I'm going to pay for this tomorrow ...
Been meaning to get round to it for a while, but there was always something I needed to do first, or a piece of equipment that I couldn’t find.
But today I did it! or at least, a good deal of it.
I wanted to create a multi-level shelf area to maximise plant space; no room to work outwards, so work upwards instead. I’d looked at “3-tier” plant stands, but the tallest of those had been only knee-high, not much use to me and not even as big as the shelves I’d been using.
I had thought of metal catering-type tables: we had a couple of these at the disabled charity office where I looked after the communal garden – the kitchen was out of use, the tables were standing around doing nothing, so I got some of the lads to bring a couple out so that we could use them as work-benches. So I thought of something like that for the garden – till I started looking, and saw the prices of even second-hand ones!
So I dropped a note on to my local Freecycle [if you haven’t found that organisation yet, I urge you to – online giveaway site, it’s amazing what people don’t want that is exactly what you’ve been looking for. Google should find the main site, and then you can find your local one] to ask if anyone knew where I could get some “cheap”; I didn’t expect anyone to have any lying around!
Someone emailed me and suggested plastic tables; I wasn’t so sure, since most “patio tables” that I’ve seen tend to be a tad on the flimsy side, and I needed strength for the plants that I planned would eventually go on them. But I looked around, and found these on eBay: 89cm square, 75cm high, rated to take 300kg, and £31 inc postage. I dithered a bit, but then took the plunge – after all, I thought, if they’re no good for the garden I’m sure I’ll find other uses for them! (I’ll post the link to the seller’s site if anyone’s interested)
They came the next day, and, as usual, stayed in their boxes over a week. Before I could put them up I had to clear the low-rise shelves I had in that space – and I had to put a screen up on the fence behind them.
I always felt uncomfortable that, whenever I looked at that part of the garden, I could see into next door’s, and their lounge window, which was about a foot beyond the fence. But I couldn’t not look in that direction! So eventually I dropped them a note saying that I was going to be putting a screen up, and why – for their privacy, not mine. Then I had to find something to use as a screen.
I knew I had a spare shower curtain, unwanted Crimbo prezzy. That’d do, I thought; light, won’t block the sun from them, and should be waterproof! Could I find it? That’s what I get for taking stuff down to the charity shop too quickly!
I did think of old net curtains: they’re designed to obscure views, but I didn’t know if that’d be enough. Eventually I found an old skirt I’d made years ago and never got round to finishing, so I cut the seam out and threaded string through the waistband and tied it up. I had to add another string to try to hold it down, but it still kept blowing upwards; eventually I cut strips up to the lower string and tied it to the string. I also snipped several tiny slits into the upper part so the wind would blow through rather than make it billow. Touch wood, it’ll do for now.
Then I could have a go at erecting and placing tables. They were a bit strong for me; only one hinge closed properly, so I had to encourage the others with timid hammer-taps until they all locked. Good, I thought; if they’re that hard to close they won’t fold by accident!
I hadn’t thought much about getting them level; just put them where I want them, and press down to sink the legs in until they levelled off. Oh yeah? The first one would NOT level; I moved it, dug down a bit, tried again – and again. Fourth time, it worked, more or less. I used the hammer to encourage the bubble in the spirit level to move to the middle of the tube. The second one was much easier; two of the legs were on the paving so I only had to dig out space for the back legs.
I had intended to repot the plants that needed it before I put them on the tables, but I wanted to see how it looked and there was no way that I was going to be able to repot those grasses in those big pots today. So I stuck ‘em back on, used what had been the low-rise in front, and the lower ones in front of them. I had to remember to leave a gap between those, so I could get to the back of the tables.
No doubt I’ll find better ways to arrange the lower shelves, but for a brand new project, “done in a day”, I’m not too unhappy.
But I did an awful lot of bending and lifting – those planters all have water reservoirs, which I’d thoughtfully filled yesterday. And I’m going to pay for it tomorrow …
- 15 May, 2011
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Gardening with friends since
13 Feb, 2011