My Weekend Project – The Treehouse

This weekend was the final act of a project that has been on my mind in my que for over a year and half. It all started with a visit from my parents when my dad made the first steps toward our eventual tree house. (oh — when I say final act…I mean final act of part 1…part 2, 3 and so forth are yet to come). He constructed and installed the platform that spans 2 trees on our property. Last summer we managed to get the whole thing sealed and railings installed but without a safe ladder and no other interesting features, it was still far from safely usable or desirable by our little people. But at least we could all have picnics up there.

So our big steps for this summer (we have to keep our goals manageable) was to get the ladder safe and permanent and to add a slide. I am so proud that we are almost done with this goal and it is not even May!

I have a few hang-ups though. I hate plastic slides…why?…they are expensive for what they are, they are simply ugly and the slide experience sucks. I feel strongly about this. I know that sometime between when I was a child and when I began working in landscape design, metal slides became a thing of the past. Besides the heat factor…does anyone know why? I can’t think of another reason. So my search for a slide from my youth began…a year ago…constant Craigslist visits finally proved fruitful a couple months ago.
To say I am excited about our new slide (and the bonus steps that I wasn’t expecting) is putting it mildly…I think my enthusiasm equals that of my 3 year old who patiently watched and waited all day while we went to the store for paint, sanded, painted, hoisted into place and carefully attached the new slide.

treehouse slide steps vintage metal
It is so heavy…all steel construction. I love the vintage quality and that we were able to save and reuse something that just should not go away. I love the adventure of my daughter and I driving over an hour in our old black pick-up truck (down 495) to an unknown place to meet with a young man (the son of my craigslist contact) to get this relic from childhoods past. I was totally charmed by the guy who loaded our slide into our truck…he made the thing (which as very heavy for my husband and I to carry together) seem light… He carried it by himself! and then proceeded to tie it to our truck (it extended over in all directions) so we could safely drive home… He was a master of knot tying (I love that!), kind and handy… I felt like I was looking at my dad at age 20.
I guess I am a sucker for a strong man who can tie cool knots?
For us the slide is perfect…sun will never shine on it…so it will never be hot…and it provides a much needed escape hatch from our elevated platform. Riding yesterday made my stomach drop…

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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.

3 Comments

  1. Ann Marie on April 27, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    Wow, what an incredible find. The entire project is looking fantastic. Enjoy the slide down!

  2. Sheila H on April 27, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    Love the stairs! I too have a sucker for strong young men who can do heavy work!

  3. Waxyhearts on April 27, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    Love those stairs! And hooray for slides that won’t burn the butt!

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