August 11, 2020
I decided one of the problems with my planters is there just is not enough soil in them to let the plants grow healthy root systems. Melissa’s sister is moving and selling her house, so she is trying to get rid of unwanted items. One of those items was a 50# bag of potting soil. She was going to throw it away, but Melissa grabbed it for her succulents. It is not meant for them, and she would have had to mix a lot of additives to the soil to make it work, but she took it. When I found out I asked if I could have it for my containers.
Now that I have the soil, I went out this morning to add it to the existing containers. I started with the bench planter. I figured I could remove the existing soil, reline the container, and then refill it with the additional soil. Wrong! When I started removing the soil, I was surprised by how much soil there already was. I also saw the bottoms of the planter had rotted out on both sides. This was not too surprising as they were built by Melissa’s father over a decade ago.
I was also surprised by how simple yet intricate the design for the planter was. He had been a cabinet maker his whole life and knew how to put wood together. I made some mental estimates on what it would take to rebuild the planter and took off for the local hardware. I figured I would just browse the wood stacks, select what I need and be done. Wrong again. I needed to order inside and then drive through the storage shed where they would load the wood for me. Turns out they did not have what I wanted. I think Jerry must have custom cut and trimmed the wood in the shop he had behind our house. I bought something close, but I will probably end up rebuilding the entire planter. At least I understand the design.
THOUGHTS: It seems the easy task I start out on always ends up being a larger ordeal. You would think by now I would have learned that simple reality. Most of the wood I purchased will not be usable on the old planter. I think I can use some of it to rebuild, but most of it will end up in a new planter that can sit on the deck alongside the old one. The task of starting difficult conversations appears simple on the surface. What I have found is it has become more work than I expected. These conversations are popping up all over the internet and on TV. They take work to start, but persistence to continue. We need to realize this has always been a lifetime pursuit for each of us. Change is coming and it starts with you.