Garden Arbor Construction, Part 15

Started off with an early morning today: went to Menards to pick up some additional pieces of moulding. Then stopped over at City Escape to pick up 8 bags of mulch.

We’ve got a final push in the backyar today, to get the last of the arbor finished up… roses finally in the ground, and mulch over everything.

On arriving, I was disheartened to see all the remaining bags of Black Forest in a pile by the palette. Nearly every bag was torn open, and it didn’t look good.

I’m happy I went inside though, to ask. Because they had more bags elsewhere, and I was able to get 8 fresh/new bags and loaded them into the car.

Setting up the work area with all the moulding. And our new brad nailer.

While I was working on the arbor, Liz was working on getting plants in and mulch down along the fence.

In her digging, Liz found this small chain wrapped around a root. I don’t think much time passed before one of us said: Well, there’s “another piece of grandma.”

With the moulding in place, Liz was finally able to put her rose bushes into the ground. Ideally, over the next few years, they’ll grow up the lattice and cover the arbor entirely.

Our neighbor was doing work on their house, and as a result of the demo work… had a ton of stones they were going to throw away. Liz spotted them, and we got their permission to use some in our yard as decoration.

With these two, we sunk them a bit into the ground as stepping stones through the arbor.

Arbor and mulch all done!

A few new stones in place.

Stepping stones in place.

The moulding added.

This process was all me, and was much more frustrating/time-consuming than I expected. Despite all the measuring of angles and calculations, things were always just a little off.

I got things as close as I could, and I know that caulk will eventually hide a lot of my sins. But it’s difficult to walk away from this feeling that I did, at best, an adequate job.

I think it will be harder to see, once we add some caulk and sand down a few problem areas. And any imperfections will get hidden once we paint the arbor entirely white.

While I did get more comfortable with the brad nailer, I didn’t walk away from this work feeling great.

The exterior moulding is very flexible and forgiving. And if I struggled this much with that type of material, how will it be when I try my hand at actual baseboard and trim? When those pieces are markedly more expensive in terms of material cost, and require a greater commitment of time to stain each piece properly? It gives me pause.

The arbor – all done! And it only took us… 3 months?

Liz and I joked that there’s no such thing as a two week project for us. The way we tackle projects, chipping away at them after work and on the weekends, seems to take us longer than most.

But we get it done (eventually).

It’s been fun to slowly turn this from a concept that Liz had, into the actual thing. It was a slow project, but it was our project, every step of the way. All the victories (and all the issues) are also 100% us, all the way.

Super, super long day for us today. I was out the door by 8AM and we didn’t stop until closer to 6:30 PM. We were exhausted by the time the sun set, but happy to have worked a full day outside.

I’m itching to see the arbor painted, as right now… the white moulding seems just a little chinzy against the natural wood. But since it’s pressure treated lumber (that wasn’t kiln dried afterwards), we need to wait a while until the wood has properly dried out.

Probably going to be closer to end of September, before the paint goes on. But it’ll be lovey to see – and I already have visions of what it might look like, here in the yard, all alone in the heart of winter.

Garden Arbor Construction, Part 14
Garden Arbor Construction, Part 13
Garden Arbor Construction, Part 12
Garden Arbor Construction, Part 11
Garden Arbor Construction, Part 10
Garden Arbor Construction, Part 9
Garden Arbor Construction, Part 8
Garden Arbor Construction, Part 7
Garden Arbor Construction, Part 6, and Espalier Posts
Garden Arbor Construction, Part 5
Garden Arbor Construction, Part 4
Garden Arbor Construction, Part 3
Garden Arbor Construction, Part 2
Garden Arbor Construction, Part 1

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