Installing: A garden bench for Castle Twickel

During dead quiet weather, a very thick branch of a tree fell down.

During dead quiet weather, a very thick branch of a tree fell down.

During dead quiet weather, a very thick branch of a tree fell down.

The concrete backrest with lead relief and the seat were the most damaged parts.

← to the first post about this project

Today, it was a hot sunny day. With a little power shovel machine and lifting straps we lifted the components of the garden bench and assembled them on site. The puzzle of course fit, because I had tested that beforehand.

tool with the new bench for Castle Twickel

trowels, mortar, glue, hoisting straps… a car full of stuff

All stone parts of the bench were weathered and damaged, and have been replaced with new sandstone. Especially the legs are quite elaborately carved.

Garden bench with lead relief and new sandstone elements

The sandstone spheres are there as a temporary solution

The lead relief will probably soon again be patinated. It's possible to use a special patinating oil to quickly turn the lead grey or black, something that has obvious been done to this relief before. I've not done so beforehand on my own account, because such a thing, of course, is usually done in consultation.

Garden bench with lead relief and new sandstone elements

Dancing nymphs and fauns on the backrest

Temporarily I've put the old sandstone spheres back on the seat. The right hand sphere had received such a blow that it broke into twenty pieces. I've pasted it roughly back together, quite a puzzle. The best thing would of course be if someday in the future those little music-making fauns on the corners could be put back again (read more on that in this post), but for the protection of the sculpted sandstone legs, for now the spheres will do.

I thought for a moment that it might be a solution to carve two small little fauns from the beginning. The originals were made of lead and were stolen, and carving new ones out of sandstone is much too fragile with such a dangling leg. But sitting, from granite, that's technically possible. It's just not up to me to decide.

This is how a damaged garden bench looks fresh and sharp again, perhaps even a little too sharp. With the greenish haze which the bench will automatically get because of its place under an oak tree, it will fit in more with the rest of the garden over the years.

We have also talked about tactics to get something green rapidly. Buttermilk is often mentioned, and so is yogurt. I once saw a lady on the BBC who managed to get even plastic flower pots in a thick coat of moss by mixing in a blender some yoghurt, moss and (cheap!) latex paint (and maybe some loam and manure, but that I don't remember) and brushing that onto those pots. I think I'll experiment a bit myself someday. Just need an old blender.

Update 2 September 2015:

Always on the lookout for other insights I started using Stumble Upon. Apparently it works, because here I came across a fine recipe for moss : how to make moss graffiti. In short: indeed moss in the blender, add lukewarm water, add water-retention gel (perhaps from a diaper??), add buttermilk, pulsate in the blender until it congeals, pour it into a bucket and paint with it whatever you want, and if you spray it a bit wet every week, in no time you will have moss growing on your desired surface. is the blog of Koen van Velzen, sculptor in stone and bronze. Look up my website as well:

Leave a comment

The email address will not be published.