SHE SAID: One of the benefits of creating a master plan for our garden is that there is always a project or two or ten waiting for us to tackle. Some can be done in an hour or an afternoon or are on-going for far longer than we ever imagined. Our back fence and gate took three years to build. On the other hand, it is gorgeous and has become a major feature of the garden and well worth the time, effort and money.
Designing and building a Japanese-influenced tea house is the current long term project that Mark is engaged in. I am engaged in keeping up his spirtis when they flag, feeding him, and parking my car in the driveway instead of the garage which is a summer construction workshop. When I say "long term" I am talking seven years. You read that correctly: seven years! One of the great advantages of digital cameras and garden journals is that one can go back and see what you did when.
2005: Design the tea house structure, construct the foundation and the basic framework of the building.
2006: Add the roof and shingle it.
2007: Record rainy summer and exhaustion from the previous two summers meant no tea house work done. Instead Mark created a sloping gravel path from the Moon Garden to the West Gate. (Every area in the garden is named).
2008: I lost my job, we traveled to visit family and friends and Mark's mom moved from her little house on the Mississippi to Madison. We enjoyed the garden as a refuge and didn't do any extra projects!
2009: The pink insulation board walls of the tea house finally go up and its ultimate shape is much more obvious. Mark did a lot of work on the tea house in addition to converting the back garden paths from bark to gravel.
2010: Mark re-built the first stone wall he ever constructed which fell down at the end of the winter. And he worked with the contractor on a major interior re-modeling project.
2011: Mark retires and can garden full-time! First he replaces the front bark paths with gravel and then he begins the final work on the tea house. But I will let him tell you all about that himself.
For those who are interested, a complete description of constructing the foundation, the structural elements and roof can be found here. And Mark's explanation of putting up the Styrofoam walls and cutting windows and doing the interior structural work can be found here. You can also read posts about doing the back path, the front path and the remodeling.
To read the entire Odyssey of our gardens, click on My Garden Odyssey in the categories list.