Since the day my son came home at 15 1/2 telling me he needing to get his temps (as in learning permit to drive a car) ASAP, I knew this day was coming. Yesterday, Handsome Son graduated from high school. And since I did understand he will someday have to operate in the real world as a responsible adult, I knew I had to get off the mark and give him the skills he would need to be that man I want him to be.
I have been referring to his teenage years as his being an adult-in-training and the skills he needs as his "future buddy skills". It's the way men bond, as in, "Hey, buddy! I've got a pizza coming; come over and give me a hand on my deck." Translation: "Hey, I don't have a clue how to build my deck, but I know you might and I'll bribe you with pizza if you give me a hand!" This unknown friend with pizza, I refer to as his future buddy.
So he has been learning to use a circular saw, a drill, jigsaw, build a garden gate, a deck, fasten wood deck boards to concrete, what a three-way switch is and how it works, how to prune, plumb a sink drain, install curtain rods, and troubleshoot appliances. You get the idea.
One of our more interesting projects was this cotton duck canvas tarp/tent rain and shade screen for the side yard we used for his graduation party. I priced tents from rental places and found the price for a day and a half for the basic size of 20' x 20' to be $180.
And then it hit me with my intensively gardened yard, I don't have a 20' x 20' space. So, it came to me that with my fence set 14' from my house, I could literally run a tarp from fascia to fence. I began pricing cotton duck tarps. For $100, I could get a 14' x 16' tarp (plus $40 shipping) and fasten it with eye hooks and bungee cords and once the hooks are initially installed, I could put up and take down the tarp in minutes and have a great space for outdoor entertaining.
So with this latest evolution of my garden space, the landscaping in this area will no doubt evolve to make better use of the space. But a decidedly clever application of tenting, and something my son can add to his future buddy skill set.
Click on the picture to view the album of plants in my garden.
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