Over the last few weeks we have been working on finishing a long running project – the second stage of the shadehouse. This part runs along the back of the house, a thin strip of shade against the back verandah, shading the house from the afternoon sun. The garden bed within is the ‘kitchen garden’ for herbs and salad greens. Half of this area (to the west of the back door) has been in use from the start with the first attempt at a roof on it but it needed desperately to be upgraded to the new, far more successful method. A few months ago I had taken down the old roof and put up the frame for the new one over that side and also the next section over the unfinished garden bed on the other side of the back door. I drilled all the holes for the wire but then the tank came up so I had to move on to that and leave the shadehouse for another day.
A couple of weeks ago though we had a visit from a family of WWOOFers and as they were only going to be here for a couple of days we decided that the shadehouse roof would be a good project to work on. They put up most of the wire structure and re-hung the two western bamboo sections before they moved on and then I was able to finish it in the following weeks. The rest of the wire went up and then the shadecloth stretched over as tightly as possible before being sown to the edge wire. I hung the bamboo section on the east of the back door and then made the gate from some mesh and more bamboo.
With the addition of a couple of small barriers to discourage the guinea fowl until the fence for the house yard is finished it has made the whole shadehouse pretty much poultry proof which means we could finally take down the low fence that had run along the edge of the verandah, opening up the space – it’s so much better!
We’ve also been able to finish building up the soil in one end of the eastern garden bed and I’ve planted it with some tansy and mini red cabbages which is exciting – new garden!
Now the shadehouse is at the point where it’s done until we can shift the tank at the end to put on the second half of the eastern bed, but that’s a tiny part compared to the rest and we’ve finally got a properly shaded house for more than two thirds of the back wall. I can’t wait to see the difference it makes when the warm weather gets here – it’s already lovely to sit on the verandah in the afternoon without being blinded by the sun 🙂