Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A gate. Finally.

Since we sunk the fence posts a few weeks back we haven't progressed much. I hung the stringers and outer boards on two of the sections but couldn't move further until we tore out the old corner post.

That post was almost completely rotted through and hosting quite a community of insects. Two summers ago, when I replaced that fence, I reused the post, feeling that it would hold up until we were ready to extend the fence, and it did.

This weekend we had to dig the old one out, re-sink a new post, then finish off the fence and gate. I took the boards off the front and watched in horror as gobs of insects emerged from their nest inside the post. The post lifted right out of its concrete footing and I asked Greg to get it as far from the house as possible, in case the insects I saw were termites. He dropped it right next to the house and I swear I've never wanted to marry him so badly, just so I could divorce him.

I flipped out, he moved it, we were cranky as hell with each other for a few hours. Normal home improvement stuff.

Next we had to dig out the old concrete, which wasn't too bad. We dug all around, then wedged a board under the lip, like a lever. Greg stood/bounced on that while I cranked with the pickax from another direction. And now we have this sweet concrete phallus to use as garden art!

This was an interesting project because I have built all the fences thus far, in some cases without any help. All of a sudden Greg had opinions on the building, and he was telling me to do things.

Anybody who knows me in real life knows that shit don't fly. Unless we're in an emergency and you're trying to talk me through landing the plane or delivering a baby in a taxi, don't tell me what to do. Anyway, I am the worst but we got through it. Greg is the engineer so he designed and prepped the gate. We hung it and leveled it (definitely the hardest part) and got it about 95% done.

Now we need to cut off the tops of the fence posts, rip down some narrower slats (we don't own a table saw), and stain and seal the boards.

I'm reusing some of the old boards to close the gaps on our back fence. As the boards have expanded and contracted in the sun and rain, the gaps have grown and we can see quite a lot of our neighbors' yard (and they ours).

I'm worried we'll forget to close the bedroom drapes and give our neighbors' kids an accidental anatomy lesson. So up the boards are going. They are wonderful neighbors but I'm happy not to see them through the fence.

But the thing that's making me happiest of all is the new gate, which means we have TWO entrances to our yard. We can complete one continuous loop through our front and back yards. Extending the gate also makes our backyard feel bigger and more spacious.



Next up: sod removal and the acquisition of a hammock to better enjoy the fruits of our labor. And maybe some sort of screen to block the view of the AC unit.


  1. Your post made me laugh. I can SO identify with the difficulties of working with a significant other on MY garden. My husband and I lived together for 10 years before marrying and, despite his tendency to direct (he's an engineer), I married him anyway. Many years later, we're still together - you take the good with the not-so-good. The fence and the gate look great, btw.

  2. Thank you! I don't know what I would do if Greg had an interest in gardening. Having to run a plant purchase by Greg before I buy it? ::shudder::

  3. Wow, that is quite the concrete phallus, I had no idea until the image with the A/C unit gave it scale (obviously you need a Lila for scale).

    Nice work! It does really open things up and gives you more room for plants, which is always a good thing.

  4. Teamwork is a good concept, and I admire your ability to do it without violence, but I try to keep Lyn out of the garden. Love your fence.

  5. Impressive -- both the ability to work with one's mate without the police having to get involved (you made me laugh!), and the actual result, the fence itself which looks great. Let us know how you finally screen the A/C in that small area -- I struggle with the same problem. I have a tiny, narrow area and the units sit right at the walkway. A tall screen would tower over the walkway almost blocking the path, anything smaller around the units just highlights them. What to do.

  6. Nice work! Can we tell you what to do when you are defusing the time bomb?

  7. Oh my gosh, I would love to borrow Lila for scale purposes! I told Greg he has to take the phallus to the concrete recycler--I don't want to bring it in!

  8. Oh no, don't you know you're my problem solver? If you can't figure out an attractive way to screen out an A/C unit then I'm in trouble!

  9. If by "telling me what to do" you mean "yelling at me to stop running away," then yes. :)

  10. Dammmmm you did the all the other fencing by yourself??!!

    Hats off!
    My husband and I try not to ever have to touch the same thing when we do a project . Also he is terrible at remembering to put a tool back where I can use it next. We have to have our own. He does have skills tho.

    I want a fence.