Monday, May 24, 2010

Summer Project 2

The gravity feed watering system is still under construction. I'm working on the secondary storage tanks by the raised beds themselves. The progress will be blogged in a week or two. I'm still figuring out how to get a pipe into the barrel without leaking. The challenge is that the top of the barrel doesn't come off and only a four inch hole to work through. I'm already up to plan "C" and counting.

Here I'm working on a trellis for the Poor Man's Living Patio. It's experimental as always. I want to over head trailing vines by the front door for the secret garden affect coming into the house. Cutting the 2X4s and 1X2s would be the first step in the project. I went with treated lumber except for the 1X2s.

It kind of looks like a ladder doesn't it. It's one vertical side of the trellis. Two are required for the project. Thank God for a cordless drill. It's the best thing ever invented. It gets my vote for the best invention of the last century. I don't care what they say about the Internet. I drilled the holes in the 2X2s so they wouldn't split. Good thing.

To stand up the sides I've used concrete blocks which is my favorite building material. It makes for good solid bases. You can see that it's just a little crooked but that will be taken care of soon. The base consists of three concrete blocks for each side on top of each other. The legs of the sides fit down inside the holes of the blocks. River rock fill around the legs in the bottom two blocks. The top block is filled with tamped down sand. Hopefully that will keep the trellis stable in the strong winds of Nebraska. We have had a test this last weekend with 30MPH winds and nary a sway was detected.

Up goes the top part of the trellis. I finally had to put one side up and then get the step ladder for the other side. It's a good thing the 2X2s were near the end. It made for a perfect support to hold the top while I bored holes through the side and top pieces to bolt them together with 1/4 inch carriage bolts. I don't think it will be falling down any time soon. Well that's the plan anyway.

A funny thing happened while at the Lowe's store. I was loading up concrete blocks when a man comes walking by and asks, "How many of those are you getting?"

"Ten", I say, but "I'd like to get more."

He says, "I have about 30 and their yours if you want them."

"Where do you live?", I ask.

"Oh, on the other side of Elkhorn in King Lake."

"When will you going to be home?"

"I'm headed there now."

"I'll follow you there and thanks a lot."

"No problem."

Anyway I loaded up 27 blocks at a weight of about 1500 pounds in the little truck that could. Ricky, my truck, has a recommended payload of about 500 pounds. I have to tell you he handled it like a trooper. Never a bob or a weave or bottom out and any time on the way home. However, it was a smooth ride without any bumps.

Boring the holes for the carriage bolts with my new drill was a breeze. The old drill I bought back in 1970 on sale for $20.00. I think that it lasted long enough. I'm just not one to get the latest thing because I want it. I'm a firm believer in ware out what you have before buying new. This hot little DeWalt is sweet. It just might be the last drill I have to buy. Certainly if it lasts 40 years like the old one I won't be needing to replace it.

Here's the finished trellis. Well almost finished. The next day I straighten up the sides, put on braces, and filled the blocks with gravel and rock. So now it stands erect square and ready to be covered with sprawling vines. I'm just sitting on the patio and admiring the look of it all so far. I do have a wonderful picture in my mind of how it's going to look. I hope it comes out in reality somewhere close to what I see in my mind's eye.

Time to fire up the grill, invite the neighbors over, and have some good old burgers and brats on the barbie.

All that's left now is the planting of the containers that will house the vining plants to cover the trellis. It's going to be rainy this week so maybe it will be a good time to open up the garage garden shed, mix up some potting mix, and get those containers planted with plants. I have other bulbs to plant in containers too so it could be an all day affair.

May all your gardens grow twice as good as you expect them too. See you soon.

Leave a comment and tell what you have been doing to stay out of trouble.


  1. Aye you're a sneaky one there Dave... I did not know you had this blog here! :-) Love it... and your trellis too. Can't wait to see it after your vines have taken hold.

    We have a "poor man's deck" off the front of our house. This year I have taken to beautifying it as cheaply as I can, with potted flowers, some foundation plantings, a new glider and soon, some blinds to keep out the setting sun. Hopefully we'll be able to relax out there more in the evening. Soon. :)

  2. It's really cool that you have a helper to take the pictures. or is that a camera on a tripod and a timer???????????????????? HMMMMMM

  3. Hi NB,
    Thanks for sending me the link to your blog. Wow, have you been busy and I'm enjoying having an in depth look at your life. It's wonderful someone offered you the blocks. Your trellis looks so beautiful. I can't wait to read more about your gravity fed watering system as well.
    P.S. - MM and I LOVE brats.

  4. Lynne sez'
    Howdy Neighbor Dave!
    Wow, the place looks spiffy. Carolyn and I will have to come over for a visit. What's up with the gravity feed water system? Do tell ...