As a homeowner, I rarely make a move around the old place without hearing an unsolicited (and often times smug) inner voice prodding me to take action and complete a project or tidy up an eyesore. “Tom, how long are you going to trip over the garden tools before you put them away…Hey Tom, did you notice the blackberries have infiltrated the raspberry patch?…Yo, Tom, those stairs are an accident waiting to happen.” This mental soundtrack can run from dawn until dusk if I’m not careful.
The older I get, the more I ignore the voice, but last week I found a renewed enthusiasm for a sidelined project hellbent on mocking me every time I entered the house. For over a year, a wonderfully weathered Victorian fence post (a gift) patiently leaned on the backstairs awaiting its rebirth as a fanciful trellis for my clematis vine. Trouble was, Boz saw the clematis as his personal pit stop conveniently located mere steps from the stoop. As a result, the clematis vine suffered a slow death from Boz’s frequent waterings. Its woody skeletal remains became a daily reminder that I needed to remove the vine, clean things up, and rethink the space.
Perhaps it was the super moon, or a head thump from a visiting muse, but last week I took on that little corner of neglect with renewed interest. I was ready to beautify the back door area; yes, Project Pretty Post topped the to-do list, and I felt DIY triumph in the air. Here’s how I went about it.
- Remove the dead vine.
- Replace and amend the soil.
- Select and plant new vine.
- Keep Boz’s waterworks away from said vine (the tricky part).
- Build an attractive trellis to support vine.
Step 1: Identify the problem
Step Two: Reach Consensus
Step 3: Remove the eyesore.
Step 4: Study the site.
Step 5: Dig a post hole two feet deep.
Step 6: Set pole in the hole, keep it vertical.
Step 7: Fill space around pole with rocks and gravel.
Step 8: Compact soil for stability
Step 9: Modify wood post to receive metal Victorian post.
Step 10: Attach two posts to make one, in this case, using a very large hex screw.
Step 11: Dig a hole for new vine.
Step 12: Place broken, bottomless pot over hole.
Step 13: Set pot rim high enough to protect plant from Boz’s watering schedule.
Step 14: Add soil, fertilizer and plant vine.
Step 15: Water well.
Step 16: Train vine up the pole.
Step 17: Stand back and appreciate the new primped up view.
Why I chose a ‘Star of Toscane’ Jasmine vine.
- Shade tolerant
- Hardy in Zone 8 (add mulch in winter)
There you have it inner voice, a beautiful, spruced-up back-door entrance!
What’s next on the to-do list? Not sure. Off to the hammock to bask in my most recent achievement.