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glass bottle paving

Last post 21-01-2008 5:20 PM by Paul-D-456. 34 replies.

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  • 22/05/2005 07:52 PM
    • abigail
    • 22 May 2005
    • 14
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    I want to use old wine bottles upside down as paving, so they're like round glass tiles. Anyone got any tips? my plan is -dig out the area to wine bottle height, put in a layer of sand the thickness of the bottle necks, and bed the bottles into sand,filling in the gaps with sand afterwards. Is that going to work? You've got time to reply - I've only collected 2 bottle so far...

    abigail
  • 22/05/2005 08:55 PM
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    Abigail, I like this idea! I have had a similar idea to build retaining walls out of wine bottles somehow - we have an endless supply in out house! But as yet have not come up with a workable method. I have two comments - would it not be better to 'saw off' the bottle ends somehow (to a depth of say 2"/4cm), so you would not then have such a depth of bottle to bury, and also, would not the smooth bottle ends be a slippery surface when wet - possibly a hazard? Still, a novel idea and well worth considering in these recycling times!

  • 23/05/2005 01:39 PM
    • abigail
    • 22 May 2005
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    I have no idea what sort of equipment i'd need to saw up bottles, but I don't think I have it! I wonder whether it will be slippery though, you're right. It is quite a small area, not much walked on, so I might be ok. I'll give it a go.

    abigail
  • 23/05/2005 01:42 PM
    • abigail
    • 22 May 2005
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    oh and for your retaining wall, could you do something with those chicken wire cages that people fill with stones to make retaining walls on roads and railways? only bottles instead of stones.

    abigail
  • 23/05/2005 02:36 PM
    • miranda
    • Oxfordshire
    • 17 Nov 2004
    • 4,145
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    Abigail, you might find this site interesting if you're keen on recycling things like old bottles: http://www.sci-scotland.org.uk/news.html There is also an Earthship project in Brighton. I must say that I find the idea very attractive.

  • 23/05/2005 03:00 PM
    • Obelix
    • Belgium
    • 24 Nov 2004
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    I've seen wine bottles used as an edging for paths. I think you'll find a whole path messy as soil and debris will collect in the hollows and you'll have weeds and mess for ever and it will be difficult to sweep clean.

    Obelix - Belgium
  • 23/05/2005 03:03 PM
    • Obelix
    • Belgium
    • 24 Nov 2004
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    We built a retaining wall from wine bottles about 9 yrs ago and it's still going strong. When chappy dug the hole for the foundations of our terrace I got him to extend the hard core a bit further back. Then, after he'd laid the pavés for the terrace we put down a dry sand and cement mix and levelled it. Then we just laid bottles with their bottoms towards the terrace and the tops towards the garden behind. The wall goes round a 90° corner and is held at both ends by a cemented pavé wall. Each layer of bottles was laid on top of the other with no added cement till we got to knee height. Then we put on a slightly damp layer of sand and cement to level it out and allow us to top it with old marble slabs from some ghastly fire places we demolished in the house. Then we back filled with garden soil at one end where the ground is higher and more cobbles where it is lower. Now it's all planted up behind and looks great and provides extra seating and places for pots. It is useful and decorative and always a talking point when new people see the garden for the first time. It copes with a temperature range from -20°C to +33°C. The best bottles are the straight ones with high shoulders. Now I'm saving magnums and jeroboams for a possible water feature. It's going to take a while though.

    Obelix - Belgium
  • 23/05/2005 03:11 PM
    • ken69
    • Norfolk UK
    • 23 Nov 2004
    • 405
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    Hi Abigail...did once see a bottle path. but it wasn't used very often..more ornamental...and it was LIT UP.A 12v system, run from a shed, perhaps via a transformer from the mains.Don't know how they managed the possible heat build- up from the bulb but it looked good.Blue bottles.As mentioned you are bound to have an undulating surface eventually because of breakage and slippage.This design I saw was cemented in...didn't look finished off very well, so perhaps sand would look better.

  • 23/05/2005 04:50 PM
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    ---------------- On 5/23/2005 3:03:18 PM Obelix wrote: We built a retaining wall from wine bottles about 9 yrs ago and it's still going strong ...... allow us to top it with old marble slabs from some ghastly fire places we demolished in the house. Then we back filled with garden soil at one end where the ground is higher and more cobbles where it is lower. Now it's all planted up behind and looks great and provides extra seating and places for pots. ---------------- This is the first time I've really wished for a picture! How long for the bottles for the water feature do you think?

  • 23/05/2005 05:36 PM
    • Obelix
    • Belgium
    • 24 Nov 2004
    • 442
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    When the terrace is clear of plants awaiting planting and I have figured out the technology, I will let you know about a photo.

    Obelix - Belgium
  • 23/05/2005 08:51 PM
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    Evening everyone, Abigail, - yes cutting the bottles could be a problem - maybe scoring the bottles with a tilecutter or somesuch, and then some decisive mallet action perhaps? It would be a matter of trial and error, but stocking up on more empty bottles is a chore I could handle! Obelix - I am so pleased to hear of someone who has succeeded in the wine-bottle retaining wall - and I too would love to see a picture. The wall I have in mind would be curved - and 18-24 inches tall. One of my concerns is the bottles becoming 'comtaminated' with soil and debris, and also condensation inside the bottles looking unsightly (albeit only visible from the base of the bottles - if I understood your construction method correctly)- did you seal your bottle openings with anything? Finally, have you both seen the water feature in one of the gardens at Chelsea shown on TV tonight? I love it, visually quite stunning, but difficult to execute successfully I should imagine.

  • 24/05/2005 10:19 AM
    • Obelix
    • Belgium
    • 24 Nov 2004
    • 442
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    No, the bottles are effectively sealed by the back fill of earth. There is no light behind them so nothing shows inside. They are not cemented either, just stacked. I should have finished the planting in the next 10 days or so - deadline for first ever Open Garden for a women's club charity fund-raiser. Will see about posting pictures somewhere afterwards. I have a website or can do it on A4A but will let you know. Haven't had time to look at all the Chelsea stuff yet except for a bit of last night's coverage. Looks good so far.

    Obelix - Belgium
  • 24/05/2005 11:21 AM
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    The water feature at Chelsea I was referring to above is one made out of wine bottles, with water streaming out of numerous bottle necks - hence my mentioning it here. Can't recall which garden it is in. There are of course several other equally stunning water features in many of the other gardens! Apologies for my oversight.

  • 24/05/2005 11:34 AM
    • Obelix
    • Belgium
    • 24 Nov 2004
    • 442
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    Thanks. I'll look out for it. I go to an annual dinner where red wine is often served out of 2 and 3 litre bottles. I've managed to scrounge half a dozen so far for my future water feature.

    Obelix - Belgium
  • 25/05/2005 08:59 AM
    • Obelix
    • Belgium
    • 24 Nov 2004
    • 442
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    I've seen it now. It looks interesting but more technical and architectural than I want to be with that vertical face. I have a garden surrounded by arable fields and pasture and with a large unlined pond for drainage so I was thinking of something smaller and simpler like a bubble fountain with the water coming up out of a few carefully arranged bottles on top of a small reservoir. We'll see - plenty of time before I get my next installment of big bottles.

    Obelix - Belgium