Wisteria That Won't Die, Repurposed Gates & The Path Of Least Resistance...

We moved into our house in the beginning of March. It's now the middle of September. Our back yard, save four little cedar planters that guard our tomatoes, chilies and blueberry bushes, is still for the most part a barren looking mess of dirt, mulch, leaves and sometimes also weeds.

Oh, and also these two wisteria vines that Little Asian Mama discovered under the mulch that refuse to die. And when I say refuse to die, I mean that despite the fact that I cut them back to mere nubs months ago and neglected them with all my might, they have continued to grow and flourish without any help from me. (My other plants could really take a cue from this wisteria.)

At any rate, when we first moved in, we also had this wonky gate that divided our courtyard from our back yard that drove us nuts because it was installed so unevenly and would scrape the ground and jiggle every time we opened it. So naturally the solution was to remove it. :D

Well, it stood leaning against the wall next to aforementioned wisteria for almost 6 months while we alternately forgot to call Waste Management for a large pickup and schemed to repurpose it in some way.

Because, as you might already know, I am a big fan of reasonably recycling and repurposing things.

However, I'm also not much of an upcycler. Not because I don't think upcycling's way awesome - because I do, and some people are really good at it, like +Dinah Wulf at +DIY Inspired. But because I'm lazy, unfocused and impatient in that regard. Upcycling done right often entails extra shopping trips for materials I don't have on hand and a certain mid- to long-term commitment to the project of rehabilitating your trash into treasure.

So I waited for months for an impatient and lazy woman-appropriate repurposing idea to hit me. And the other day, while I was out obsessing over trimming my termater vine, I looked at that gate leaning against the wall right next to the wisteria, saw the lovely contrast of the tender green leaves and tendrils that had made their way to the gate against its brown paint, decided to quit the uphill battle against the immortal wisteria, and resolved to make a quick and easy trellis of the gate by removing alternating boards.

And this morning, I had my early riser bud Mads help me to remove the screws (I love little opportunities to teach the kids that housekeeping chores are unisex in our home) and arrange and trim the vines on the repurposed gate.

Added bonus of having her help me was the benefit of her perspective in helping me see that my idea to lay the gate on its side was less practical and pretty than laying it upright. She was totally right - it works and looks so much better vertically.

Twenty minutes of our time and no extra materials or expenditures to repurpose a gate that would have ended up in a landfill, an opportunity to tackle a DIY project with my daughter, the prospect of lovely wisteria blossoms in our future, and a little bit of beautification to the mostly neglected mess that is our back yard.

Sometimes the best solutions are just that free and easy. :)




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