Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Umbrella Trellis

Ever wonder what to do with a broken patio umbrella?? How about a bean trellis?

While out walking the dogs one afternoon a while back, I came across an apparently unwanted patio umbrella that just looked like it needed a second chance at life, so I brought it home. I took the fabric cover off and removed the crank handle. It's been on my porch for a while waiting for me to figure out how to do the rest of what I wanted to do. I wanted to use it to grow pole beans in one of the "rings" so I needed to reign in the size a little bit. I tried bending/pulling the ends in and holding them in place with a strip of plumbing strap but I couldn't get that whole scenario to work out for me. I was telling a friend about it the other day and he asked why I didn't just cut it. Today, I thought, hmmm, why DON'T I just cut it?? So I did.

It would have been much quicker if I had some bolt cutters but I don't (and neither does the neighbor). I cut the first one with a hacksaw but that was going to take forever. I decided to be bold and pull out the reciprocating saw. I cut about halfway through with the saw (and I still have all my fingers and toes) then I snapped the ends off.

I had some shelf caps (that cover the cut ends of white wire closet shelving) that I glued onto the ends so I didn't end up hurting myself. Since the locking mechanism that keeps the umbrella up didn't work anymore, I put a screw into an existing hole to keep the top in place. It works well since I wanted a smaller diameter trellis anyway.

I took my new UFO-looking trellis to the garden. I dug down until the ground got hard and set the lower pole. It's wedged in there with some leftover concrete block and brick pieces. I added the upper portion and tied it to the nearby t-post to keep it in place. I then ran string from the ends to the ground holding them in place with some makeshift pins I made by bending some of the "call-before-you-dig" flags I had hanging around. I planted some beans and now I hope they'll actually grow well this year and get to the top!

It's a good thing the neighbors like me :-)
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Kris said...

What a terrific way to a) recycle something, b) engage your creativity and c) find a way to disguise your interstellar hyperspace communication array! Now all you have to do is figure out how to keep the mother ship from demanding a share of the bean harvest. Great post, Amy. :-D

Ribbit said...

If your neighbors start walking around in tin foil hats, you'll know the reason why. ;) How creative!

Annie's Granny said...

I think it's cute! Now I wish I hadn't given my old clothesline to Goodwill! I used an old ski pole as a bean tepee one year, but it wasn't quite tall enough.

Toni said...

Very creative!

Amy said...

Thanks all!

Maybe I should have added an antenna :-)