Anyone who has visited my garden has usually had to do a lot of imagining, as I try to explain what this and that is for, and what I intend to do with it. And, meanwhile, more ideas and half-baked projects pile up. And, of course, there is always something that you didn’t expect, that malfunctions and has to be redone – like the carefully hung LED lights that were zip-tied to pre-installed wires, per the instructions. Now, hanging lights in anything as… verdant, (polite for desperately overgrown) is always a pain. When the lights stop working, you have to get back on the ladder again. Thankfully, I got my money back on the first set of lights, as Costco said they should have lasted a lot longer than the scant year I got out of them, but still… Redoing it was yet another project in and of itself.
Any-ho-ha – since I’m currently playing the waiting game on two sizable garden proposals, I started working on my own mess, for a change. It was quite cathartic, I have to say. It felt incredibly nice to check one big thing after another off my ever-growing list.
First, I got myself a shelf to gather homeless, hoarded treasures on, while I figured out where they should go. A year ago, my friend Hollye gave me a 38″ diameter concave metal disc, which was actually the lid for a large grill. I thought it would be perfect for another fern table, so for the past year, I had collected nifty shade plants in anticipation of this Table of all tables. And of course, over time, they had all needed to be potted up a size or two. Trust me when I say I could barely walk out there, let alone move ladders. So, the fern table had to come first. It would perch perfectly atop this curved wall that pretty much mimicked its shape., located in the corner where the big, rotting lilac used to be. I had saved part of the contorted, decomposing lilac trunk, and used it to stabilize the disc, and to hide the pavers I used to level it. In the end, the trunk pretty much became an extension of the fern table itself. A big stump that I’d found off the side of the road became the center chunk of wood for the large table.
See where I’m going with this? All this big, bulky stuff that had been taking up ungodly amounts of space in my little yard for so long, were finally being assembled per my fragmented vision, and put to its intended use. I discovered when making my first 2′ x 2′ table garden that you can fit about 20-25 4″ plants in each. Granted, the center stump was huge, but you get the idea – this big disc can easily accommodate that – even if, by now, several are in quarts and gallon sized pots. As I write this, although I’ve only finished the front half of this fern table, it has already made a noticeable dent in my plant stash. It feels great to have gotten this far!
After clearing all this space, it was time to re-hang the lights. Since the string lights had to span rather long distances, I got 10′ conduit, which I spray painted espresso brown, to anchor the reinstalled wires that were to criss-cross the backyard, to. The first time I’d hung the lights, they were sagging too far down, and people taller than me (meaning most everyone) would have to duck, so it needed to be redone, and done better. Also, those tall conduit posts would be able to poke through the verdant ceiling covering my garden, so they would be perfect for attaching the solar panels charging my spot lights. It took me a while, but I’m finally happy with it. Best of all, now I can work after dark! The pile of flagstones that I’d been tripping over since Christmas, finally got laid into position around midnight last night. Still have to set and level them in 1/4 minus, though…
After the lights were installed, and everything had such a festive look to it, I rigged up a spot in the shade under the Black Lace Elderberry for the awesome, groovy, but very, very brittle 70’s rattan peacock chair a former neighbor left behind when they moved. You can’t sit in it, but it makes a great statement in my jungly garden. To top it off, I hung a contemporary capiz shell chandelier just above it, that glows with the help of the new lights. Welcome to the tropics, folks! Since it was Mother’s Day and my husband was traveling, the kids took care of the catering, while I indulged myself with my projects. My 16-year old jazz aficionado who has fabulous taste in music, humored me by spending an hour with me out there, DJ-ing 60’s dance music for me while I battled obstructive greenery from my ladder. The part behind the massive adjacent fern table is still a tangle of ivy, lilac suckers and the occasional blackberry, but let’s just focus on the positive, shall we? I’ll get to it one of these days/months/years. Visiting my garden will still require some imagination, but the outlines got much clearer with this weekend’s progress. Crank up the music, celebrate, and pour me a Tequila Sunrise – LET’S PARTY!