Shade Emergency!

Well, making it was a bit like a Lego project, and so… fun! Basically, it is ridiculously hot here. The last couple of days have been over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and there are more days of this sort to come. This is not pleasant, in my view. I tend to operate very poorly at such temperatures, and the sun is oppressively hot, feeling like it is hammering on your head, neck, any exposed areas. (We had a wave of this sort a few weeks ago too, which resulted in a new investments in a new shape of hat.)

My main concern however is the various plants in the garden. The planting of Summer crops this year was quite late (largely because the Winter crops were slow to develop due to lack of Winter rain) and so they are still at the delicate stage where a day or two of strong hot sunlight can destroy them completely. No amount of watering can save them from this sun. So I decided to make some shades to reduce the amount of sun on various plants in the garden and on the patio. The idea was to make a nice geometrical shape that allows the plants to be nicely displayed while at the same time protecting them from that mid-morning to mid-afternoon hammering heat that I’ve seen burning the leaves on several plants. I put together a prototype design, and you can see the steps in the photos:

shade_construction_1 shade_construction_2

shade_construction_3 shade_construction_4

Getting up early in the morning to give enough construction time before the sun hits (so, 6:00am or so), I made the shade out of bits and pieces of 1/2 inch pvc pipe*, making for a modular design which is repeatable and always fun and rather quick to put together (you can get one of those clever cutting shears that slice the pipe very cleanly and quickly, so no sawing needed). It felt a bit like a Lego project from my childhood! Click on the pictures for a larger view.


*You might recall that I made my compost containment device in this way. See here.

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