In my fifty-five years of living, two men have built small buildings for me.
The first was my father, Del.
As you can see in this picture, I was just plain elated as I stood in the doorway of the playhouse he built for me in 1966. A repurposer before it was even a thing, dad built this playhouse on a discarded paper skid from work (that’s what we called pallets before THEY were a thing).
That playhouse had two windows and a door with an actual doorknob, and each inside wall was painted a different color.
So many tea parties.
Guess how many times I jumped back and forth from that shingled roof to the tree?
Nearly fifty years later, I have a new little house to play in.
This one, which I call my garden haus, was lovingly crafted by my sweet and very patient husband, Eric, also known as Chief to those that love him.
This story starts three years ago when
we he decided to move our swimming pool pump and heater away from the house to the other side of the pool. Oh joy. When Eric said he was going to do this, I protested. This was not going to be an easy task because it required re-routing the water, electrical, and gas lines to the other side of the pool and it was going to take forever. I don’t do well with projects that take forever and require things being torn up for a while.
He won, basically because he started disconnecting things and digging them up. And then he did the VERY HARD WORK. Beatin’ down, hot summer sun, kinda work.
Last summer and with that behind us, Chief built the walls and roof around the pump and heater and I painted it. Because this little building sits adjacent to my raised-bed garden,
we he decided to make the pool house bigger than originally planned so that it could accommodate all of my tools and garden paraphernalia, too.
I have a lot of paraphernalia.
Because I love to garden.
And that, my friends, is because my dear father taught me how to plant a row of beans when I was two.
I’ve loved digging in the dirt ever since.
This spring, Chief set out to finish up that dream-of-a-garden-haus and it certainly is. Bless him forever.
Here’s your guided tour…
The front of the garden haus faces the pool and features this front door. Eric replicated the door on my dad’s yard barn which “Papaw” built with the “help” of another precocious girl, his grand-daughter, Cameron. I bought an old window frame at The Indy Arts and Vintage Marketplace this past weekend but alas, we rode the motorcycle to Indianapolis so I’ll have to collect it later. I plan to hang it on that front wall to the right of the door.
As as you walk around the right side, there’s a nifty little deck with a child-sized bench, a tired and worn door collected from the Tate Farm, and
a vintage industrial window from Connorsville that Eric’s dad, Don Hassler, found and gave to us. There’s also another door on the north side and a place to sit and rest my weary bones.
Now let’s walk to the back…
THIS IS MY FAVORITE. Chief built an outdoor sink and potting station for me and covered it with the most adorable mini-corregated metal. It even has Braverman family, Parenthood lights hanging overhead.
The sink is my grandparent’s old porcelain farmhouse sink and yes, it is stained and chipped BUT I LOVE IT. There’s a handy spray hose for washing dirty hands and giving a first rinse to the produce from the garden.
I repurposed an old rake without its broken handle into hooks for tools and other pretties. I keep the tags from new plants stuck there in the corner so that I can refer to them, if needed. The bird’s nest fell from the pin oak tree and I kept it because it’s a work of art. (No birds were harmed in the making of this blog.)
The potting area also features spacious cabinets underneath,
a vintage baby scale for weighing vegetables (an old prop from the studio),
a handy hose reel for watering the garden,
and two old tractor hubcaps, also rescued from the Tait Farm. And by the way, the Tait Farm is my grandparents farm place in Southern Illinois, if you didn’t already know. Also, did you notice that there’s an outlet in case I need to plug in my Bose speakers and rock out?
Here’s the view of the garden from the back of the garden haus and toward dad’s old windmill. I had to put plastic fencing around the bottom of it to keep the rabbits and that blasted, hateful, mean groundhog from eating my black-eyed Susans. I’m not a fan of that groundhog. He makes me want to cuss.
Around to the garden side of the building is a sliding farm door so that I can easily move the tiller and other large equipment in and out. Chief and I made the walkway out of leftover posts from the studio build and pea gravel. I really like the different textures. Those orphan pepper plants would not fit in the garden and I just couldn’t throw them away.
And here’s the view looking from the garden back towards the garden haus so you can see just how handy and convenient it truly is. I left my weeding bucket there for you to see. It’s not pretty but I just I weeded the beets, beans, and okra today and that’s where I left it. Tired.
We still have some finishing to do, and the fence gates to make and install, but all in all, the garden haus is already being put to good use this spring, housing the shovels, rakes, hoes, and grass seed as this garden season kicks off. I am forever thankful for my wonderful husband who pushes past even when I drag my feet and who like my father before him, designs and builds the neatest things.
I’m one lucky gal. Truly.