Bob & Ellen's Excellent Adventure

Black Sheep Tower House

Sweat Equity

August 22, 2022 Working away…. I remind myself daily why people pay landscapers to come with machines (and young bodies) to create natural beauty and serenity out of complete overgrown chaos. Ugh. BUT, in the end (if I ever get there) I can proudly say, “I did that.” (Will anyone be left to care?? :-))

There’s a lot going on in this post, most of it outdoors… So, this little project turned out to be not so little, actually. The oak trees right outside the “office room with windows” on the main floor have been collecting leaves, and it is a completely awkward landscape feature at the present time. There is a stone wall and some older evergreen plantings, and it just looks a mess with moldy old leaves and weeds, and so on. I’ve been putting it off because it is on a side hill, difficult to get at, and I don’t really know what to do with it. BUT, it is going to be a great view out those windows, some day! At least it now looks better, and is awaiting more mulch…. MULCH, more mulch?? Ack.

Babies are more fun than digging in the hot sun… unless they have a load in their diaper, in which case you hand them back to their parents! LOL 🙂 My grand-nephew Beck (born 1/28/21) lives in San Diego and loves the water! Our granddaughter Scarlett (born 5/7/21) loves her people, her dog and the camera. 🙂 (here is your obligatory baby content!)

NH is the Granite State, and here is the evidence. It is like the big mother boulder has spawned literally dozens of baby rocks – where are they all coming from?? I cut down a bunch of young white pines (they pop up everywhere!) and started digging a perennial bed in front of the Big Rock. I thought I might save some natural ferns and make a trench to put in lilies, daisies and other deer resistant flowering plants. BUT, every push of the spade hit a rock, seriously. I was digging up more rocks than dirt! It was a struggle – hot, sweaty, dirty work, and not what I had pictured… I just wanted to plant some flowers, fercrissakes…. look at how many rocks I dug out! And from such a small area.

Meanwhile, my long time Porsche friend George offered us his tool collection (downsizing), and assorted bits and pieces, to help us in our house project. I took a few trips to his amazing Durham house, that he designed and built primarily on his own, to help him clean out his basement and pick out items that would be useful to me in my art studio as well as the house project. Thank you George!! We are lucky to have such great friends. 🙂

After digging out a million rocks, I had to add dirt and garden soil back to replace the missing volume, which further delayed the actual fun part of planting flowers! In late August, all the perennials and shrubs are on sale at half off, and some of the lilies were large enough to split, so I had a lot to plant. 🙂 I also found some mountain laurel shrubs on sale, which are flowering, evergreen and natural to the woodlands, and will help screen the road. But of course, that meant more digging of rocks! And there were lots of roots, old cut brush, molding leaves and weeds to clear near the road, which uncovered a bit of stone wall near the culvert. It never seemed to end, but finally, I was ready to mulch with the wood chips left from last year’s tree work. What a difference!! Yay me!

If that weren’t enough, there was more digging to be done in the rock wall garden, which still wasn’t finished, but looking much better! Every morning, I’d go out for a few hours, and when Sydney got tired of being left alone, she would bark to let me know it was time to bring her out for company in the garden. 🙂 Just the two of us living the good life in NH!

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