Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Taming the Green Monster

I'm outside again today! I swear I'll go back inside soon, but I've been concentrating on outdoor projects to take advantage of the nice weather -- our summer here is way too short.

I wanted to share another small project I finished in the quest to make my backyard a hip and happenin' spot for clambakes and cocktail soirées galore. And by that, I really just mean that I want it to be a place where people can be reasonably comfortable when they're over.

My ultimate plan is to get some furniture in and turn the space into an outdoor living area, but right now I'm busy laying a foundation of awesomeness. First up, I needed to sort out the bench -- I wanted to take advantage of the built in seating spaces the house came with, but the bench was sadly lacking in the comfort area.

As you can see in this picture from the spring, plants had been trained to grow along wire that was stapled to the bench backs to create a green backdrop of sorts. Unfortunately, the plants had grown around both sides of the seating. And I learned really quickly that no one likes to sit on a bench if they're going to get a kidney poke from a branch or lose an eye to an ill-placed leaf. It just wasn't comfortable, and I'm a fan of functionality (without sacrificing form, of course!)

We decided to build a frame several inches behind the benches for the plants to grow on, all while keeping them in their own happy little personal plant bubble to avoid guest-plant smackdowns.

First, the mister dug holes behind the deck on either side of the bench in question (with a couple helpers complete with buckets and work gloves)

...and then he did some post-and-cement magic while I made iced tea and talked about how quick and easy this project was!

After the posts were secure in the ground, I had my nephew come and remove all the wire (which you can't see very well in photos, but was stapled along the back of the benches from ground to railing). Once this was done, the green monster was released.

Pretty frightening, right? Just imagine if that had been unleashed on a poor unsuspecting dinner guest.

Add a couple 1x4's sneakily threaded through the plant's woody stems, screw them into the posts that my mister so graciously installed, and voila: a green monster, tamed.

(Notice my zebra deck? Yeah, that's a sneak peak of things to come.)

Like I said, I'll go back inside... eventually. Right now I'm busy enjoying the fact that I can actually sit down. On my bench. And I can even lean back -- success!


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