Goodbye Shed, Hello Garden

Back in the spring, we had our AC unit serviced and it turned out the unit was 35 years old! Not only did it rely on the an older cooling agent thats no longer used in the state of CA, but it needed about $2000+ work just to get it to maybe limp through the summer. We opted to invest in a new AC unit and had the ducts redone as well as add a vent in the master bedroom. However, during the attempt to get the AC project permitted we found out that the shed attached to the back of our garage was un-permitted and we were faced with the choice of getting permitted ($$$) or take it down. We chose to take it down. Which was a shame because we (my dad and brother) had worked fairly hard fixing it up to actually use it.


It’s been very nice having new AC, the the nest thermostat is really fun to play with. BTW, they just came out with the new nest E thermostat!


For a few months we were left with a lovely mess in the back as we tried to figure out what exactly we wanted to do with the space.

The last couple of weekends we’ve been working really hard at breaking the rest of the debris down and getting it out of there. There’s still some debris back there, but we didn’t want to rent a truck and take it all to the dump. We’ve been trying to do this project without spending a lot of money. However we did buy two saws and a crowbar…

Plans for the space

At first we thought we would do a big raised bed in the middle with narrow beds around the parameter and somehow extend the four foot brick wall to add privacy. But that was sounding like a much larger project. So instead we found some picture inspiration for “movable privacy planters” which we wouldn’t need a permit for and can block out our crazy neighbor!


One of the challenges with the space is its all concrete so we’ll have to focus on mostly container gardening so the plants can drain. Another challenge is that the back of the garage and yard get a lot of afternoon sun with the SSW exposure. We’ll have to focus on drought tolerant and/or native plants that can climb the planters.

The concrete behind the garage is also this patchy green paint. So I’m hoping we can rent a power washer and clean it up and paint it. Maybe with a design, make it look like a cool rug or something.

Hopefully in November or January we can start cracking away at building the “movable privacy planters” and I’ll be able to tell you how to make them yourselves!

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