Monday, February 28, 2011

Zen Pending

Among other backyard items, I worked on the yoga platforms this weekend.  Three platforms like these are the goal:

Choosing dimensions for them took me forever!  I laid a yoga mat out and measured that, and then tried to envision what all I would want to do on the platform; e.g. soak in the sun, spread out garden books and catalogs, play Scrabble with a friend... I looked closely at the ones that Jamie Durie built in the photo above and concluded that while they were not true squares, they were close to being square. I finally settled upon 6' x 7'. 

So then I had to figure out where all the posts would go.  I started out with a tape measure, wooden stakes and string.  It was not hugely successful.  Then I decided to use 1" x 2"s and build a square which I could lay on the ground and mark.  Knowing the frame was very temporary I didn't do a super job on affixing the corners.  It ended up being sort of fragile and since my arms were too short to be able to reach 2 parallel sides to carry it, moving it around was challenging.  I did get it over to the area of the yard I needed it in without it falling apart.  I laid it down, and spray painted the perimeter, with some extra spray paint markers for the posts.  I planned to use the side perimeter lines to help me square up the posts to each other.

Then I dug the first 4 post holes:

I traded vehicles with Red, and I was off to Home Depot.  I bought 24 feet of treated 4" x 4" lumber, and had them cut it into 2' lengths.  I could do that at home, but their in store saw set up is so sweet that it's really easy for them.  I also bought 4 bags of concrete.

When I got home I dug the remaining 8 holes.   I dug the holes 9 inches square and 10 inches deep.  The goal was 12 inches deep.  I got tired, what can I say?  I used the dirt I dug up to fill in holes from the backsteps footings.  Handy.

My neighbor came over for something else while I was reading the concrete bag label, pronounced that she had worked a summer pouring driveways (?) and knew all about concrete mixing and pouring.  Are you kidding?  She helped me out -- I stirred the concrete in the wheelbarrow and she sprayed the appropriate amount of water in.  Then I held the post in the hole, using a level to be certain to get it vertical and squared it up using my handy spraypainted lines and a 1" x 2" and voila!  We got 8 of the 12 poured and before we ran out of concrete.  But that is enough posts for 2 of the 3 platforms.  I was giddy when we were through. 

Here's how it looks now:

The posts are different heights, it's true.  It's intentional.   When we are ready to build, we'll use my laser level and cut them off all the same height.  I hope to do that Saturday morning... my sister arrives Saturday afternoon.  And I know you'll recall my goal of wanting at least one built before she arrives!

I need to dig up the grass within the perimeter of the second one; the first one is already done.  And then tack down weed stop fabric, and likely put down a layer of pea gravel.  I plan to do a 12 inch border of river stone around each of the platforms -- but not before Saturday afternoon!  And then maybe some lavender or some sedum growing between the stones.  Ahhhh.  Zen.  Pending.  Stay tuned.

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