Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The Garden Shed

In our neighborhood in Santa Ana, approximately 5% of the garages were able to accommodate vehicles. Instead, most were packed to the gills with miscellaneous stuff [read: junk]. A few had been converted into bunk houses or additional living rooms. We had a semi-useful garage. One car fit perfectly but an after market tool bench limited the second space to non-car uses such as motorcycle storage, Bailey's kennel and other 'stuff'.

Personally, I'm a fan of garage parking, especially in rainy Seattle. I dislike scraping my windows during freezing weather and lugging groceries through a downpour is never ideal. So this time around we were determined to use our garage for cars, not junk. Unfortunately, that left little room for my assortment of garden tools, pots, and machines (lawn mower, weed eater, etc). Time for a garden shed! We decided to resurrect the old greenhouse in the back yard.


This is how it looked initially:


We didn't even know it was an old green house, just something, buried under the mass of ivy.
Bailey had fun digging around.

He carved out a few tunnels and investigated the nooks and crannies.

Katherine and I did most of the pruning; the boys helped occasionally with the 'manly' work. Good exercise; that ivy is tough! I should note too, that the boys did help out near the end of the process with ivy clearing duties along the sides and back of the structure. Two picnic tables, two BBQs, milk crates, dozens of plastic potting pots, tons of garbage and hundreds of pounds [literally] of ivy later, this is what we discovered:
A black dog! Under all that ivy! Still alive, after all those years! Ha. Just kidding. We have discovered a lot of bones, though... Moving on, we uncovered a three-sided cinder block structure. Talking with the former owner, we learned that it was once a greenhouse. Judging by the amount of broken glass that we removed from the soil, it must have been a massive greenhouse.

Time to get busy and start constructing our garden shed. Here is a rough [very rough] drawing of what we're trying to achieve:

Its main purpose, once completed, will mostly be as a garden shed. It will have a chicken coop component and possible future accommodations for some lovely goat ladies. We'll see. We'd also like to put a green or living roof on, much like my parents have on their garage.
Let's start building!

Measure twice, cut once. We learned this the hard way. :) Faithful helper/chicken herder.

Every used a concrete drill? Me neither. It was an experience.

Pounding in the floor joists. Looking good, Megan!

Our supervisor.

The man at work.
Chris and Eric ended up doing most of the measuring/hammering/cutting of the plywood flooring The last piece of flooring was tricky as it required a jigsaw cut.
The boys were awesome though and it fit perfectly. The floor is now done!

Keeping the troops occupied is a tough job. Bailey shows off his mad foot herding skills.
Thanks to Bob and Tom (aka The Dads) for the technical advice and to Megan and Eric for kindly donating their Sunday afternoon and evening. Time for the walls...