Have to paint the house; How to protect the garden?

SusanC(9b/10a Sunset 17)April 24, 2008

Hoping you guys will have some good ideas for me. We have a very tall Victorian that needs to be painted. We have no lawns; it's all gardens, and I just know the painters are going to destroy my plantings. Already this year, I've had lots of damage from having our fence replaced and from getting the foundation shrubs pruned, and the garden has just now recovered from that. I am having one of my most successful winter sowing seasons ever, and I am sick at the idea of planting all this stuff out and then watching it get trampled to death.

We can opt to have the painters use either scaffolding or ladders. -Which do you think would do the least damage? I am leaning toward ladders. Also, do you have any thoughts about what I can do to protect my plants? I was thinking of putting crates over things, but with literally thousands of plants, that would be a lot of crates! Also, we can either bite the bullet and paint it next month or wait until September. What would you do? If we do it now, I can hold over the stuff that I haven't planted out, but if I wait until September, I get to enjoy blooms on the stuff that is already in the ground.

I am just sick with anxiety over this and would really appreciate your ideas!



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I don't know that I have any expertise in this area but I would think that with scaffolds they wouldn't be moving ladders every 10 minutes and they could be directed where best to put the supports. IMHO Thanks Ann

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 6:14PM
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agirlsgirl(7 North Carolina)

I agree with Ann,the scaffolding would probably cause less damage,it stays in place longer and they wont be on the ground so much walking around. It sounds like waiting to paint and doing it now has it's pros and cons,it is of course your choice,but if it were me I would wait until September. Good Luck,your space sounds beautiful! :)

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 11:19AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Sounds like you are between a rock and a hard place. I think I would do it now b4 planting any 'babies' that might meet their death later if trampled. Established things should fair much better. Why not explain to the painters your concern about the protection all of your many plantings, and tell them to choose and use what they think would be best to protect them all
Will they need to scape?...thus maybe even have to cover things?

I sure don't envy you.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 12:04PM
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SusanC(9b/10a Sunset 17)

Thanks, everyone, for your thoughtful advice; It helps to hear what other people think, and only you guys really understand how I feel (-: -I think my husband finally got it when I asked him how he would feel if people periodically came in and randomly killed fish in his aquarium.

The guy putting together a bid for the job saw me in the garden yesterday and stopped by. (He's doing a job down the street.) He said, "So, is this like an obsession for you?" I basically admitted that yes it is and explained that I started many of the plants from seed/cuttings and some of them are things you really can't buy at the garden center. He said that he guessed he could relate because he is currently bidding for a $6,000 guitar on Ebay.

He did say that scaffolding would be safer, but the rental price for it is $500.00 a day, and he estimates it will take 3 weeks to paint the house. Having basically lived "This Old House" for the past 11 years, I know that everything always takes longer than the estimates. Every time you open up anything in a house this old you find lots of surprises; none of them nice! (Well, except for the time I found a copy of "Your Child's First Day at Sunday School" from the 1930's...) Anyway, the scaffolding would add up to an extra $11,000 plus.

He said that whatever I decide, he'll have the lead painter walk through the garden with me so I can explain things. If we do ladders, we'll work out exactly where they will go and where the painters need to walk. That way, I can protect the most at-risk plants. At any rate, I have a couple of weeks to think about it, so we'll see.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 1:31PM
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SusanC(9b/10a Sunset 17)

Oops! Forgot to add: There won't be any scraping, but there will be power-washing, and that can do a lot of damage because it will just fly everywhere.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 1:34PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

well...that would decide it for me...about $11,000 or who knows how much more additional. Would buying stepping stones and placing them abhead of the painters maybe help any? Or maybe some tomato cages (99cents) places over the smaller things they might not pay attention to?
I see numerous painters, all wearing big workboots.

FWIW...I powerwash the brick at the bottom of the house, and surprisingly the water coming off the brick doesn't have much force or damange anything close at all.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 1:45PM
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