Debra Prinzing

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Concrete orb how-to

June 12th, 2011

Here's the photo that inspired readers to ask: How do you make these cool orbs?

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!

18 Responses to “Concrete orb how-to”

  1. Tamara Says:

    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

  2. Frances Says:

    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
    Frances´s last blog post ..Eryngium Alpinum-Sea Holly

  3. Mary Ann Newcomer Says:

    Love this! Wow, great blue orbs. See you all in Seattle in a few weeks time.

  4. Sharon Fielding Says:

    I Agree with Mary, these do look great
    Sharon Fielding´s last blog post ..Spotting Fake Prada Sunglasses

  5. Sherene Says:

    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.
    Sherene´s last blog post ..career organizing

  6. Janie Pasalich Says:

    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

  7. Janie Pasalich Says:

    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

  8. Prakash@techblowup Says:

    Its really nice post. Blue orbs and your article about it are doing a convincing job here.
    Prakash@techblowup´s last blog post ..Agneepath Movie Review

  9. Virukill Blogs Says:

    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.
    Virukill Blogs´s last blog post ..Hotel Murah di Yogyakarta Via KlikHotel.com

  10. Mary McGrain Says:

    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!

  11. kue kering Says:

    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
    kue kering´s last blog post ..sial dong #ciamis-bandung akhir tahun 2009

  12. Amit Says:

    I just love the orbs! Thanks for sharing this post.
    Amit´s last blog post ..How to Fix Google Rich Snippets Errors for WordPress

  13. Melissa Says:

    The idea is so simple, yet unique. Especially, the blue color on one of the orb makes it more like a spherical earth shape.

  14. mohit pokhriyal Says:

    amazing ,i realy love the orbs…thanks for sharing your knowledge with us
    mohit pokhriyal´s last blog post ..UCO Bank Clerk Recruitment 2012, UCO Bank Clerk Jobs 2012 through Ibps

  15. Jovie Onyema Says:

    wow! it looks cool. just imagine being able to create human sized orbs!
    Jovie Onyema´s last blog post ..Nigerian Company Produces Tablet PC

  16. Betty Rhodes Says:

    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!
    Betty Rhodes´s last blog post ..Why Incredible Chick™?

  17. New City Magazine Says:

    wow, they look nice. But I bet they are extremely heavy?
    New City Magazine´s last blog post ..Balcony Gardens

  18. Sam @ CCTV Camera Says:

    Blue orbs! Hm.. another new kind of garden accessories!

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