Some Garden Plans

We are still alive, really. I've just been really really busy with the AIA convention, which was in San Francisco this year. I did a bunch of volunteering for the convention, and also scheduled a bunch of educational sessions, and also spent hours trawling the expo floor (we filled all three Moscone buildings, so the only way to get through it all and also take advantage of the info sessions was to go through the aisles at top speed). More on some things I found there later, when I've had a chance to go through all the stuff I picked up and review my notes.

Anyway, over the last week or so Noel and I have had a couple of discussions about making a small pergola for the passiflora (passifloras are where we get passionfruit from) to grow over. It is currently wrapped around a tomato cage and running out of room. This would also be practise for making the foundations for the deck, so we're talking about the world's most over-built pergola, here. Which is a good change from the usual flimsy trash you see in catalogs. Should we get another tornado, our pergola will be going nowhere.

This is the entrance to the back garden, and I wanted it to really be something more than just a thing to hold a large aggressive vine. Here's what I came up with as far as design:

Passiflora Pergola

That's a very simple post-and-beam structure with a series of decorative beams across the top. We'll fill in the sides with a wire framework for the passiflora to climb up, and maybe I can plant another clematis on the other side (I'd been planning kiwis, but have been informed that kiwis will require way more room).

I modeled it out in Sketchup, mostly so I could play with shapes for the upper decorative beams. We're going to build this out of redwood and then (horror of horrors!) paint it red. At the base it will be about four feet wide by four feet deep, to give room to get things through. After modeling, it's apparent that the 4x4 posts take up a lot of that space, so we may even make it wider.

I'd originally been trying to figure out how to put a little bench in there, but the pergola will be right under our neighbor's bedroom window, so I doubt I'll want to spend lots of time sitting there.

This will be a good test of our ability to do more fancy woodwork. Noel has been playing Mad Scientist in the basement, and has some ideas about how to approach this. Which is good because quality craftsmanship and I are not good friends.

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posted by ayse on 05/04/09