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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Home and garden

Pandemic projects: North Side resident builds backyard getaway - gazebo offers oasis where garden couldn’t grow

Bob Boyce is photographed at the backyard gazebo Oct. 15, 2020, at his north Spokane home. The gazebo covers a formerly weed-filled vegetable garden.  (Libby Kamrowski/ THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
Bob Boyce is photographed at the backyard gazebo Oct. 15, 2020, at his north Spokane home. The gazebo covers a formerly weed-filled vegetable garden. (Libby Kamrowski/ THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
By Cindy Hval For The Spokesman-Review

For 21 years, Bob Boyce tried to make something grow in the far corner of the backyard at his North Side home’s backyard.

He tried planting a variety of vegetables in several raised beds, but every summer his haul was pitifully small.

“There’s just no sun in that area,” he said. “I finally gave up three years ago.”

Soon enough, something did sprout in that spot – weeds.

Early last spring, as he stood on his deck gazing at the weed patch, he decided to remove the unsightly growth.

He shrugged.

“I got sick of looking at it.”

But what to put in the spot where nothing grew but weeds?

Boyce decided to take advantage of the natural shade, and put up a gazebo, transforming the area into a backyard getaway. Thanks to the pandemic, he had plenty of time to focus on the project.

“We usually camp a lot, but everything was closed this spring, and reservations were canceled due to COVID,” Boyce said. “It’s the first time we haven’t gone camping.”

He rolled up his sleeves and got to work,

After several passes with a weed whacker, he got out his shovel and dug up the rest of the weed-infested patch.

Then came hours of labor spent leveling the area. When it was flat enough, he put down plastic ground cover and spread a truckload of sand across it.

Next, he had concrete pavers delivered, and Boyce laid those while waiting for the gazebo kit he had ordered online to arrive.

The sturdy 10-foot-by-10-foot wood structure features wooden beams topped by a metal roof.

Boyce was surprised to see the interior of the gazebo came equipped with curtain rods.

He purchased six beige curtain panels, which offer warmth and privacy on cooler days and can be pulled back to take advantage of sunny weather.

Furnishing the gazebo was the fun part.

He and his wife, Karen, installed comfortable furniture, a bug zapper, an overhead light fixture, and lastly a propane fireplace, completing the area’s transformation from weed patch to outdoor destination spot.

“We now have a comfortable, dry area to relax, read, have a glass of wine or a nice conversation in the great outdoors in our backyard,” Boyce said.

– Cindy Hval can be reached at dchval@juno.com

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