Thursday, October 14, 2010

Gimme Shelter

Oh, a storm is threatening my very life today;
If I don't get some shelter, oh yeah, I'm gonna fade away...
("Gimme Shelter" by The Rolling Stones)

Directly opposite our humble house, on the other side of the pond, there used to stand a roomy gazebo tucked in a space between some towering trees. Its floor was made of concrete, the low walls were made of bamboo and the roof was of grass.

This gazebo was a very functional structure. It was used to entertain visitors because it was spacious, cozy and airy there. It provided shelter from the rain or the sun. On a lazy afternoon it was a common sight to see someone taking a nap inside, it was a place to relax and rest.

The little gazebo as it used to be.

For some reason I could not understand, the gazebo suffered neglect. Eventually the bamboo walls and wooden posts rotted and the roof collapsed. Still it was not repaired. After a while the concrete floor cracked. How I wish they kept this gazebo well maintained. What's left now is not even a shadow of its former self.

Last year, we bought another Red Jade Vine. I asked Dad to construct a bamboo trellis above whatever is left of the old gazebo. I asked Mom to plant the new vine close to the trellis and train it to climb the bamboo structure.

A young Red Jade vine climbing up a trellis above the cracked floor of what used to be the gazebo.

I'm planning to resurrect the gazebo but with a different look and function. I'll put tiles on the floor, replace the bamboo trellis with a latticework made of stronger material, put some outdoor furnitures under the arbor and  some lighting for the evening use. A little more landscaping around the structure will complete the transformation.

With this new design plan, it can no longer be a shelter from the rain. But on a clear day it will be a welcome respite from the heat, partly sheltered from the sun by the intertwined stems of the Red Jade Vine. Come blooming time there'll be an abundance of hanging flowers underneath a canopy of leaves to grace the presence of someone seeking cover from the sun.