Garden Gate

I no longer sleep apparently. I lie sprawled out in my bed and listen to the ceiling fan. And the air outside my open window. Yes, I listen to air. Try it some time.

So I lie awake in bed and tap out what I did today on a tiny 2×3 phone screen. Hoping that afterwards I’ll reach some semblance of tiredness.

In addition to the normal non-sense of life I built a garden gate today. I’d say I did a decent job all in all. It is 60″ wide and 45″ tall. The hinge side is made of pressure treated 2×4 lumber, the rest of the frame is 2×3 which I fashioned by ripping down a 2×6 in half. Searching the net I decided upon a lap joint for the corners. Lacking whatever blade one needs to make a lap joint (the name escapes me in my post midnight delirium), I marked the various overlaps and removed exactly half the material from each end, of each board using my circular saw, chisel and file. I did a decent enough job that the old time carpenter guys would most likely approve of my craftiness.

I laid out the frame and did my best to square it up. Once square I fastened each lap joint with two 1-1/4″ desk screws. Diagonally I cut and inserted a 2×2 pressure treated board, pre-drilling a hole at each end for a 2-1/2″ deck screw. Once assembled I staple my 2×4 wire mesh on the “outside” using 1/2″ staples. On the inside I mounted two Stanley zinc plated utility hinges that I picked up at Lowes (they included screws so that’s why I got those hinges, at that store). The plan is to have the gate swing into the garden; it won’t take up too much room in its swing path.

In the coming days I’ll make the other gates and mount them to their respective posts. Then the garden should have some degree of protection.

In the photos you’ll see my gate making pics along with my blossoming strawberry plant and the swordfish I made for dinner the other night (with mango salsa).

I’m scoping out the screen porch materials and process too. That looks easy and should be able to wrap that up in one day. Finally after 13 years Daphne will have her screen porch by Sunday night if all goes well. And I’ll have one more monkey off my back.

But for every one I get rid of two more are added. The Mt. Airy variety of bushes in the front all died except one. Fortunately they are under warranty so I just dig them up and replace them for free. This is not the case for the redbud, New Jersey tea and witch hazel. All these bare root shrubs we got from tnnursery.net failed to leaf this spring and proved to be dead, with no saving warranty. The hydrangea leafed nicely, all except one, but none of the aforementioned shrubs made it. Unfortunately New Jersey tea and common witch hazel are impossible to find. A road trip (family vacation actually) may be in order, as I did find one location a few states over that had both in 5gal containers. Also I found the redbuds at Home Depot for $40-$50 apiece, pretty large specimens at a great price.

Well it’s one o’clock. I have no hope that I will sleep tonight, and it’s too early to work, even for me. Maybe read. Or cycle through my lists. The air, and hum of the fan, my companions.

It is amazing that even at this time I can hear a bird calling. At least I’m not the only one awake I suppose.

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