Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Color Of A Moist Sunset

Of late it as if things were zapped with an electromagnetic pulse. I attempt to fix things and attempt to keep moving forward.

Color In The Cool Wet Dark

An enduring misty rain returned in a low grey dense canopy of clouds. The temperature struggles. The furnace has awakened from its summer slumber and I am glad to know it is alive and working. More layers of clothing have not prevented a sense of chill or rigid nipples.

I paint blue in the rain with only the front door open for ventilation.

In this low light with no functioning flash on my camera - that died last year - the color of paint is subjective. Each wall and each angle takes on its own hue. Perhaps I am done. Blue on white may not need a second coat. A bright sun shiny day will be needed for the final determination.

The next process will take me back to carpentry, the fine finish carpentry of trim. The baseboards, ceiling trim, windows and doors are the main items of focus. Rest assured other small details will need attention. Trim could keep me busy for a spell. It needs to be cut to fit so it looks like fine carpentry, then sanded and stained before being attached.

All those processes need to happen outside. I don't want to get sawdust and stain drips inside the newly tiled and freshly painted cabin. I wonder if there is an Indian Summer in the upcoming weather diagnosis.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Computer Is Dead

A continuing series of cascading problems has taken the life from my computer. Maybe it is an actual physical hardware problem. The symptoms were all bizarre and seemed to come from out of no where. I have given up. It is time for a computer mechanic. Lucky there is a spare computer in the house.

The proper paint 'Marigold' was acquired and that color is complete after a minor diversion.

Laura Ashley 'Sky Blue' #3 is beginning in the loft.

I need to rearrange the crap out of the loft. It will make painting in there more pleasant. Maybe it is even time to banish some things altogether.

I have to give myself a little credit for remaining calm while my computer died right in front of me after several heroic attempts to save it. The wobbles are now routine. I have been tortured into submission. But I feel drained.

Thank goodness painting is on track and progresses rather quickly compared to many other processes.

Maybe I will get lucky with my truck. The $15 part went in last Friday and the check engine light has not come back on. Maybe in the next day or two it will pass inspection and I can send the state of North Carolina more money. Please, pretty please.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Few Blue Asters

There was a break in the rain for the second half of the day, but I think we are about to get clobbered again. Then it is going to get cool with lows in the upper 40's. It's turning seasonal.

The orange paint dried the wrong color. It was so close, but not quite. I had to go back and get the right paint then kept on going to Asheville to order my bathroom vanity cabinet and glass sink vanity top. Some furnishings are on the cusp of taking shape.

A little bit more of the Marigold paint and the next process can begin.

The mountain glitters with white, gold and an increasing intensity of blue. Cool crisp days to enjoy it will be here soon.

I've been having an urge to do some weeding in the Lush, but another gardener in these parts has said numerous times it will all be frozen soon so why bother. Makes sense and I have enough to keep me busy.

The Sheffie Mum's buds are swelling and showing the first hint of a tint. The thing is down right huge this year. I need to remember to disperse it a bit come spring.

The time of the blue asters is here and that really marks the end of another chapter of gardening on the low spot of a North Carolina mountain top. It is a very nice chapter though.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

It Better Be

The same color in the morning after it dries.

I handed the same woman the same sample card, asked for the same thing, interior semi-gloss, on different days and got two variations of paint. It just felt different when I opened the can to start painting and I looked closer after I got going.

The first in the blue can has primer mixed in the paint and is labeled as Eddie Bauer. The second in the tan can has no primer and is called ultra premium without any mention of Eddie. I gave her Eddie's card.

The label information is not the same either. It better be the same color in the morning after it dries or I will be a bit annoyed. Someone will have some splainin' to do.

It is close if not exact, no doubt about that, so if it is wrong, at least the first coat is on the loft half walls and the last bit of second coat downstairs will be easy enough to paint over again.

But by the time I cleaned out the mini loft and got it ready to paint, it was late and dark.

We are having much needed monsoon weather.

And that may not dry up until Wednesday.

The two poor, yes two, new wild kitties are out there in this mess somewhere. I hope they have found a dry place to hide. It is taking them much longer to get friendly than it did Mama Spot. Her children don't do inclement weather for extended periods anymore.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Completely Orange

The second coat of Marigold is done except for directly above and below one window. I ran out of paint. The second coat goes on much quicker.

The living room side of the loft entry and the back wall of the mini loft will also be painted the Marigold. I'll need another bucket of paint.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Inevitable Collapse

I awoke early enough to watch the Harvest moon setting once again. A little auto repair (fingers crossed) followed the morning coffee. Then a nice collection of root clumps of Shasta daisy that fell out of the ground at work yesterday were planted and the roadside vegetable garden was gleaned for tonight's dinner.

Then everything came to a halt. Those days come when there is no energy left. I slept all afternoon.

Late afternoon was perfect for a stroll.

The Impatiens pallida cover a huge swath of the back 40. Little else lives with them or beneath their shade. That is why they are killed ruthlessly in the wild cultivated sections of the garden. The hummingbirds do like them though and there are still two of them here or I am just seeing them as they pass through.

The Blue Wood Asters, Symphyotrichum cordifolium are here. During my stroll I also saw half a dozen Monarch butterflies. We only see them here in the early fall on their way over the mountains despite having several species of milkweed for the caterpillars.

The Great Blue Lobelia, Lobelia siphilitica is still going strong.

And the Japanese Anemone are having a very good year.

Tomorrow, rested, I will go back to painting the second coat of Marigold orange in the cozy cabin.

Oh no! The inevitable dumping of pets. There are two new wild kitties here. They are both black and white, one short hair, one long. They are mostly black with white socked feet. The short haired one, because it was letting me be closer, has a white nose. I just saw the long haired one on the deck aiming for the food bowl, cornered between me looking out the window and Crawford on the steps leading off the deck. I sure hope nobodies pregnant or hiding babies in the forest.

The Harvest Moon Sets

On the morning of September 23rd.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

This Orange House

I have been in computer hell since I switched to my own computer three weeks ago. It has been one aggravation after another. Today I thought it died. I resuscitated it long enough to remove McAfee anti virus which I was highly suspicious of and it is running fine again. Fingers crossed.

Oh why can't all systems look good and work effortlessly like a collection of roadside weeds?

The inside of the cozy cabin is Marigold orange now. The first coat is complete.

The second coat will go on this weekend and the downstairs will be painted. I like it more often now than the moments of, mercy what have I done. It has its dark moods in lower light conditions. That is when I really like it.

Just looking at my roadside weeds makes me feel better. Everything looks like it is working the way it is supposed to. I have noticed that the chicory stays open all day now. Curious. Is this a reaction to lower light or shorter days? Is this a normal seasonal difference? In summer they are closed by noon on sunny days.

One last bold splash of color before the forest takes center stage.

And the sun moves behind the trees.

Perhaps some cold will stiffen all the wobbles that continue to infiltrate my world.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Near Fall

The autumnal equinox has been delayed until the 23rd this year so it seems. I assumed tomorrow would be Fall. This warm dry weather we have been having makes the delay seem reasonable. And the burst of flowering perennials that has swept over the mountain top in the last two weeks makes the idea of fall almost foreign.

Speaking of foreign, the Japanese Anemone are having a stellar year.

One of at least three native species of goldenrod here, I think Solidago roanensis, is also putting on a nice show. This one actually does well in the shadier places in the wild cultivated garden.

A little fall like color has also landed on my living room walls. I like it. I'm ok with it. I like it.

Please stop changing colors with the light!!!! On one wall it is lovely. On the other so so. Of course it changes color as it dries too. In every picture it shows up a different shade and the color will vary from one computer monitor to the next.

I like it. I'm ok with it. I'll live with it for a while and see how it works in all the variations of light that will pass over and through the cozy cabin.

The New England Asters are here, Symphyotrichum novae-angliae. I'd be happier with them if they were not five to six feet tall and leaning when they bloom. The five foot tall Impatiens capensis behind the asters at least have the decency to stand up or fall to the ground completely. Do you believe it? My wild impatiens are five feet tall.

The ridge top garden is literally an ocean of white foam now from the White Snakeroot, Ageratina altissima. The first bit of Blue Wood Aster, Symphyotrichum cordifolium in equal abundance is just beginning to bloom.

Ah, the lovely seed heads of Clematis virginiana that I hate.

It's near Fall and the Japanese Anemones are having a very good year.

More Good Garden Stroll

In slow motion.

The Baird's garden in West Asheville is four years in the making. In that time they have created an idyllic suburban garden, a place where one could expect Donna Reed to answer the door or pop out of the hydrangea bushes.

There was a nice diversity of plants in the garden with a coherent design, yet you could tell this was a gardener's garden and not just a landscape.

Out back a nice pond and waterfall. I hope there are plans to eliminate the black vinyl liner in the waterfall at some point.

Plenty gold fish, an astounding number filled the pond.

A nice purple Toadlily, Tricyrtis species. I may need to try those in my garden to be.

Norbert Artzt and John Denton have created their own masterpiece. An impressive collection of conifers and evergreen shrubs straddle the line between formal and naturalistic.

The front entry has the feel of an intimate courtyard garden without any imposing walls. The significant elevation above street level helps with that.

A little Moonflower for some summer evening fragrance and a touch of the wild.

Sculpted shrubberies add a formal air and a hint of the Japanese without the garden really going there.

The sloping lot has several terraced levels connected by meandering paths that lure you into the garden.

A massive White Oak towers over the back garden.

Details throughout, such as many bonsai, invite the visitor to stop and look closer. Didn't get a very good bonsai shot though.

Now how did they get this portulaca to form such a dense mat? I should have asked more questions and found out who tends this garden and if it always looks this meticulous. They did invite me back anytime.

So ends the posts for the second annual and rainy West Asheville Garden Stroll. Real gardeners love rain. More so in droughty conditions and a little rain wasn't going to stop folks from enjoying so many fine gardens.

Previous Garden Stroll Posts:
The West Asheville Garden Stroll
Two Parks In Asheville
The Slide Show