All Hands on Deck…

Well actually, just my hands on deck.   The deck in front of the sheds is wide and expansive and well worth every extra dollar it took from my meager budget.  Although at the time it was a bit of a shock.  But it makes such a great working space where I either sit beside my project comfortably at one end or stand beside it like a bench at the other end.   And I have well and truly taken full advantage of the space right across the seasons with the remains of one project blending seamlessly into the start of another. 

Tidy Deck
It feels long overdue to have such a nice and tidy deck!

The problem is, it can become a bit of a dumping ground for the odd item waiting to be tidied away but forgotten about in the excitement of a new project.   Plants up on the deck are less likely to be bothered by problems found down on the ground and collectively having plants together makes them easier to manage.  But this brings its own problems, a plant pot left too long in one spot without pot feet marks the deck.  This comes about for one of two reasons – I didn’t expect it to be there that long, or she’ll be right…  hopefully.  

plants in pots
The plants in fancier pots will get to stay on the deck, but up off the wood. Once the guttering is attached I’ll push them back against the wall.

The thing with a mess is there is a tipping point, when even for a creative clutterer, it becomes too much.   The pots up against the side of the tool shed, being diligently watered by the solar powered Gardena Aquabloom, loved their position over the summer and my pots have never been so well cared for.  However now we are in winter and watering from the sky is reliable enough to keep them alive, I wound up the irrigation tubing and put the Aquabloom away until next season.  

Tulip bulbs
The boofy Red Princess tulips will look fabulous in these black pots. The are mid – late season flowering so hopefully won’t mind their late start.

But what I did notice aside from their bottoms directly on the deck marking the wood was, with no guttering on the shed, they got a lot more water than was desirable.  So now I need to add guttering to the sheds so I can store plants there without fear of drowning.  It would also be good to find some kind of way to collect the water, to use in the dry days.  So, one project always leads on to another.

Making bucket pots
This is the most affordable way I know to get loads of good size pots. I was careful to pick up all the swarf as with the waves so close you are all the more conscious of not allowing plastic to get into the ocean.

Another reason for this drive to tidy the deck was I ended up making quite the mess with my bulbs.  Not only did I have some tulips that were long overdue for planting, although that was down to the very late delivery of my order, but on my list was the vague instruction ‘sort bulbs’.   Some of the daffodils in pots came up blind last season with no flowers and overcrowding was the most likely reason so 6 months ago I made a note to myself to thin them out.  

repurposing bucket handles
I had a lot of bucket handles left over, so I decided to drill holes in each end and will lash them to bamboo poles and use them as plant supports to stop plants from flopping – well that is the plan.

I pulled one lot out of their container and found it would be best to divide the bulbs by quarters.  That would mean at least 15 new pots.   The problem is pots that size are generally not the cheapest, especially when you have to buy loads of them, so I popped along to my hardware store and bought enough cheapy buckets and a handful more for just in case.   Holes were drilled in the bottom, and I set about potting up all the daffodils, a couple of lilies and a few other things in desperate need.  It was probably the wrong time of year to do it, but I had nothing to lose as if I had ignored the problem the plants would have thanked me even less. 

Plant storage area
All the bucket bulbs and a few other plants will hang out here, out of the way until it is their time to shine.

At the end of three messy but fulfilling days, I looked about and saw I had created a bit of a bombsite, there were pots and spilt soil everywhere.  And it just needed a jolly good clean up.  Now when I sit on my deck, I can enjoy the view instead of being overwhelmed by what needs to be done, and there is great satisfaction in removing ‘sort bulbs’ from the list.  It had been there too long.

Come again soon – winter progress is being made.

Sarah the Gardener  : o)

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