Tuesday, June 7, 2011

2011 Garden - AKA - Our TreeHouse

Last year I planted about 6 plants in my vegetable garden plot. It is a relatively new spot for a garden and used to have 2 very large Monterey Pine trees with a terrific tree house above the now sunny area.

I guess I'll tell that story now.

When our family moved to this little Town of Los Gatos in 1994, the big kids started plotting and planning to make the little kids a great tree house. This double decker house was to be located in 2 very large pine trees that were located in the back northeast corner of our property. David enlisted the help of Jonathan and Dad and within the year the treehouse was built.
1995    Kathryn (9), Stephanie (7), David (13)
The first year of the houses existence there was a 2 x 12 leading up into the branches. We had a couple of mishaps during that period of time making the mother of this little family insist on some safety rules.
One accident happened because there were nails sticking out of the ramp, and Kathryn's derrière was injured as she was sliding down.
Another problem was that this loving mother couldn't see the side back yard from my kitchen window. For some reason I thought that my children were more intelligent than other peoples kids, but I soon started to catch these very smart kids jumping from a different 2 x 12 between the the branches of the two trees down onto our trampoline below. They would move the trampoline across the lawn just so they could jump from the tree above (probably 15-20 feet or so) and land right in its center, bouncing them back into the heavens. We were lucky to not have any broken bones. I realized fun and smart don't always go together.

Eventually, we had 3 levels of a tree house. The first level being a short 9 foot distance up a ladder from the ground and a resting place for the way up.
There was a nice window in the main level of the house, as well as a balcony off of that same level. This level was big enough to put down five or six sleeping bags. Stephanie made a trap door to cover the hole into the room so that no sleeping child would fall through. The kids also carpeted this level and put in some draperies, and everything but electricity.
The top level was a rooftop deck and had fencing all around.
In this picture taken in 2005, the dead trees are ready to be cut down and we are beginning our mourning of the loss of our beloved tree house.  (Normally, when the trees were healthy they covered much of the house better than these pictures show.)
Our neighbors Fran and Bruce would talk to the kids from their driveway which was down below the side of the trees, just on the other side of the fence.
The shed down below was added to the yard in about 1998.  Jonathan had replaced the fence in 1995, but had to do the side fence over again after we destroyed it for the placement of the shed.
 Michael would like everyone to know it was the best tree house on planet earth.
The lousy bark beetles killed the trees, just as they have been doing all over this Santa Clara Valley, and within just a few weeks they turned almost completely brown. They had to come down, and with them our beloved tree house.

I'll actually post about the garden later.


  1. I detest those bark beetles. We have lost more monterey pines that anybody can even count, and it has changed the whole skyline around here.

    Really sad. Sorry your treehouse was a casualty.


  2. I have to agree with Michael! That was definitely an awesome tree house! So many fun memories up there!

  3. best. treehouse. ever. & just so you know it was not a nail that the did the damage but a GIGANTIC sliver along with 4-5 subsequent slivers. not. cool.

  4. Brings back memories of the tree house my brothers and I had when we were growing up. The tree that supported it is long since gone, victim to some beetle or other pest, I'm sure. ;)

  5. Oh VK, so sad about the tree fort. We actually had the exact same experience (also here in Los Gatos), except our tree fort was in the oak tree that died. We, too, had to take down the fort and the tree and replaced them with a vegetable garden. In fact, I wrote about it in an article in the last issue of FamilyFun (May, 2011). After the garden went in, we started a neighborhood pumpkin growing contest. So all is not lost! I wish you luck with your garden. Ours has been absolutely fantastic. Now I'm busy chopping and canning and freezing all summer :)