Thursday, July 5, 2012

Rustic Garden Board

There was a small wooden staircase on the open balcony having 5 planks for steps.  Two were missing and the rest were rickety.  It was a risky affair to step on them. We had to jump down or climb back, with the support of the old and shaky wooden handrails.  You cannot blame the carpenter because it bore the brunt of all weather since 1911 without a break.

Redoing with new planks was a costly affair.  So, I removed the planks and built the steps myself out of bricks and stone slabs [see picture below]. This was some years ago when we moved in to live in the house built by my great grandfather in the year mentioned above.  It had been rented out from 1950 to 1997 to the same tenant.  Tenants cannot be expected to take care of these things!

Seen in this picture is what I built after removing the planks.

These teak wood planks were now useless for any other wood work.  I had kept them aside along with other junk, instead of using them as firewood, but that is not the mentality of 'junk accumulators'!

In the meanwhile, I had come across a nice gardening website, Dave's Garden, where gardeners had shared their pictures.  It was about creative use of old wood.  They were used as name boards and nicely displayed, as if it was old.  Rustic.  After seeing such pictures, I thought there was a new project for me to do at home with these.  

What to engrave on them?  It is two feet across. To imitate 'Dave's Garden' I thought of 'Dinu's Garden'.  The letters were 'one too many' for that width and needed to be shortened.  So I remembered another word from my younger days when I used to read a lot of wonderful comic stories of The Phantom.  In one of them, there was 'Isle of Eden'.  Here, The Phantom had kept his pets - tigers, lions and many species of animals all living in harmony.  The word 'Eden' seemed to fit in to the width of the plank. I wanted it to sound like Dave's Garden [DG], due to my obsession with it, but in the end, it turned out to be 'Dinu's Eden'. The engraved portion was painted with 'poster colour' for visual effect.

This is in the garden which has shifted now.

This was placed in the new yard on the other side of the plot.

Googling to link Phantom's Eden, I am glad I found this place where you can read the entire comic - Isle of Eden.  [click on the link]. In fact, there is a great fan following of Lee Falk's Phantom, even now!  

My carpentry skills and some patience came in handy.  Patience, because the surface of the plank is so brittle that it had to be engraved very carefully, lest the wood chipped away. Cutting the letters was a precision job.

Close up showing wood surface

Fortunately, it came off well, much to my delight.  "Dinu's Eden" is where many critters and creatures live in harmony, like in Phantom's Eden, if not tigers, lions or elephants.

Some photos.

This board will take another place as more changes have taken place to this side of the yard and is now having a smaller garden area. This is a picture from the recent archive. 

Some changes can be seen to that part of the yard here.  

It has been exposed to the vagaries of climate all of its hundred years. It should last for some more years since it is now not facing the sky.  It will be put up once the reshaped garden gets ready. 

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