Weather Garden

Weather Garden

The Garden began with a few early designs...
Field of Dreams (jeff Matthews)
Field of Dreams (jeff Matthews)
So, you don't build something without some designs, sketching out the idea, and the Garden was no different.
I had to come up with a design that was practical, pleasing to the eye, useful on television, and within a very tight budget.
The two initial ideas I came up with...one was esoteric, one was pragmatic/practical.
The first, the esoteric one...was borne from my love of baseball. I thought a weather "Field of dreams" would be cool. It would have corn on all four sides, making it look a little like a field of dreams. It had a couple drawbacks. It required wood fencing around much more of it, and it wasn't practical on camera, since you would only see in to it from "home plate".
The second wound up being close to current design. A rectangle. An open front, with chicken wire around three sides (cheaper), and it allowed for more "areas" within it. Which meant, if I could come up with the money or donations, I could have (beyond the vegetables and flowers)...a deck, a fish pond, a greenhouse, a weather corner, etc.
As it turned out, the fish pond became impractical, because of the long Winter. It was replaced with an equally fun, less expensive, far less maintenance Fire Pit. The rest did get in, so I was happy for that.
So, current design allowed a greenhouse corner, a flower/birdhouse corner, a weather area, all the veggies and flowers, and a deck.

Financially, I promised to do it with a budget of $250. That is NOT much money to do this. So, I had to get several companies on board myself, to donate many of the materials. I also kept an ear to the ground for very inexpensive flower sales. And, several local folks donated flowering plants or veggie plants they had started. A local family right down Smith Hill Rd lost a large tree...but donated the cut up portions to make eco-friendly chairs. Finally, I paid attention to things like when a family re-made their chimney, and threw out an entire pit of red bricks...which made for good visual separations between sections in the garden.

My goal in building it in the first place was to add interesting content to Weather, the website, and the station overall, as well as create a place of relative harmony for staff to go out and enjoy year round. A garden made sense on-air because gardening is the #1 hobby in America.

My hope in building it goes well beyond this year. I kind of knew a lot would likely fail or fall through the cracks. However, I want to have a full Weather Deck outside, with most of it not plant but deck, a partial roof, and a mini weather-wall, so that I can choose year round to do any weather cast outside with all the technology I have inside. That hope is expensive, but if I could make what I have successful, then perhaps between the content popularity...station resources...and potential partnerships (sponsorships), it could happen Spring 2014. We will see where it goes!
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