We began our garden in 1997 after having lived in our house a few years. From the start there was always going to be a building in this spot where the Tea House now stands. But Mark did not decide exactly what kind of a building he wanted for quite a while, finally beginning construction in 2005. He spent the next ten years — on and off — building it.
The upper pool is at the edge of the building behind the pyramidal boxwood at the top of the steps. It's a space that we don't want people to walk through so I am always putting a potted plant here to discourage traffic.
That's because Mark buried a water line and an electric line in conduit that goes up the hill adjacent to the Tea House steps. They have been one of the major unfinished jobs in the garden since the late 1990s. The water line has a faucet which usually has a hose attached to it. The electric line is hidden under that charming upside-down black plastic pot.
Mark used the big tour of our garden last month as the impetus to finish this project.
It involved digging a trench with the electric line inside conduit that runs adjacent to the side of the building and enters around the back. At this point it's not hooked up because we no longer care as much about having an electrical outlet in the Tea House for lights or an electric tea kettle. For me, burying the line is as important as actually using it.
Not the most romantic of garden chores but one I've been waiting to see completed for a long time. The other part of this project was digging another trench to move the water line away from the building. I'm thrilled that Mark was able to work on these projects at the same time as he was also building picture frames in preparation for his photo show. This little section outside the Tea House actually saw three projects completed here in June.
Project No. 2: Water on demand