Sunday, March 17, 2013

Dreams of a flu-ridden plant lover

A decade or more ago, I was in bed with the flu. I could hardly move for a week. My brain was fuzzy.

The view outside my window was spectacular where the forest waved its leaves in the wind. Closer to home, the balcony sat empty and neglected. Once my brain started to churn (before my body could get me out of trouble), I dreamed up a plant and bench combo for each end of the bedroom deck. I wanted seating, with side openings that would fit easy-to-find planters.

My design was simple. I sketched it on a piece of paper, crawled out of bed to measure the balcony and a Costco garbage pail (the easiest planter I could think of), calculated the length and width of the planter and its parts, figured out where the screws would go ... and went back to sleep. I was happily surprised by the drawing when I work up.

The first day I was well enough to drive, I headed for Home Depot. Their lumberyard kindly cut the pressure-treated wood to length. The wood was so heavy and I so weak that I could hardly drag it upstairs to the balcony.

I fastened all the screws from the inside, so none were visible from the outside. By the time my husband came home from work that day, the 2'X6' planters were done and set in place. (My birthday wish a few years before had been a complete toolkit. I love that power drill!)

I positioned the braces for the seat inside the middle support frame. By lifting up the seat, I could stash away my watering can, fertilizer, and garden supplies.

The planters may have been roughly finished. They weren't the prettiest things I've ever seen. My husband was surprised when I showed him the planters - finished. He was appalled at the sturdiness and weight of the wood (2X4 and 2X8s) perched two stories above ground. And he painted preservative on the cut ends of wood. Good man!

With flowers trailing over the sides, the benches lasted over 10 years, 5 upstairs and 5 on the front porch. They became weatherworn but never rotted.

I sold both planters last weekend @$25 for both because we're redoing our patio entry. They need a good powerwash and some fresh spring plants.

A planter, open last winter

The gardener who bought them was thrilled. "These are just what I was looking for! I have several places in my garden where these benches will be fantastic." Judging by the interest on CL, others would agree. I took pictures as we were packing them into the woman's pickup. "Goodbye, benches! Happy life elsewhere."

Oh the things one dreams into being when one is ill!

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