What we do for our plants
I will tell you...what we don't do for our plants. We have had a corner of our yard that we had a pinic table with some plants on it that received afternoon shade from a very messy, leaf dropping, Arizona yellow bell. I was sick of all the mess, constantly picking leaves out of the pots and the raised bed under it. So I saw this picture in Sunset magazine of a cool steel structure that someone did in Tucson, Arizona, and I put it away and started talking to my husband about cutting down the tree and replacing it with a shade structure. I already have a 10' X 15' area of galvinized metal poles and shade tarps, so I wanted something with more of an artistic flair. You can kinda see where the pinic table is in the picture below, but you really can't see the messy tree.
Well over the last 6 weeks, we purchased a lot of angle iron, expanded metal, and concrete wire mesh. With the help of a very dear friend who was itching to sharpen his welding skills we sat out to make something special to house our filtered shade loving plants. For weeks prior to starting the project, my husband, his friend, and myself would sit in the backyard, have a few beers and put our ideas down on paper.
The frist week of the project, my dear husband cut down the tree. The second week was the digging holes to set angle iron in cement just above the ground to anchor the structure to. All of this being done of Sunday afternoons. This is the beginning of the frame.
Starting the frame 2/26/06:
Adding some artistic touches to the frame and the gable ends with the concrete mesh and expanded metal 3/12/06:
The finished project 12' X 16'..3/26/06:
Our friend will be making stair step type tables for the interior over the next few months, and I will be getting my huband on the end of a shovel, so that I can start the mass plantings I have planned for the exterior. We will also need to bring in some gravel and I will be shopping for some type of art work to hang over the entry way and the 2 side panels. I am keeping my fingers crossed for more rain to give the structure the rusty look that I am looking for, but with what we have received in the last few weeks the process has already started.