The back of my house faces the south, which creates a lot of heat in the rooms that face my back yard. The living room has a bit of an overhang, so the room is not so hot in the heat of a Tucson summer sun. However, the master bedroom that I use for my studio, that does not have an overhang, heats up to the point that even with air conditioning and a ceiling fan it’s too hot to work, especially in the afternoons.
So, in the two years I’ve lived here I’ve been mulling over the solution, and today I completed the project that developed. I’ve had more grandiose designs in mind, but I haven’t had a budget that would accommodate those plans. Faced with another summer that is coming too soon, I knew I had to get to work.
It was easy to decide to plant a vine that would grow in front of the window, providing shade and an interesting view from inside, in addition to creating a nice element in the yard. I went online to research what kinds of trellises were available that would do the trick and be affordable. Always looking for a practical and inexpensive solution, I didn’t find much that 1) suited my budget and 2) was a project that I, by myself, could handle. I live alone and haven’t connected yet with any handymen who might be of assistance.
I visited a nursery that carried the kind of trellis I was interested in, and was dismayed by 1) the cost and 2) the bulk that would require more effort than what I wanted to offer to install it. So then I did more research, checking gardening articles online and visiting Lowe’s and Home Depot via the Internet. Those articles began to give me an idea. I eventually did see that someone had created a suspended trellis on the side of their house, hanging it from the rafters. And another article showed someone using construction re-mesh for trellising for his garden. Voila! I put the two ideas together and then began shopping.
Last week, after checking the details of my situation (location of rafters, distance from the outside wall/window, etc.) I went to Home Depot and bought one sheet of 4’x7′ concrete re-mesh, four eye screws, a roll of wire and two springs. Plus, as I couldn’t find the bungee cords that I put somewhere in my recently organized garage, I bought some to hold the re-mesh to the rack of my vehicle. This is a project that really had to fit my capabilities to lift, stretch, climb, etc. without the help of another person. Total cost, $34 plus change.
Using a ladder and simple tools (hammer, nail to create a pilot hole for the eye screw, screw driver to put in eye screw to leverage it into the hole, and pliers for bending the wire and attaching the springs) I began.
Because the rafters and window were not symmetrically aligned the lengths of the wire ‘loops’ that attach the re-mesh to the eye screws had to be adjusted. That made the placement a little off center to the window, but I decided that the vine (I chose a Carolina jasmine – that I still need to buy) would take care of that aesthetic detail as it grows.
When I was RVing I had tie-downs with springs and heavy-duty stakes to keep the awing from flying away in a wind. For this project I re-used the stakes and added different springs – springs to allow the trellis to give a bit in a wind.
I’m excited to see how it actually works once I get the plant growing there. There is room for adjustment, re-dos as needed. And I can do it myself. Being self-reliant is a good thing. It builds confidence and the knowledge that I am capable in manifesting a creation.