cheaper than rubber The pellets come in several sizes and are sold at stores specializing in hydroponics, also on the web kue kering
March 30th, 2012 at 11:48 pm
I just love the orbs! Thanks for sharing this post.
April 27th, 2012 at 6:31 am
The idea is so simple, yet unique. Especially, the blue color on one of the orb makes it more like a spherical earth shape.
May 13th, 2012 at 4:08 am
amazing ,i realy love the orbs…thanks for sharing your knowledge with us
May 26th, 2012 at 9:45 am
wow! it looks cool. just imagine being able to create human sized orbs!
June 7th, 2012 at 8:49 am
I clicked on the link on how they were done and I was amazed on the steps. I did not even realize that they are fabricated that way: with a rubber ball as a mold. This is really good!
July 13th, 2012 at 5:03 am
wow, they look nice. But I bet they are extremely heavy?
May 31st, 2013 at 9:32 am
Blue orbs! Hm.. another new kind of garden accessories!