Saturday, August 30, 2008

No Rain!

Ordinarily, I decry dry weather, but now that construction has begun, I want it to stay rainfree until the roof is on and the room "dried in". Then it can pour.

Dry weather means watering plants, which I did this morning before the sun grew brutal. One good thing about hand watering is it gives the gardener a chance to inspect the plants up close and personal. The big surprise: bagworms on the miniature apple trees and rhododendruns. I took care of them post haste.

More (and better) pictures of the new room in progress:

My backyard fence has an 8-foot gate on the south side and a 4-foot gate on the north. I assumed the 8-foot gate would satisfy the construction crew's needs, but apparently not. They removed the 4-foot gate and its accompanying fencing.

It looked like they had destroyed the old fashioned bleeding heart planted near the gate, but today I found the plant tossed onto the hostas. I transplanted it elsewhere, out of harm's way. Hopefully, it will survive.

They were supposed to preserve a section of deck that ran under the electic meter, but they either forgot or it was too difficult. No matter. I was ambivialent about that anyway. I'll just make me a little shade garden right there, with stepping stones for the meter reader.

The laundry room is between the garage and the deck, and is a step down from the kitchen. One of my goals for this project is to have the whole house on the same level - no steps - so in my dotage I can maneuver around with my walker. This means raising the floor of the laundry as well as making sure the floor of the new room is the same height.

The rest of my house is on a nice crawl space, and I wanted the new room to have the same foundation. That meant digging. And digging means creating a small mountain of dirt.

Now I am especially glad I did not build any lasagna beds prematurely.

An added bonus to the digging was the complete removal of the subteranian portion of the silver maple that used to overshadow the deck. I won't have to worry about working around all those damn roots.

I am amazed at the amount of equipment that has traversed my yard in the past two days. The south side of the house looks like a two-wheel country lane. I doubted they would leave ruts because my soil is such a heavy clay, but I was wrong. Another reason to wish for NO RAIN is to keep those ruts from getting deeper.

While all this has been going on, I have been rethinking my tree planting strategy. Originally, I wanted a row of trees running north-south along the house, similar to where the silver maples were but further out in the yard. Now I am leaning toward putting a couple of trees east-west toward the north end of the yard, preserving the open sunny places for garden.

All of the pix above show what was accomplished Thursday. Below are Friday's results.

When I left for work Friday morning, the skies were overcast and trying to sprinkle. It rained where I work but apparently not where I live. When I arrived home, a concrete truck was blocking the street. I peeked out the kitchen window and was happy to see the forms were up and the concrete poured.

The insulation up against the house is hiding a hole the concrete guys created, to link the new room crawl with the rest of the house, providing access for the ductwork. Theoretically, a human being will be able to get under the house, should that ever be necessary, but it will have to be one small person.

Since my house was built, the bulding codes have changed, and one change is the requirement that the new crawl have a sump pit. It doesn't need a pump, but it does need a pit. As far as I know, the rest of the house does not have a sump pit, but it has never been a problem. I have never found my clean-out, so I am hoping that turns up by the end of this project.

It is amazing just how visually jarring all this mess is. Trying to get a little gardening done is like working in a construction zone... because right now, my yard IS a construction zone. And yet, I am sleeping better these past few days. I guess having the work finally underway is a psychic relief.

In gardening news, here is proof that I still have one daylily that will not give up. I'm impressed. Maybe someday I will conduct an experiment and divide this clump, transplanting part of it to another spot, to see if its longevity is due to the variety of daylily or its unique location by the front porch.

The blush of this sedum continues to deepen. It is a favorite amongst the nectar and pollen loving insects.

The weather is supposed to continue to be hot and dry. While some of August's days held a definite hint of autumn, September is coming in like a blast furnace.

No comments: