“That’s funny.. the damage doesn’t look as bad from out here.”

First, I need to distract G because the main part of this post is likely to make her confiscate my pavilion for mistreatment. So here are some photos from my garden at the moment (click the picture to load a larger version).


Yellow daisy-like flowers (no idea what these are; they’re tall and perennial and bloom like that all summer long)


Magenta hollyhock (we have several colors of hollyhock scattered in amongst the rose bushes that line our garage)


Stray morning glory? I just noticed this little guy this morning over along the side of the house by the water meter.. the vine doesn’t look like a morning glory, but the flower sure does!


These are the Gerber daisies I got for the blue pot for the front yard. They’re doing wonderfully there! I really love how much color they add to the front yard.


This is how I know the little stray guy along the side of the house looks like a morning glory. 😉


The first garden box – Walla Walla sweet onions are really the only things visible, but there are also three kinds of pepper plants and two types of basil planted in there.


Those are tomatoes in the middle (Big Mama variety, I think) and garlic. I think there’s also maybe carrots or radishes in there, too.


The last box (far left) has the Yellow Pear tomatoes and some summer squash; the other has the Sun Gold tomatoes and either carrots or radishes, what ever’s not in the second box.

.. and here are some photos of the mildew/mold/something nasty chewing damage to our double bell wedge pavilion.*
Before any treatment:


This is the back center panel, in the lower right as you’re facing the tent. This is the smallest of the actual holes and is surrounded by some canvas that while not actually torn is structurally weak.


This one’s the other side of the back center panel. The damage is much worse here and this is actually the most badly damaged place. The seam that runs through this patch is seamed around a piece of canvas strap which has also deteriorated in at least one place. You can still see the duct tape we used to patch the hole this past weekend in this shot.


This appears to just be stained.. the canvas does look or feel weakened, but we’ll need to keep an eye on it.


Ditto here – no apparent damage, but something we’ll need to watch.


This spot lines up with the spot that’s the most damaged on the back when the pavilion is folded and in storage, but it’s in the door flap, so it’s somewhat less critical. Still, the entire bottom of that panel will need to be patched.

And after some scrubbing with a 1:8 mixture of chlorine bleach and water (as recommended here, from a referral from G), rinsed and left to dry overnight:


The scrubbing opened up the hole a bit, which I expected given how deteriorated the canvas was, but the stain is significantly reduced and I’m pretty sure that anything that might have still been living in the canvas eating away at it is now dead.


Again, this is the worst spot; it’s about 18 inches across to get to solid canvas and at least 40 inches high.


So far, this one still appears sound. The spots above the stain are grass, not holes!


Not to bad. I think this is my “favorite” of them just because the black squiggles from where whatever it was died.


*cringe* Yeah.. not as bad looking as the back, but still a pretty major patch.

The canvas on the front right and back left appears to be fully sound, but the holes in the back center left and right and in the door will need to be patched. The smaller patch is only about 10 inches square, but the two larger patches (the back center left and the door) will require a patch about 18 inches wide by about 40 or so inches tall. The back center left is complicated by the fact that it spans one of the seams of the pavilion (but fortunately not the seam that bears the bulk of the stress from the ridgepole) and I don’t think I’m brave enough to try that one on my own, but we’ll see how I feel after doing the others.

*We discovered the damage last weekend when we went to load the car to attend our first camping event of the year. It’s entirely our own fault – we have a hard-packed dirt garage floor and left the canvas bag the pavilion was stored in sit directly on the floor over the winter and spring. something decided to eat it. The pavilion is structurally sound (we used it last week with just some duct tape to seal the holes in case of rain), but that’s mostly because the rot missed the four main seams that bear the most of the stress. It also helps that we use a swingset pole arrangement (I’ll likely post some pictures of that in a few days) so unlike a normal bell wedge, the stakes don’t have to put the canvas under as much stress for the tent to be stable. Yes, if we leave the stakes loose at the points of wear, the tent sags a bit there, but I’ll deal with a little sag to not have to replace the entire pavilion!

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5 thoughts on ““That’s funny.. the damage doesn’t look as bad from out here.”

  1. Sara says:

    bummer re the pavillion – but chances are that folks in the middle ages had critters eating their pavillions too – !

    it all looks great.

  2. rae says:

    we store ours in a giant rubbermaid (ie the canvas bag full of tent is in the rubbermaid) which i think has helped hugely in that regard. and i bet the spots are totally patchable.

  3. Liz says:

    Yeah, that isn’t good. The cleaning looked like it got the majority of the stain out, but you will need to keep an eye on these areas as mildew likes to come back.

    I really do feel that you can handle the patches on this tent, even the big one. Turn the raw edges of the patch under and then pin it where it needs to go and then sew it on. Pretty easy, just a lot of fiddling with large amounts of canvas. However the patches will be set near the bottom of the tent so that will be easy enough to get to. Imagine having to sew on patches in the top center of a wedge cause a mouse decided to chew a hole through your folded tent? (Didn’t happen to me, but to friends of mine.)

    I will be home all weekend sewing so if you have a crisis you can always call. My number is on the Nordskogen website as chamberlain.

  4. […] shown because we were just putting it up here to be able to clean and repair the damage mentioned yesterday; we also normally put down a tarp as a ground cloth under the tent, but I knew I’d be hosing […]

  5. […] and therefore not flooded. The garage and the car are also on similarly higher ground (and the tent is up off the […]

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