Friday, 23 July 2010

Walled in - almost!

It may be hot and humid where some of you are, but it's turned cold, wet, windy and Novemerberish here these last few days so I thought I'd transport you back to last Autumn to the next phase of the Tea House .... at last!

So, imagine it's Autumn outside, the days are drawing in, a chill settles on the air.......!

The Tea House walls finally started going up in October last year.
First there was a layer of breathable membrane which lets water vapour out of the tea house, but doesn't let liquid water in. This is actually the middle layer of the sandwich, but was easiest to put up first.

Then batons - zillions and zillions of batons - each lovingly (!) hand painted before being fixed on to ensure there was a small air gap between the layers. (Not quite sure why only small air is allowed in - but that's what Himself said, so it must be right!!!)
You can tell it's still only Autumn here - I'm on 3 layers of clothes, but my trusty old body warmer has come out - yet I've still only got my cotton hat on! :D

Next comes the internal layer of thermal insulation - 2 inches of compressed foam to make sure I stay toastie warm!

.....with the outer layer being painted plywood. This is the dodgiest workshop I've ever had - cold, windswept and balanced precariously on wobbly planks over 4 foot of very cold water!!!
I swear Himself does all he can to make sure I'll fall in at some point!

Himself fastening the plywood to the rear wall. Behind him is the path and border that took me 6 weekends to clear in high summer ....... oh how I was longing for it to be warm again now!

I was still on painting duty - any wooden parts that might come into contact with rain had to be painted. The little kick-back in this photo is where a 6 inch deep cupboard is going to be. The front of the cupboard will be flush with the internal walls so as not to take up any space in the already small room. As with many things about the tea house and garden, this was an afterthought and had to be designed in retrospectively - but it works, so hey!

The 3rd coat of wall paint was done in the pouring rain - hence the rather blurry photo as Himself didn't want to get the camera too wet. I did the cutting in with a brush, but the main painting with a roller ...haha, look at me - the decorators daughter thinks you'll all be really interested in how I paint my plywood!!!
This was supposed to be the top coat, but when I went to check on it the next day I realised that it had rained so hard, the water had bounced off the mud and up onto the walls - NOT happy! I had to wash the paint on the bottom 2 feet of wall, re-coat the entire wall, then put down a layer of tarpaulin weighed down with stones on top of the mud to stop it happening again!

By November it was getting really cold - even Himself had to put his hat on!

More baton painting! November and December were really cold and, being the total wuss who doesn't 'do' cold, I was now in about 6 layers of clothing - including a full set of thermals, fleece hat, fleece lined wellies and hot gel packs down my gloves!

Finishing off the external wall and trimming off the membrane at the back of the tea house.
The walls painted pre-rain!
At the end of a long, cold, wet weekend the walls were up, insulated and painted! I was very cold and exhausted but Himself was very relieved to have got it done!

The results so far...........there's still a long way to go -

but then the snows came - and nothing more got done until March........!


Laura Marie said...

Ahh mother, you are an honest to blog, gardening god :)


Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Looking good--and like the rersults of all that freezing and painting have paid off. I love how you are parceling this out to us in chunks! We will get to see it done yet this summer, RIGHT?!

By the way. Chicago is awesome. I'm not a big city gal as such but I love that city. They do so much to keep it "green." Yes, you should visit Chicago and Ann Arbor as well. So much to show you!

Pondside said...

That's love - painting in the cold November rain. I do hope that the Tea House has given you an equal amount of pleasure for all that pain!

The Idiot Gardener said...

Slow and steady ... that's how I work.

Nutty Gnome said...

Hey Loobs - not sure why I'm a gardening god,but thank you anyway my love!!! :)

Hi Monica ....maybe?!It has moved on quite a way since then - but it's still not finished. Himself is such a perfectionist! :)

I would LOVE to visit Chicago AND Ann Arbor - I'll get there one day and take up the guided tour :D

Hi Pondside. Yes, the tea house gives me great pleasure. It's well on its way to being finished and already has a wonderful peaceful air about it. I love working in the garden with the stream running too, it's just so calming and serene!

Hi IG - this was a 'little' project for the summer holidays 4 years ago, so slow and steady is about right! The detail is wonderful - you ought to come and see it!

Shady Gardener said...

Liz, Thank you for bringing us back to the progress on your tea house. I'm going to assume there's been work done since the weather warmed this Spring... and that you're just "chomping at the bit" to tell us about it!!

Anonymous said...

感謝你的分享 要繼續發表好文章喔..................................................................

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Shady - oh there's LOTS of work been done on the tea house AND the Japanese garden this year! I'm really excited about doing the next few posts to bring you all up to speed on it!!!

Google Translator couldn't translate the Japanese name for this person, but their comment translates as:
"Thank you for sharing should continue to publish good articles Oh ". Thank you for your kind words - and I'm sorry that I don't know your name, but I'm very glad you came to visit my blog :)

joey said...

You and Himself are an 'awesome twosome' :) Can't wait for the next installment!

Woody Wilbury said...

Love the working gear, Nutty. Very fetching!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Joey - thank you! *smiles*, Just wait until you see what we were up to this weekend ...on the tea house!!! :D

Woody - I'm aiming for the 'best dressed(and warmest!)gardener' award. Do you think I'm in with a chance?!

Woody Wilbury said...

Won it already. A shoo-in!!

Anonymous said...


Nutty Gnome said...

Yanjun Wang Jin Zhengwei said ...
"Liang made a three-winter, verbal abuse cold injury in June."

Thank you for your comment and for visiting my blog - I hope you find it interesting :)