the bulb frame

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, it is I, Mani the purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, and here to bring you the latest news from our garden. You may remember me from such posts as “The Finished Project”, (which I posted just yesterday, so I hope you remember me), among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.img_1099I’m here today to talk about the bulb frame. Partly because I feel like it, and partly because the guy I live with has gone through so many gardening phases, and finally settled on this one, which was something he wanted to do for quite some time, but never got around to it, because he was all enthusiastic about something else.

I mean, can you believe that at one time he wanted to grow a lot of dahlias? And then there was the variegated plant phase. And the rose phase. And the trying marginally-hardy (very expensive) plants phase. There was a rhododendron phase (no, seriously, there was), an “English garden” phase (not enough water for that), an ornamental grass phase (not enough water, again). Hundreds of trees and shrubs have been planted here, and died. Some died very quickly.

So, well, thinking about that, and especially about the money spent, when he got into bulbs quite seriously a few years ago, he noticed that when he planted some, they never reappeared. And so the bulb frame will be a place where he can pay attention to them. Like a hospital, sort of. Or a nursery, really.

This is it. The point-and-shoot makes the fence on the right look a little slanty, but it isn’t. I’m standing under the Cotoneaster multiflorus, which shades this in the summer time. There isn’t anything else growing here because, well, because there isn’t. The guy I live with says it’s because I chase squirrels there, but that’s not really the reason. There’s some other reason that I don’t know. img_1091I also don’t know math, much, so all I can say is that one inch equals 2.5 centimeters, and that one foot equals thirty centimeters. img_1075The frame was built using three 2×6×8 ft. pine boards, and three 2×4×8 pine boards. It’s six feet long by four feet wide. The boards were glued together with wood glue, clamped, and then for extra strength those metal plates were attached. (He already had the plates from another abandoned project.) The decision to use pine was an easy one; it’s cheaper, and in this climate will last a long time.

Then screen was stapled to the bottom, with some cedar lath for bracing, or whatever. Also the screen wasn’t wide enough, so the lath helped, because the screen could be (carefully) stapled to it. img_1081The roof was built with 2×2×8 furring strip board. This stuff often comes warped, but the roof doesn’t have to fit perfectly. Because the hardware cloth had to be cut, with aircraft shears, there were sharp ends, which were covered by more lath, and so the triangular sections of the roof fit together quite well. Not enough room for a rodent to slip through. (We’re not hugely worried about that, anyway.)img_1075This is what it looks like when it’s opened. The back section doesn’t open. It still does need a handle, and a method of holding it up. img_1078Another way to have done this was to make those triangular sections attached to the frame instead of the roof, and just have the main part of the roof be able to open. The guy I live with says he wanted to add a brace on either end, for the snow load, so that’s why it was done this way. img_1082The hardware cloth was attached with poultry netting staples. img_1080Three hinges. Some weatherstripping will be put over the gap. img_1083The wood on the frame was painted with Cuprinol, which the guy I live with discovered was kind of toxic, so he painted over everything with real paint after that.

And that’s that. It’s the first thing you see when you come into the back yard. This is the view. The frame is off to the right, in the corner.img_1084Wait, this is a much better view. That’s one of my Lamb Chop toys on the path.img_1085I am in both pictures, but easier to see in the last one. I’m one on of the paths in the rock garden.

Here’s a picture that I’m not in. It was taken with the point-and-shot and came out okay. img_1087Okay, that’s it for today. I hope you enjoyed my talk about the bulb frame. I think I’ll snack on a locust pod now.img_1103

Until next time, then.


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to the bulb frame

  1. janet b. says:

    thank you BOTH so much for all the details about building the frame, and all the up close photos!! an excellent project!

  2. Bruno says:

    Hi dear Mani, here in Italy as you know we have continuous earthquakes, in America you have a new President, I do not know what is worse

  3. Barb K says:

    Dahlias, huh? Ha ha can you see TGYLW posing with a giant fluffy flower 3 times the size of your head? Or wait, there are some really nice smaller ones. That is a very well built frame and we are interested in what will be growing there. I’m truly glad I don’t need one where I live, though. At my old place in the hills I planted 400 tulips one year and the rodents ate every one of them. We saw a pocket gopher the following spring and he was very obese.

    • paridevita says:

      There are some nice dahlias, like ‘Clair de Lune’. They need oodles of water here. I understand that the late E.A. Bowles asked someone who grew the “dinner-plate” dahlias s they were best serviced with a white sauce or a brown gravy. And that the best way the view them was by airplane. The guy I live with says that the hardware cloth isn’t really to protect against rodents, but hail. Of course the bulbs will be underground during the summer, but still. And as a support for plastic sheeting in winter.

      • Barb K says:

        I have a bunch of seedlings from the Bishop’s Children varieties. They are all single with nice dark leaves and the late pollinators love them.

      • paridevita says:

        Oh, Bishop of Llandaff. I hear there will be some dahlias planted in the garden next spring, but not in this garden.

  4. christine says:

    Love the first picture of you, Mani, in golden harmony with the season around you!

  5. Ah, dear Mani, I like this lead-off portrait of you. One the day before made you look as if your nostrils matched the size of your eyes, and that can’t be true. I owe you thanks because now the dudes hanging out at the hardware store down the street will think me knowledgeable. I do believe the guy you live with is not worried about rodents getting in the new superbly-built bulb frame because that’s the very spot you chase squirrels. In any of the photos, I could not spot a squirrel. Dahlias I regard as I do Dior couture: I want me some, but they remain out of my reach. Lovely closing portrait, dear elegant dog, actually kind of Dioresque. Very true, you match the autumn. Do try for proper hydration.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; my nose is normal-sized, though my nostrils are very efficient. I can smell different smells in each one, at the same time. And the guy I live with didn’t even know that, or know that I exhale through the excellent side flaps. Or that the main purpose of my walks was not exercise (I don’t need it; he does), but sniffing and exploring with my excellent nose. The guy I live with says that dahlias are not very expensive, and very much in, these days. First time he saw them was in his grandfather’s garden in Los Angeles. The tubers didn’t have to be lifted for winter, as they do here. Of course. I hear that hardware stores can be full of delights.

Comments are closed.