providing shelter

It’s one of the sad­dest things to see: A house under­goes a remodel or even minor revi­sion like a new paintjob, and in the course of of the project the land­scap­ing gets run over by equip­ment or tram­pled by work­ers obliv­i­ous to estab­lished plants that may be as old as the house.

How it begins

We’ve just started a project of our own on a lit­tle detached stu­dio room behind the house. It began inno­cently enough with thoughts about replac­ing the patio cover that was start­ing its slow descent to the ground. (No piece of wood is safe in the land of ter­mites.) Maybe two or three week­ends of hard work to replace it. Yah, right.

As long as we were remov­ing the patio that was attached to the room, we thought it would be a good time to redo the sid­ing that has some spots that are fail­ing. And as long as the walls were open, we really should insu­late. And as long as we had things partly dis­sem­bled it made sense to replace the old sin­gle glazed win­dows and doors with bet­ter insu­lat­ing ones. (The local power com­pany pro­vides rebates towards insu­la­tion, and one of the fed­eral stim­u­lus pack­ages fea­tures 30% rebates on super-insulated replace­ment win­dows.) Now that the walls are start­ing to be opened, it’s clear that some of them are so gone that we’re hav­ing to re-frame them com­pletely. So the lit­tle two week­end project has grown to two months or more. If it doesn’t rain.


Right: Just some of the spots we’re hav­ing to reframe.

With a fairly long-term project like this, we didn’t want to dam­age the plants in the mid­dle of it. John’s assort­ment of epi­phyl­lum cac­tus plants in pots needed shel­ter, and less portable plants planted in the raised shade bed around the pond wouldn’t be able to take much sun. The waterlilies in the pond would do okay with full sun, but the extra sun causes algae to grow and we didn’t want to have to bat­tle pond scum as another house project.

Sheltered plants after the demolition

So the week­end we took down the shel­ter­ing patio cover, up went these lit­tle portable cabanas and beach umbrel­las. It looks like we’re hav­ing a big gar­den party, but it’s going to be a lot less relax­ing the next cou­ple of months.

My workstation during this remodel

This is my main work­sta­tion where I do my blog­ging, lay­ered over by pro­tec­tive sheet­ing and open to the great out­doors. I sus­pect my blog­ging is going to take a big hit for a while as all my wak­ing hours start to be con­sumed with the project.

And all this is hap­pen­ing dur­ing the prime plant­ing sea­son in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia. I have seeds to sow and plants to plant. I’m stressed. But with my uni­ver­sity job being one of those impacted by state fur­loughs, I’ll be hav­ing lots of time to work on the project. I sup­pose that’s see­ing the sil­ver lin­ing to the dark cloud that’s about to send light­ning bolts in my gen­eral direction…

3 thoughts on “providing shelter

  1. lostlandscape Post author

    Pam and Ryan, thanks for the sym­pa­thies. I guess I was pretty stressed out when I wrote this!

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