Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Plural Of Trellis

It started with this:

A friend of mine posted it on my Facebook wall. Which sort of drives me crazy, because I always end up thinking "Yes! I need this in the back yard! It's what I've always wanted! I'll be able to grow more pumpkins! I love vertical gardening!"

Then cold hard reality hits and I'm left thinking "Where is it going to go?"

Not to mention "Who is going to build that thing?"

That said, I decided to try this, because it looks cool and well, I'm shallow that way.

The instructions seemed pretty basic: arch, squash, sunshine, photogenic opportunities. In case you can't tell from the photo, the black arches are PVC pipe, painted black. I think they are imbedded on reebar. The whole thing is situated in a raised box bed. There is some wire fencing in there as well.

I went outside and looked around for a likely spot for my own Squash Arch.

Have I mentioned that I live in a very slopey yard?

See what I mean? If this isn't a hill, I don't know what is.

It makes things like Squash Arches kind of challenging to recreate.

But I like a challenge, so I kept on looking around.

 This is where the pool used to be. Happy days we had with that pool, until it developed a leak. And the restraining board there to the left stopped restraining the natural slump of the hill. The pool ended up slanting a bit, which had some of us concerned that 300 gallons of water might one day be visiting the back yard of the neighbours down the hill.

Which the neighbours might not like. So we didn't fix the leak in the pool. We endured many a caustic remark from the unhappy offspring, who had really enjoyed swimming in that pool throughout the summer. But our options were limited by that dratted slope, so we kept a stiff upper lip and went to the beach more often. Eventually the offspring got older and bigger and stopped complaining. Well, stopped complaining about the pool, that is. They found new and more exciting things to complain about.

Anyhow, as I surveyed the yard for the perfect Squash Arch site, my gaze happened upon that spot. It was fairly flat. It received a decent amount of sunshine. The rowan tree was kind of in the way but that was easily remedied by removing a few branches. Now all I needed was someone to do that actual labour for me some planks, a saw, some stakes and screws, and some soil. 

So, here is my Tale of a Squash Arch And How It Got Built.  Labour by Sheila. Inspiration by Cammie, who is now limited to posting no more than one cool garden idea per month on my Facebook page (or I'll make her come over and help me). 

First off, get some tools near by so you don't have to keep trudging up the hill into the basement to get a hammer, or some screws, or a drill. Trust me on this. I used a metal bar and a sledge hammer to make the holes for the stakes in the ground because our yard seems to be situated on solid &*$#@ rock. I also used a drill, some screws, some old stakes, and some pine boards. 

1. Saw branches that might be overhanging said project. Be careful that branches don't crash down on your head. Have a band aid near by in case branch falls on arm and breaks some skin. Curse friend who posted stupid Squash Arch idea on your stupid Facebook page.

2. Remove cold frame. Wonder where to put it and drag it awkwardly around for a while, tripping over bricks and irrigation pipes, until you find a good spot. Feel increasingly frustrated that you didn't plan project out a bit better. Kick pine boards and curse as knee makes a popping sound.
 3. Get sledge hammer and insert stakes into ground. Realize that you need the metal bar to make the holes for the stakes. Realize that the stakes are really long and will eventually need shortening. Hit finger with sledge hammer. Realize that neighbour children are listening to you swear. Curse friend a couple of times. Wonder what SHE is doing right now. Curse some more.

4. Request that child slaves some of the children come out and assist in building Squash Arch. Make it sound REALLY fun. Ignore their hesitation and pretend they really ARE enthusiastic. Sieve compost and fill bed with four loads. Discover the scissors that Eldest Child lost in the compost last summer. Discover a clay pot that someone tossed in the compost last summer. Ignore complaints of slaves children. Wonder briefly if so much compost will be too much for pumpkins, then decide to think about this another time. Watch slaves children sneak away while you're changing your band aid.

5. Show husband new bed, original Squash Arch photo, and ask for assistance in inserting reebar and PVC pipe into hill. Cite exhaustion, sore knee, bruised arm, etc.

6. Listen uneasily while Husband suggests new configuration of Squash Arch and points to white trellis in garden. Do that, he says. It will look better, he says. 

7. Ponder uneasily until Husband offers to build Exact Replica Of Said Trellis on new Squash Arch site, then capitulate, because, well, it sounds cool.

And I'm shallow that way.


Andrea said...

ps. its impossible to have too much compost for pumpkins. Squash love it hot. You can plant them in fresh, hot compost. I make piles of chicken and sheep manure and plant them directly into that. They love it. Trust me. I grow a years worth of squash... more than...

Trellis Arch said...

Ponder uneasily until Husband offers to build Exact Replica Of Said Trellis on new Squash Arch site, then capitulate, because, well, it sounds ...