Time to take the awning down


Michael at work!

The days are getting shorter and cloudier. This week we are having typical Pacific Northwest weather - cloudy up until around noon and cool temperatures. The sun has traveled south and the Japanese maples are shading more and more of the deck. So it is time to take down the awning -

Before we put the cover over the deck, there was no protection from the sun whatsoever (and there were no trees around it as well). We had the structure built over the existing deck and Michael made an awning from our old curtains.

A year after the structure was built, we asked the guy to come back and cover it with a transparent roof so that we could at least step out there without getting wet.

This year, instead of installing one huge awning, Michael broke them up into sections. He also ran metal rods underneath so that we could pull them back to let in sun when we needed it.

As a result, taking it down was a lot easier this year - just undo the end of the wire and slide the fabric off. We are amazed that the fabric has lasted this long.

Down it comes -

It is also time to start thinking about the potted plants.


Most are fuchsias and we have decided this year that we are only going to overwinter a few in the garage. There is simply not enough room and the fuchsias are so slow to start blooming again that I think it would be better to just purchase them again next year.


Did you notice Nigel? I would never have purchased a garden knome in a million years but I got him free as a product review. We named him after Monty Don's beautiful golden retriever who sadly passed away this year.


There are also a few houseplants that will need to go back inside. I decided to start that job and after applying a systemic to get rid of the bugs, I am cleaning the leaves.

 A few hours later, the sun is out and there is a noticeable brightness on the deck and in the house -

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. Moving plants under cover for winter is one task I'm glad I don't have to deal with; however, the shade cloth covers we add to our lath (shade) house every summer do have to come down if/when summer ever ends here. Your deck is beautiful.

  2. So smart to have a removable cover for shade, and a clear cover so you can enjoy the space in a rainstorm! Today is the beginning of the great migration over here, xeric plants that are not cold hardy into the basement. While I will stop and clean up each pot and plant and check for hitchhikers there are always a few tiny slugs that make it inside. The basement is unfished and I usually find them part way up the cement wall, heading towards the window... completely desiccated.

    1. I wish I had more room. Our garage is cramped enough as it is and adding all those posts really makes it uncomfortable. A greenhouse would be nice! :)

  3. Clever use of old curtains! Would you be able to reuse them next year too? That last panoramic shot of the garden from the deck is beautiful. What an oasis you've created.

    1. Remarkably, they still look pretty good, especially considering that this is the 5th year they have been out in the elements. When he first made them, he figured we'd get one, perhaps two seasons, so they have been worth saving. He says judging by the looks, we can probably use them again next year.

  4. What a great way to repurpose drapes. Michael is a whiz with the sewing machine. Your deck plants are so handsome and huge. I bet you hate to part with some of them. I know that feeling. My house plants are inside now. We have had our first frost. It missed being a killing frost by a couple of degrees. It was early and all the leaves on the trees protected most things here. Wouldn't it be fun to have a greenhouse! I keep on dreaming...

  5. I can totally relate to the love of keeping ZZ plant leaves clean as they shine their most after cleaning their leaves .It would be my pleasure if you join my link up party related to gardening here at http://jaipurgardening.blogspot.com/2020/10/garden-affair-succulents-world.html

  6. So clever to recycle old curtains as garden shade! Michael did a great job. I need to do something like that for upstairs on the balcony. It's too hot to be out there for long when the sun is hitting the area.

    Excellent arrangements of Fuchsias and other potted plants. It must be wonderful to sit there and relax with their beauty surrounding you.


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