In part 1 of this article I explained our solution to address Michelle’s garden space issue. In this segment the design becomes reality and we get ‘er done.

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I worked from the back of the privacy fence, taking advantage of the last open slot in the pickets as the entry point for our shelf standards. Each assembly was inserted and slid to the correct location while Michelle watched from the front to guide me.

One step that makes installation easier is to use a candle to wax the top and bottom of the standards. Waxed wood makes sliding easy, as any kid in sock feet knows. Simply rub the candle across the wood several times, applying pressure. The color and style of candle does not matter. Pick the one in your house that smells the worst and move it to the garage for carpentry duty.

A candle can also be used to repair a door that is sticking. Rub the contact points in the frame with the candle and be amazed at how easily the sticking disappears. Men, I suggest carrying a full tool belt and pretending to adjust a few hinge screws while muttering about torque and coefficients of friction. Tap a couple places with a hammer, too. Keep the candle hidden and remember a good magician never shares his secrets.

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Ouch! It turns out the horizontal 2×4’s for the fence are warped so my shelf standards were slightly larger than the opening in some sections of the fence. No problem. We had a hammer and a scrap board for tapping. Michelle and I acquired a few splinters and a couple of mashed fingers until we learned only one of us should be moving the wood at any given moment. The excitement of finishing the project drove us to man-up (or woman-up in her case) and persevere.

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Once the standards were in the right locations we added a 2” deck screw top and bottom.  Angle the screw and purchase a longer Philips #2 bit for this job. Note the way Michelle’s hair glows in the sunlight.

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Helping hands are always helpful. My hand holding the shelf standard allowed Michelle to keep both hands on the drill.

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At last we were ready to install the shelves. Our design concept can be reused by others but each user will have to size the end product and adapt it to fit her specific needs. We are happy to share the idea with you.

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When the job gets tough, the tough stick out their tongues to get just a little more horsepower. Can anyone explain why that helps?

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We used 2 screws per shelf and staggered the entry point. We took care to insert the screws slowly. Splitting something at this stage would require a time consuming repair.

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Mi-chelle chose the final location for her Mi-shelves. The top horizontal 2×4 on the fence offers additional gardening space for 6” pots, a perfect location for vining plants. The shelf configuration can be changed if the need arises.

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The first plant is installed and the daughter’s smile outshines the sun. I like being a Dad. I especially like it when a plan comes together.

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Behold! The Hanging Gardens of Durham!

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As the new gardener expands her selection of plants, I will hopefully return with additional pictures. She mentioned something about Bonsai.