Monday, January 20, 2014

New Gate and Some New Stuff

I've had the plans drawn up for a new gate for the side yard on the eastern side of the house for over a year, but never got around to putting the plans into action.  Last year I built planters for roses on either side of the gate area, which required slight alterations to the gate plan, but still I didn't get it built. The original plans called for the project to be built entirely using joinery instead of screws or nails, except for the hardware installation, and I realized that I was being overly ambitious and needed to scale back and simplify things. This week I decided upon the simplified plans and put them into action.  I cut four redwood 2" x 3" into 6' lenghts and screwed them to the back of the rose planters, then used the same type of cedar fence boards used in making the planters to create the walls on either side of the gate.  I screwed the first one on to the backside of the redwood boards, then placed two more boards on top of the first board, screwing the top board down and the removed the loose board.  I repeated the process until I reached the top of the redwood 2" x 3"s; at this point the wall looked like a ladder.  Moving to the front side of the wall, I placed two boards on edge, one on top of the other, on top of the planter and screwed the second board to the wall; repeating the process, I wound up filling in the blank spaces on the wall.  By alternating the boards on the front and back of the wall, I achieved privacy while allowing the wind to pass through the wall.  I repeated the process on the other side of the gate, then began building the gate itself.  I made the gate out of three panels from a pair of steel bi-fold closet doors, using self-tapping sheet metal screws to tied the panels together, then added a redwood 2" x 3" to the outer edges to make the door wide enough.  I added cedar fence boards too the back of the gate, across the top and bottom, to add rigidity.  Lastly, I attached piece of 1" x 2" across the gate opening to tie the two walls together, attached three hinges and a latch and drilled a hole above it for a piece of wire to allow the gate to be opened from the front yard and the project was completed.  Total time to complete it was about 3 hours and since I already had the closet doors from a remodel project, total cost was under $75.  I haven't decided if I'm going to leave the gate panels blue or paint them red to match the front door.

The finished gate viewed from the front yard.

The view from the side yard.  I'll probably add planters on either side of the gate.

In my last post, I promised to include a picture of the planter box I built for the Semi-dwarf Babock Peach tree, so here it is.  Rather than put it on the pallet decking, I decided to put it directly on the ground, but it has 2" feet, so bottom is raised off the ground.

I bought another interesting succulent at Baker's Nursery, this time it's Senecio stapeliiformis, spp 'Kilimanjaro' and it's despite its' species name, it not a stapeliad, but a member of same family as sunflowers.  It was rather pot bound, so much so that new shoots were growing out of the holes in the pot bottom, so I repotted it in one that should give it plenty of room for the next year or so.

Notice the part snaking along the base of the plant, showing how pot bound it was.

Saturday morning Steph and I headed out to an antique market and sale and I picked up a a couple of pots and another lady planter.  The lady planter is a dutch girl holding a basket and is probably from the American Midwest and was made in the '30's. The pots are both California pottery pieces, one by Pacific made between 1932-1942 and the other is not marked as to the manufacturer, but I believe it was made by Marsh in the '70's, based on the color and markings on the bottom.

Dutch girl planter

Pacific ringware pot, c. 1932-42.

70's dripware pot.

Lastly, an update on the Portulacaria afra I'm training as a bonsai.  I originally took the cutting on 8/13/13 and potted it on 9/16/13; since then it's been shaped twice, the most recent time being 1/16/14 and I think it's turning out quite well.  Not being one to waste things, the trimmings have been rooted and will be given away at this year's Spring Swap.




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