The unassembled pieces.

It is immediately a fact that I have some strengths and some weaknesses. Indeed, I am normal, like everyone else and despite what you may privately or not so privately think; or say, in the case of some of my ruder, more direct friends.

Amongst my strengths is, of course, prevarication, which I prefer to call deep analyses. Think about it a bit and you’ll see that had Napolean only done a tad more thinking, he would not have marched on to the capital of Russia, St Petersburg. Yes, kids, the capital was St Petersburg, not Mockba, Moskva or Moss Cow, at the time. A few years ( 129, to be precise) later, another European laid siege to Leningrad and tried to completely raze it to the ground. Ah, yes, Leningrad, not St Petersburg. Yes, I am talking about the same city, Petrograd, it used to be called. What? Ah. It’s name kept changing. I hear Prince, aka The Artist Formerly Known As, aka http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/a/af/Prince_logo.svg/870px-Prince_logo.svg.png got the idea from this city. It started out as St Petersburg,  masqueraded as Petrograd between 1914 and 1924, then Leningrad till 1991, when the Russians finally decided Lenin had been dead long enough and was definitely not coming back to “purge” them, changed it back to it’s original name.

OK! Still with me? Ah, now you want to know more about the woody title, eh? Yes, I read somewhere that alliterations are bad for you, and I hated an English teacher who loved alliterations, so as revenge on all those who hate ( and loved ) alliterations, I use them as frequently as possible. Put it down to a style thing, it’s right for my, “What’s the word, Concord?”, “Idiom, sir.”, yes, my idiom.

If you’ve followed my blog carefully, you will see that my gardening skills are, how do I put it, lacking, I suppose is the mot juste. A year ago, we shaved the back yard and converted the grass into 3 basic elements. A concrete paving walkway, grass and a mulched bed that runs the width of the backyard. Actually, there is a 4th element, river stones, but they don’t figure in this tale.

Now, as I get older and feebler by the minute, and as any planting that has to be done, must be done while the ground still resembles permafrost, some strong digging is required. Of course, I’m also notoriously lazy and will go to great lengths to find a way out of work. I thus decided that the best way forward would be to find great big planters to (a) raise the bed off the ground, (b) loosen the earth (c) make it easier to weed and maintain. I then procured 3 cedar planters each 5 feet in length and 22 inches wide. Of course, procurement was not easy, nothing ever is for me. So nursery #1, said they hadn’t come in yet and wouldn’t till mid May, well past planting season. Nursery #2 had one fully assembled for their own use and for display only. “Spencer will know more about it”. Spencer was walkie-talkied over. He said, “I have 2 of them unassembled, only one is meant for this store, so I can also sell you one”. I said, “I want three”. He said, “I have to call to find out if I can give you the other one. And you’ll have to come back for the third, I’ll order one for you”. He reappeared 5 minutes later to say, he couldn’t get anyone but he had decided to give me all 3, including the fully assembled piece. He even loaded them into the van for me.

Now! How to assemble? Spencer, fit and young, had said it took him about 3 hours to assemble one without power screwdriver. I, unfit and old, prepared to spend 8 hours per container, with power screwdriver. Luckily, I had the assembled piece as a model, because even the cryptic Ikea style assembly instructions were missing. I inspected the pieces. A base, 3 long side walls with a groove running the length and 2 short side walls similarly grooved. Simple enough, but what was this 2 feet 2×4 for? Quick check of the model and secret was revealed. It held the two long sides together at the base. I laid out one of the long walls, slotted the base into it, slotted one of the ends and screwed them in. I then decided to reverse the assembled pieces so I could more easily work on the other side.

Incompetent parking job by inconsiderate Lexus driver.

After picking up all the pieces that clattered to the floor, I stepped back to think things over. Then gave all the pieces a thorough inspection. Hmm…. those woodscrews hadn’t driven all the way through. OK, I could fix that and I did and finally managed to assemble one of the containers in a reasonable fashion. There were some gaps, but I’d run out of screws. Also, it was apparent that the screw bit wasn’t long enough to follow the screw all the way into the angled, pre-dilled hole. I needed to a longer screw bit. So off I went to Home Depot. In the parking lot I witnessed a very poor display of parking skills.

Soon, I was back with a 100 pack of wood screws of the right length and size. Today, folks I am happy to report that I am the proud owner of 3 planters, ready for sealant, inlay, and triple mix.

Fully assembled!

Now what do I plant to get a colourful display all summer? Your suggestions are very much welcomed.

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  1. anjanadee

    Aquilegia Swan Red and White, Dutch Iris White, Yellow, Hemerocalis Frans Halls, Iris Dutch Blue, Yellow, Aster Novi Belgii Dark Pink, Hemerocalis Double Mnt. Helena…check this site for images of these flowers…all perennials, and rather pretty…

  2. A.PROMPTreply

    Very nice planters! Am sorry to say though, I have NO CLUE on flowers and the like……

    1. TheLastWord

      oh that’s too bad! Still, one of the other readers sent me a link AND gave some suggestions, so something to start off on.