014 A temporary fix for the garden hut roof

014 A temporary fix for the garden hut roof

There are two huts in my new allotment garden, both with leaking roofs. I’ve decided that the A-frame is salvageable. Somehow.

I don’t know a lot about buildings. I did grow up in a household with a handy dad who knew how to build anything from bird houses to free-floating wooden staircases but it has been years since I’ve done anything but building shelves.

The land has been neglected for many years. There are holes in the roof and trees are pushing against the frame.

I knew the first thing I needed to do was to stop more water from getting in. Luckily, the previous owner had left a roll of roofing stuff. Yes, stuff. Have I mentioned that I don’t know what anything about buildings?

My first order of business was to get a look, and that was much harder than you’d think with plenty of growth all around and onto the roof. The A-frame definitely didn’t help here, as the bottom almost reaches the ground.

But, in an afternoon, with plenty of sweat, I finished clearing almost all of the roof. There is still one hazel in the back that needs to be cut, as it leans onto the roof, but I’ll need some help with that one to prevent it from collapsing onto the roof.

Two days later, I borrowed a ladder from a neighboring gardener, and went to work. This wasn’t a neat job, not by any means. This is a quick fix while I look for a better solution. I’ll have to replace the entire roof soon.

But for now, the roof is waterproof again, and I can work on the inside while I look for solutions for the roofing.

As a wonderful reward for my hard work, I got to pick berries in the adjacent garden. The bush was so full of white currant that my basket filled long before I had harvested even half the berries.

Since the repair, I’ve been waiting for better weather but it’s not arrived yet. One of the panels I put up has come loose in a recent storm, so I really need to get back out there and fix that roof more permanently. But while the world is suffering from the hottest temperatures on record (and somehow still debating if we should maybe start acting on the climate crisis), we have had nothing but rain and storms.

The sun comes out for a few minutes here and there but never long enough to work in the garden, let alone fix the roof.

While I wait for better conditions, there is a lot to do around the house. I will not get bored. But my entire body is itching for action, for some manual labor to get me sore and sweaty again, and for some sunshine to soak up through my skin.

Last week, I went to a small local hardware store and asked them what I should do to permanently fix the roof. Three of them got together, looked at my photos, and debated options. The benefits of small stores in the middle of nowhere. Together, they built a plan for me and told me what to get when the weather was better. They decided I’d be able to pull this off. I decided to believe them.

So, sometime hopefully very soon, I’ll learn how to build a roof. Life skills, I guess.

It can be a little too easy for me to get depressed when the skies are dark and the rain doesn’t stop.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to escape these walls, get my hands into the dirt, my skin into the sun very soon. I’ll take you along, as I learn about this piece of land I now call mine (though it is rented), discover what grows here, and decide how to turn this into a little patch of land that provides food for me and mine.

My skin is tingling with excitement. I am ready.

So long, and thanks for watching!