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Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Deck Has to Go

When Steve and I first bought this house, it already came with a huge deck on it.  A big, ugly deck.  It is so ugly in fact, that when an acquaintance at work saw this very picture right before we closed she said, "God- what an ugly deck!"  And I wasn't offended because it is.  And it's huge:  24 feet by 24 feet.  Way too big. By the way, our house is brown now, with white trim, and that window you see in front of the deck is now an eight foot sliding glass door.

The deck was made from a recycled plastic material, much like Trex decking, but instead it was a product from The Home Depot called 'Eon'.  Steve and I were willing to let it remain for a while- it needed to eventually be cut down in size, but we were willing to wait.  That was, until we spent our first summer here and we found out what that deck is all about.  If you're contemplating a plastic decking material, be forewarned that it soaks up a lot of heat if it has direct sun.  Our deck is on the south side of the house with no shade trees, so during the day it would soak up a lot of heat and then radiate it into the house via the two sliding glass doors.  Even in the spring on a nice day, it starts to get too hot in the house.  And last summer we had two days where it was over 106 Fahrenheit and one over 105, so the deck has to go.

We finally had some clear weather yesterday, so I got started on pulling the deck apart.  I've been putting it off because I'm concerned about mud being an issue during the winter.  But it needs to come off now so that I can get the planter boxes up.  I almost got half of what needs to come off done yesterday, and hope that today I'll be able to finish removing the requisite number of planks to leave ten feet out on it.  I'll still leave it twenty-four feet long, though.   The really good news is that whoever put up the deck (and charged the owner who had it built five thousand dollars for it) put small river rock under it for ballast.  This is good news because mud is no longer an issue, and I'll be able to reuse the rock somewhere else in the garden, like a pathway.  River rock is the next best thing for pathways after pea gravel because it is almost as easy to move a hoe through for weeding. A stirrup hoe, if you're wondering.

We'll put up an arbor over what I leave of the deck and along the back of the house later this coming spring after we're finished moving the planter box that's directly behind the house.   We can cover the arbor in reed fencing until we have something deciduous properly growing over it.  I haven't decide what to put there- maybe grapes, maybe hops. I'd love to have at least one Cecile Brunner rose, or perhaps a Dortmund, but like I said, I haven't decided.  It really should be something that produces food, or beverages, in the case of both grapes and hops.  I'd really love to have lemons growing through it, like you see on some of those glorious pictures of Italy, but let's not kid ourselves here. I live in Oregon, which is not known for its lemons.  Besides which, lemons are not deciduous.  I also think trying to keep them protected during the winter would be some kind of nightmare.  No- they'll be better off in the green house, which is also in the future.

If it seems like I have a lot of projects cut out, it's because I do, but that's okay because I've found that everything gets done in its own time, if you'll only make a start.  Besides, this kind of busyness keeps me off the streets and out of the pool halls. Not that that would really be an issue.

1 comment:

Toni aka irishlas said...

You sure do have a lot of energy! Keep us updated. I love seeing other folks projects!
BTW- the stirrup hoe is my favorite!