Friday, January 02, 2009

Some assembly required

Ever try to assemble something from IKEA? Or worse, Sears? Frustratingly sparse instructions, tabs that don't fit into slots and cheap plastic or fake wood parts drive me batty. Well, actually, I take it mostly in stride. Still, this year Santa (read: Quincy and Megan & Talina) gave me a couple of gifts so easy to assemble that I felt the urge to blog. Really.

Misco 4-shelf Greenhouse

The first piece to assemble was the Misco Home Garden 2-shelf Greenhouse. These shelving units are meant for sprouting seeds in spring. Last year we searched everywhere, but they were sold out long before March. This year, Quincy got a jump on the competition. The shelving unit is made up of metal tubes, plastic connectors, metal wire shelf racks, and a vinyl cover. The instructions were simple, the tubes fit snugly, the racks were just set on the shelf, the vinyl fit perfectly, and the whole thing went together in less than 10 minutes, including unwrapping it. There wasn't too much wasteful packaging (just some thin plastic around the tubes and a few cardboard spacers). In the end, the shelf looks sturdy enough to hold our plants after the sprouting season. Was to go, Q!

Terrazza Square PlanterTerrazza Square Planter

Megan and Talina outdid themselves this year with a wonderful, thoughtful gift. I've been jealous of Megan's balcony gardens since I first gazed upon the jungle she created. Her tomato plants are so big they act as privacy shrubs. In small part her success was due to the automatically watering (there's a reservoir in the bottom) Terrazza planters, which are legendary in their ability to turn a small tomato start into a forest of lush branches and leaves. The entire product is made from a hard plastic that looked like it was never going to fit together. But, following the easy instructions the dang thing snapped together in just a few minutes. Everything was so perfectly fitting that I'm confident it'll last for years. After all, Megan did move hers from one apartment balcony to another, with dirt, without them falling apart.

Both gifts were absolutely wonderful. Well thought out and in the end completely satisfying. Wait until you see all the seeds we sprout and all the tomatoes we harvest! Best of all, I didn't spend an afternoon putting them together! Woot!

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