Monday, August 25, 2014

Gardens of Late Summer

Oh, the colors... the bright yellow Rudbekia...the blazing red begonias, one of my very favorite the fuchsia colored Love Lies Bleeding, and huge balls of white hydrangeas! The light this time of year is so pretty, although I wish we could keep the longer days of July. The gardens still look wonderful. We have been blessed this year with a fair amount of rain woven in with some sunshine and now the dewy mornings of early fall keep the grass so brilliantly green. The cutting I took from my huge Angel's Trumpet plant has many blossoms and looks just magical, especially at dusk when the white blossoms seem almost iridescent. My roses are still budding and blooming. The hostas are pretty much done with their blossoms and each visit to the Lodge means a trip out to deadhead them of their long flower stalks. I have had less trouble than some years with slugs although their handiwork can be seen here and there in the  hosta beds.  This year's troublesome pest award goes to the Japanese beetle of which there were thousands this year. Tent catepillars have also been troublesome, attacking the fruit trees and the willows and found just yesterday on the viburnum. I wonder if they are more widespread this year because we have been eliminating their favorite tree on the land which I affectionately call "ironwood" for lack of a better I.D. These trees would just be COVERED in tents in late summer. I would get out my pole pruner and cut and burn as many as I could reach. Perhaps erroneously, I had thought be eliminating that tree, which is particularly unattractive anyway, I would eliminate them from the land... instead they just seem to be choosing other trees in which to make their tents. 

We Make a "Breakthrough"

Saturday's projects included getting the overhang ladders, the drip edge and the weathershield, on the roof, all necessary before we could cut the hole in the upstairs wall and begin to build the long awaited stairs to the Pub. Eric also installed the digital lock system in the entry door along with a deadbolt so the stair tower is now secure. The first picture provides a great depiction of just how much dust went flying about the Lodge as we cut through the thick walls. First the sheetrock, then 2" of polyiso, then a layer of T&G pine, then another layer of 2" polyiso then strapping and lastly the outside 3/4 inch shiplap siding! It was a major job to get through it all even with the longest reciprocating saw blade we owned. At one point, I suggested that Eric go get the CHAINSAW!  We were conservative with the first hole we cut as we weren't 100% certain of just where the roof rafters of the stair tower would lie. We did get stuck with a bit of an angled corner which although not ideal, allowed us not to have to raise the roof even higher than it is, which would have meant marrying it into the roof of the Lodge instead of the framing all coming in under the eaves. I feel confident that we can make it look good when we trim it out. The hole being cut looks SO strange. When we did our nightly Garden Tour, we made sure to walk pass the two large windows on the back of the stairtower. It was incredibly weird to look in and see both levels of the building. This morning we were greeted with the morning sunrise streaming into the new space. We are going to keep the walls off-white so we will maximize that sunlight. Now we can begin to calculate the exact rise and run of the stairs instead of the rough calculations we had to make with the outer wall still there. What a wonderful thing it will be to have that access, not to mention not having the worry of the melting snow running under the Pub door and into the Pub. Last night we cheated a bit and propped a ladder up so we could get the feeling of the stairs. The next project will have to be closing in the eaves as those pesky mosquitos are clever enough to see they have an easy access. We also must build out the windows to allow for the 2" polyiso we will put on the outside before the siding. I can work on insulating the back wall in the meantime. We also figured out the wiring so we can get that in place so the inside insulation can be put in place as well.