Monday, August 31, 2009

Late August Blooms

The summer of 2009 has broken every record for rainfall since the Weather Bureau has kept such records. The gardens of Oak Hill bear witness to this. Usually by the time September is upon us, the gardens have wilted back from the hot, dry month of August and the grass is more brown than green. Not so this year! The gardens are literally spilling over their beds and I have had to prune the shrubs three times already to curb all the new growth. There have been some negatives as well such as a formidible crop of slugs who have turned many a hosta leaf to lace; a nasty case of powdery mildew on my phlox, which luckily did not seem to affect their ability to bloom, and a curious blight which hit all the lower leaves of my tomatoes and asters. I find great humor in the fact that this was the year I was given an irrigation system for my garden for my birthday. Hmmmm, well I'll still have it next year.

And then there were TWO!

Privacy is not something the Lodge was designed to provide. On the contrary, the reason for its existence is "togetherness". However, there are certain times when this becomes problematic. One of those times is trying to change clothes when members of the opposite sex are roaming about. The other is sleeping with extra doggies running around excited to be together, and adults snoring, and babies fussing, and grownups making their way to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
Our weekend project was to construct the wall between the loft sitting area and the master bedroom. We had purchased a french door from Lakeview Lumber so that whenever possible, the view of the timbers would not be blocked and when privacy is needed, I will make a set of drapes which will cover the glass of the doors. The 2x4 studding proved to be no easy task. Not only does it require working at times 15 feet from the floor, but most of the studs required angle cuts. But, with a little perseverance and a typically late supper, we were able to get the wall all ready to sheetrock.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Working on the Little Buildings

Great progress was made this weekend on the greenhouse (Oak Hill Nursery) and the playhouse (Nutshell). We got the sides put on the potting shed, shingled and painted them. This merges the greenhouse area to the potting shed and looks fabulous! I will get to give it a trial run soon as it is almost time for fall mums! We have had the windows for Nutshell since last summer, but had not had the chance to get them in. It is amazing how it moved the little structure from a garden shed look to what it is meant to be, a playhouse. Now I can start working on the inside, whenever the opportunity arises.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Move Over Martha!

The ladies are coming! The ladies of the Bath Garden Club are coming to visit Oak Hill Gardens. My excitement is only slightly dampened by my determination to "get stuff done". You can imagine that Eric is also feeling my enthusiasm to "put on our Sunday Best"! But, it was not ME who decided to launch us off on yet another "side project". We were going to work on the greenhouse this past weekend when Eric noticed the leg of the potting bench he had made me back in the 80's and I had used for years at Raymond Ct., was beginning to cave. Of course, this was largely caused by the fact it was twenty plus years old, was made from an old print shop counter (not pressure treated wood), and the potting soil container we had installed had been collecting rainwater as the roof overhang was not sufficient to keep it dry. Eric announced that it was not up to par for the ladies to see my potting table in such a condition and that we needed to build a new one NOW on the back of the greenhouse where the garden tools were to find their home. We were able to implement some of the old pieces of the potting bench, like the soil container and its lid, the upper shelving with bins for peat moss and perlite, and the upper shelving unit. There is a weather tight roof and it will be enclosed with sides and doors; three of them to be precise. One will be for the shovel, rake, hoe and other garden tools on the right- and double doors for the bench area. Ooooh, la, la! Ladies - eat your heart out! Can't wait to pot up my fall mums!

Summer Gardens

How exciting and rewarding to see the Gardens of Oak Hill reach their full potential. With all the rain that the summer of 2009 has been blessed with, the gardens are even more lush than usual. Granted there was a time in mid-July when I think even they were crying Uncle! The slugs outnumbered the blossoms and the fungal infections were running rampant, but now things have dried out a bit and the gardens are amazing. I am so happy as it gives me courage to keep learning, keep trying to correct the mistakes I made with landscape planning, or lack thereof.