Only the most intrepid of us – like my dear V – have ventured outside in the rain and wind of the past week. And he did it all for me.
I have quite an affair going with growing new plants from cuttings and seeds. But one of my previous cuttings tables (built precariously out of bamboo) simply rotted and collapsed; the other (an old plastic garden table) bowed so dangerously in its brittle centre that it was a miracle it could support even a whiff of plant.
It had got to the point that most of my cutting pots and seedlings trays were scattered over the ground.
I mused, aloud and often, that my new tables would be really big and long to hold a lot of plants. They’d be made out of something strong and resilient, perhaps treated decking planks. Maybe they’d have a shelf to hold empty pots. All we needed was someone to actually build the thing/s.
After more than a year of musing and keening, V, my most unhandy husband, steps up to the task. First, a big pile of decking is delivered. I fully expect that the pile will lie on the lawn, carving brown ruts into the grass, for a few months. But no, come the weekend, and construction of the first table begins in a respite from the rain.
V works tirelessly. I am called on to assist with holding things in place so he can attach the legs. It’s a very strange business: it involves holding the top at a guesstimate distance from the wall (hopefully the same as the length of the legs). This is probably why the legs splay, ever so slightly. But he adds braces to the legs. So all is well.
Something else is a little odd – this table is about a metre high, at least as wide and pretty long. “It’s for giants,” I declare. “You wanted a big table,” he says. It’s so sweet that I really don’t care, and fortunately, I am tall enough to be able to reach the back at a stretch.
The outer reaches
Now for table two. This time, the handy Lub joins in the task. And before I know it, there’s a massive, really massive, triangular table in the corner, using the posts of the old fence as supports. Now, this table … I can only reach the back of it by walking outside the garden and stretching over the fence. So I lug a few saplings outside to get to the outer reaches – they need to grow quite a bit bigger before they get planted out.
But I don’t care a bit. And I didn’t even mention that the shelves are still to come. These are such special tables, and I wouldn’t change a thing about them.