Monday, April 30, 2012

Clotilde’s almost not homeless

Took today and tomorrow off as vacation. In my world vacation is puttering in and around the house. So this afternoon when the sun was good and high and the temperature was good and hot, I decided to finish dispensing the Milorganite which lead to deadheading the front garden, including the viciously armed ‘Le Vesuve’. DH came to my rescue just as I got finished and was lightheaded after two hours in the sun – with a wide-brimmed hat. Mmmm, that hot dog was good.

So afterwards we’re sitting on the sofa, and I said, “I think I’ll work on the goldfish-pond-in-a-pot.”, but instantly and with the sharp precision of Zorro, DH said, “Can you finish the front porch…before the lumber rots?” He had me dead to rights. So without hesitation I got started…gathering tools, ladder, which screws, where’s the circular saw?, clamps, a 2x4 to connect the posts, power cord, sawhorses, measuring tape, marker, drill bit. So much paraphernalia – of course, each item required a separate trip into the garage or wherever - that I was nearly exhausted before I started. DH graciously volunteered to supervise, offering much needed pointers on virtually every aspect of the job which were seriously appreciated. When the second battery for the drill died, we called it quits. Why do ladders turn your legs into quivering, overcooked macaroni?

So the four 1x4x10’s and the 2x4’s that they rest on are in place, warped but solid. I guess two months laying on the front porch floor did them no good. The 1x2’s are laid up there, and while I was waiting at the top of the ladder for DH to find another more appropriately sized drill bit, I figured out how to space the curving 1x4’s precisely with a couple of clamps until the screws can hold them there. Wow, that made all the difference in the world and gave me confidence that this arbor was not going to looked as half-a$$ed as I feared. I got a single screw in the first 1x2 slat when the drill clocked out. Must be a unionized drill. After putting away the drill and the saw for the night on the bench in the foyer I stood on the sidewalk under my handiwork and thought, ugh, it looks pretty ratty, needs to be painted to match the trim. Then a bit of color in the bed at the end of the sidewalk caught me eye, and I thought oh, a new daylily, but no, it wasn’t. I sniffed a whiff of ‘Duquesa’ and turned to go back toward the house, getting a view of the arbor. It looked really good from a distance!

So tomorrow I'll finish attaching the slats, though the ones on the left are gonna be tricky. There’s no sidewalk over there…only nice soft garden soil. Hmmm, maybe a board can be laid on the ground for the ladder  – an eight-footer, by the way – to stand on. Oh, well, I won’t think about that right now. I wonder if I’ll get the painting done…

Poor ‘Clotilde Soupert, Climbing’ is just an ungraceful lump right now, but her canes are more than long enough to reach up there. I’ll have to break out my pruning gloves to get that job done. Caught a glimpse today of her hooked prickles that come in pairs…scary.

To read the next installment of this project go HERE.


  1. I can already picture a beautiful bush covered in roses...what an entrance!

  2. Looking good girlfriend....Can't wait for the tomorrow pics....please be safe!!


  3. Wow, what a job and that is going to look wonderful with roses covering it.