Friday, July 27, 2012

Screening Out the Yuck Side: More Garden Art From the Artistically Inept

Be who you are and
say what you feel
because those who matter 
don't mind
and those who mind
 don't matter
- Dr Seuss


A few weeks ago I wrote a post about my Yuck side, the unfabulous side of my house with all my utilities as well as a giant bleeding heart that goes dormant every summer, leaving me with a huge gaping hole in the garden bed. Once summer hits, this area is an eyesore but buried utility lines make landscaping difficult. The tall obedient plants I added last fall to make this area less ugly were trampled into oblivion by a zealous, or maybe just angry, utility worker when we changed our internet service, making the area even uglier than usual.


Decorative knobs used on the screen


Mid-summer


Spring

I asked how I should fix the problem and as I hoped, was given a solution. Several of you suggested I make a screen or some kind of structure to hid the hideousness since I don't want to move the bleeding heart. Kris from Melissa Majora gave me the fabulous idea of using wooden shutters but I couldn't find any. When she mentioned decorating the screen, my brain started popping. Encouragement to a creative mind is like fertilizer to a petunia. An idea sprouted and down the rabbit hole I fell....

Tammy's Super Skills
Making a mess
Hitting things with a hammer
Using a screwdriver and an old, cheap drill

With only these skills at my disposal, I decided to create a plywood screen with one of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes and then decorate it with cool knobs. Weird? Possibly. But I went for it anyway. 


I bought a big square piece of plywood that measured 4 ft x 4 ft. The guys at Lowe's cut into five sections each measuring 36" x 12". I sanded down the scratchy bits and primed it with an exterior primer.


I drew out my design, measured off the stripes, and wrote myself notes on the board so I'd paint everything correctly. Each board is a mirror image of the board next to it. The first stripe is 3", the second is 5" and the third is 4", which when combined with the next stripe of the same color, creates a stripe pattern of 3", 5" and 7". This keeps the stripes even in a rather odd way. :o)


 I painted the outside stripes first using all exterior paints.


Ugh! This is why I don't paint things for a living. I had a lot of touch up painting to do!


Once the painting was done, I laid out the words to the quote and then wrote them on the boards using a black Sharpie marker.


After inserting all the knobs, I covered them with plastic wrap and sprayed the board with a clear aerosol sealant.


I made supports out of PVC pipe that I asked Lowe's to cut for me. I clamped the pipe to a thin piece of wood and bought heavy spikes to insert through the pipe and into the ground to hold the screen upright.


I nailed the supports to the board.


Figuring out how to hang plants from the back of the board was the most challenging part. I ended up using metal braces and screwed little plastic self watering pots into the back of the board.


Once the pots were screwed onto the board, I filled then with lemon thyme. If we get rain, the extra water can flow out of the bottom tray since there is a gap where I screwed the tray into the board.


Be who you are and say what you feel


because those who matter don't mind


and those who mind don't matter


Once the thyme settles into its pot, I'm hoping it won't look so scraggly. I wanted something free form to break up how linear the top of the boards are. Plus, thyme won't need to be watered constantly.


Decorative knobs used on the board


Summer garden


58 comments:

  1. Oh Frabjous day! Calloo! Callay! She chortled in her joy....

    Well done, girl. WELL DONE! I LOVE the Dr. Seuss poem. It suits your personality no end. As for the screen - it looks great. It camouflages that hinky bit of garden while its dormant and adds a bit of color and pizazz to boot. Why, I can even imagine you moving that around your beds when it's no longer needed where it is right now. Weee.

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    1. Dr Seuss rules!! I'm sure my neighbors are horrified but that just makes it more fun. Of course, I still have your shutter idea rolling around my head. That could be dangerous... :o)

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  2. Ty to masz twórcze pomysły i uwielbiam Cię za to. Pozdrawiam.
    You are so creative ideas, and I love you for it. Yours.

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  3. I love it! How creative you are. I like the owl, bird, the fox and the hare; but I think they all are pretty and perfect choices for your creative board.

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    1. The fox is positioned so he's 'chasing' the rabbit. I bought knobs that I thought were cool and then figured out how to use them together later. :o)

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  4. Tammy, you make that project look easy. And, artistic. You're handier than I ever am – even in my dreams.

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    1. I promise you it was easy!! I'm not actually that handy. I once fixed a toilet with a binder clip because I couldn't figure out what was wrong. The plumber laughed at me. :o)

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  5. Look at you go, girl!! I love it! And Kris is right, it will look great moved around the garden as needed. Dr. Seuss rocks!

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    1. It's actually pretty heavy. It took a wheelbarrow and my son to help me move it. But I love the idea of repositioning it around the yard. :o)

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  6. You're so clever. Great idea having the guys at Lowe's do all the cutting for you. I've been wanting a screen in my house forever. I might be inspired to try making one.

    I got some seaweed concentrate today so I'm going to try your Epsom salt and seaweed tip for distressed plants that you mentioned in a previous post.

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    1. Thanks! I'm actually just so stubborn I refuse to give up until I've figured out a way to make something work. :o) Lowe's was awesome at cutting everything! My saw is straight out of a Looney Toons cartoon so if I had to cut the wood/pipe, this would be a very different post! Let me know how the seaweed/epsom solution works for you. You should see your plants perk up.

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  7. Oh Tammy, now I want one of those lovely screens too...love the Dr.Seuss words...he was pretty smart wasn't he?
    Oh my those knobs are just absolutely gorgeous.....you did REAL GOOD!!!
    You have inspired me to get my butt in gear to work on a yuck area in my garden...thanks!!

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    1. Thank you so much! I wanted to creatively challenge myself. I'm actually a little worried about how well it will survive a big storm. Once fall starts, I'll bring it inside.

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  8. Great idea with the screen and you did a very nice job on it. I know how you feel about the ugly boxes on our properties.

    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. Thanks! Why can't utilities be more attractive? :o)

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  9. What a great and creative idea! Looks so cool!
    greetings from Norway

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  10. Fantabulous! And I love that you got those meaningful words into your garden. Great result!

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    1. It was fun having something to pour my creative energy into. :o)

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  11. What a great idea! I really like how you painted the beautiful stripes and the poem is perfect. I may have to borrow that poem for my blog as it says so much/.

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    1. I thought just painting it one color would be so flat. It seemed like the wood needed to be jazzed up a bit. Designing and problem solving this was really fun!

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  12. Tammy, you're so clever! I liked the knobs, they are very cute.

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    1. Thanks!! Knob shopping was a lot of fun! :o)

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  13. Well done. That was an inspired idea to attach flower pots on the backside to flow over the front. And those knobs - those are the best knobs I have ever seen!

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    1. Thanks! I was excited to find such cool knobs. I'm looking forward to the thyme filling in more.

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  14. And to think I was using some old bamboo screening for the same purpose. I need to think deeper about the yuck side of my house.
    So....when are you going in to business and selling them online? Since everyone has a 'yuck' side, you should do very well!
    What will you name your company? Perhaps 'Knobs & Boards' or 'Foldout Follies' ?
    Will you still keep teaching? Will you sell them at teacher conventions? Will you make educationally themed sets? They would be great for dividing a portion of the classroom for a reading nook.
    Am I dreaming too much?

    David/:0)

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    1. If I sold these online I'd don't think I'd have many buyers! I'd have to call the website Funktastic Garden Art to warn people ahead of time not to expect anything conventional! This would definitely be in the Foldout Follies category!!

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  15. Now that is som artsy fun to add to the garden. You are one creative lady. I especially love the quote and your garden is hot to trot! I like how everything bushes out....very lush. Big fan of the doorknobs as I am one myself:)

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  16. Well your screen is certainly erm... different. You ought to patent that idea.

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    1. I think different is good. :o) What a boring world it would be if we were all the same. The patent office would laugh me out of the building, but that's ok.

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  17. All I can say is wow. It is a great solution. I am completely and absolutely inept at projects like that and would probably end up screwing my hand to the board :(.

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    1. Thank you for your kindness!! I'm actually quite surprised I didn't screw my hand to anything!

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  18. Love it! Now you need to learn how to use a circular saw....cut your own!!! both my girls did OM and learned how to use power tools at an early age. They have their own tools now as young ladies. ;-) Girl power baby!
    Love the Seuss quote....all around great design and implementation!!

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  19. Your support and love is balm to my soul. :o) What's OM? My dad was a power tool master but if I had power tools I might be missing a few limbs. :o)

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  20. Odyssey of the Mind....do your schools have that? It is a competition where the kids choose one of five problems to solve. All the work has to be done by the kids....no adult hands at all. Competition goes all the way up to World. Our kids had two opportunities to go to World OM. Pretty cool thing for the kids. http://www.odysseyofthemind.com/ There are elementary levels, middle school and high school.

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    1. Cool! I am familiar with Odyssey of the Mind. My school used to have a team but I'm not sure if we still do. I love creative problem solving. Maybe that's why I garden. :o)

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  21. Love it, love it! Great idea with the poem! I don't have a yuck side in my garden, but I might make something similar anyway :-)

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    1. Hooray!! I'm so happy!! I would suggest making one that is fairly lightweight since mine is a bit heavy. :o)

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  22. How cute is that! Now every time you walk past your screen, you'll smile instead of saying "yuck!" (I love the your sense of humour in this post as well.)

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    1. My Yuck side is still a wreck but at least it's a more colorful wreck. :o)

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  23. What a creative mind you have! I love how this turned out! You can't go wrong with Dr. Seuss! I really like all the decorative knobs you used too. Happy Days!

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  24. Very creative indeed and who doesn't like Dr Seuss!

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  25. I love it! And maybe it will bring a smile to a grumpy utility worker! The knobs are all very interesting. It would be hard for me not to put it in a more prominent place in the garden.

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    1. I'm hoping the next worker who comes over is in a better mood! Or at least has much smaller feet. :o)

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  26. Wow, not only are you creative, but you're a handy-person, too! I have even more respect for you than I did before! I usually ask my better-half to carry out my creative physical science-type projects because I'm scary with tools. ;-) Very, very nice.

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    1. This comment blew me away!! Thank you!! :o) We're actually very unhandy here. I viewed this as a creative challenge. It felt good to stretch myself and do something totally different.

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  27. Replies
    1. Ya know, it is quite Seussian! It does sort of look like it just popped out from one of his books. :o)

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  28. Gorgeous colours and a fun idea. Now you'll want to visit your 'yuck' side more often just so you can see the screen :) Wherever did you find all those delightful knobs? Liked that you posted close ups as I had to oggle each one.

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    1. I found the knobs online, although a few were purchased locally. I have more plans for that side. I've figured out a way to improve the landscaping without electrocuting myself. One of my ideas is to add late summer/fall blooming lilies that will give it some color and fill the empty space in.

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  29. I'm SO impressed with your creativity! I would have never thought of something like this. I just love the pots in the back. I don't think the thyme looks scraggly at all. I bet it smells divine over there! Now I know who to call when I need crafty help. :)

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  30. If everyone knew how amazingly uncrafty I am, you'd laugh!! Seriously!!

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