Thursday, March 31, 2011

It's Snowing

The diagnosis did suggest snow for late tonight and during the darkness of tomorrow night. It has arrived early.

I should expect that at elevations above 3500 feet.

The question is will it be a light dusting or a crushing wet snowfall that could put a real hurting on the Bulbapaloozathon? The radar from the direction of snow in Kentucky looks ominous.

Hopefully big snow will miss us.

At least this cold will help prevent the rest of the garden from rushing in to things.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Loft Ladder

Up, up and away, the Foxtail Lily, ( Eremurus ) are back. I worry about them because they are supposed to like sharp drainage and well it rains and snows all the time and the ground freezes into blocks of ice. There is ample moisture in the ground for sure. The steep drop off behind them won't allow for any standing water at least.

Not only are the Eremurus back, I see babies. The tiny grass or onion seedling like foliage in the center of the picture was directly below where I had dropped the finished flowers loaded with seeds. I imagine it will be a few years before they reach blooming size, but hey, they must be happy if they are reproducing. I'll have to spread the seed a little farther to other suitable full sun and well drained locations. The madness lives on in the next generation.

And there was another new arrival today. The trucking company fixed their van and managed to deliver the loft ladder I ordered from Alaco Ladder Company in California. The track was installed and the ladder was hung.

The out position.

The in position.

The track for the mini loft was also installed. I still need to drill holes through the tracks for some stop bolts that were included and that will prevent the track from sliding off the hooks. It was plenty steady without them, but safety first is a good idea.

One day soon I will even take that piece of plywood off the rafters and get it out of the cabin.

Climbing into the mini loft with the new ladder without the grab bars the main loft has does have me leaning strongly towards some type of railing with posts with a wider opening for the mini loft. Something very see through though, metal railings or wood posts with horizontal wire of some type perhaps. I can think about that later.

It was a little freaky at first climbing the new loft ladder after so many years of climbing up there a different way. It felt odd. So I climbed up and down, up and down, a whole bunch of times to get a feel for it. It felt good. It looks good too and will look even better after I stain it the same minwax cherry color as all the other wood in the cabin. I chose the unstained white oak so I could match it to all the other wood.

It is possible I installed the hooks the track slides on upside down. There was no picture in the instructions to show me. After thinking about it I decided I liked it better this way so when you look up you see the solid bar of the track instead of looking at the long cut the entire length of the track that lets it slide past the hooks. It really would work either way.

Whatever. I have a loft ladder now. Then I had a nap.

So if you end up here searching the world wide web for a loft ladder, Alaco Ladder Company is definitely worth the click. I got a custom built ladder to do exactly what I wanted in exactly the materials I needed to flow with the design elements of the cabin. I'm most happy.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

There Was Sun

One day of sun is being squeezed into a week of rain and the first rhododendron, a PJM type, always the first to bloom, has joined the swelling floral display.

The late blooming Jonquilla daffodils are blooming two weeks early too.

Sunshine and the anemones actually open.

The big drift of Puschkinia aims for peak bloom.

The Trout Lily even decides it is safe to open and get busy. I noticed while I was down there four times as many of them just pushing up through the ground.

I wasn't even sure that the flowering magnolia actually opened the flowers.

A little sunshine did the trick.

I wandered down into the most recent annex of the ridge top garden. I don't go there as often because it is still new and there isn't as much to see, but I saw things.

Bulbarella has been at it. A new kind of Chionodoxa has been added, most likely from last year's bulb order. The slope of the annex faces north and it has been slower to show signs of life. More visible green shoots drew me in.

Then I saw several clumps of a new kind of bulb mania. One hole is filled with daffodils, crocus, snow drops and puschkinia. I saw at least half a dozen clumps of bulbs like this. I had been wondering where she planted all the bulbs she bought and the bulbs she dug and divided. In the annex of course.

We may have reached the tipping point, a critical mass. In this patch of the ordinary chionodoxa were hundreds of seedling leaves. Continued multiplication can only move exponentially.

Throw in a methodical Bulbarella and the Bulbapaloozathon can only get better with time.

This Old House

As seen by the side of the road.

No doubt it was a very fine house in its day.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Daffodils In Fog

A visitor bearing gifts and home made baked goods - my life is truly blessed at times - came to see the Bulbapaloozathon in person today. The fog has been near non stop and the visitors see a hillside of daffodils in an other worldly setting.

Cold mist enveloped Siria and me as we slowly wandered the ridge top garden looking at daffodils, minor bulbs and all the other inhabitants of a bountiful garden waking up from their winter slumber.

The fog doesn't want to leave.

Only briefly has it parted to show the blue sky above before rolling back over the mountain and hugging the garden in a cold and wet embrace. Up here in the clouds it is another world.

The last three Levolor oak blinds were hung. One more project complete.

A trucking company called very early this morning to say the loft ladder had arrived in Asheville and to ask how do I get to you? After I told him, the question was how big of a truck can I get up there.

Well just last week the DOT put up a new sign - No through trucks over 30 feet.

My trucks is 48 feet. I'll need to get it on a smaller truck and deliver it in the next day or two.

That will be fine.

A loft ladder is soon to be installed and the construction ladder parked in the cozy cabin's living room will soon be a thing of the past.

Daffodils bloom chilled in the fog.

White Muscari joins in.

Forsythia glows golden in a white and dark world.

This is how spring should be, cool to cold, moist and lingering, a time for magnolias to bloom with out getting zapped by a hard frost.

This doesn't mean it won't snow again so you must enjoy the Bulbapaloozathon while it's here.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Intentional Darkness

Large amounts of wet descended yesterday at dusk. A dreary cold and foggy day followed. Client #1 and wife came to see the Bulbapaloozathon despite the conditions. They were treated to an ethereal sight of a hillside covered in bright yellow daffodils through an ebbing and flowing dense layer of fog. These weren't conditions that invited a person to linger. I do think they were impressed with what they saw though.

There are times when the sun shines very bright up here. So bright a need could arise to turn the cozy cabin into a dark protective cave. Today's little project was hanging two inch wide oak Levelor blinds.

Three out of six windows were done. These blinds will also be of use when the lights are on at night and the leafy protective screening between me and the scenic byway is absent during the winter. I don't need any drive by peepers.

This project went smoothly until it came time to remove a section of the bottom slats for the shorter window. In the dark and the fog it was hard to get the cut strings threaded through the tiny holes in the bigger bottom slat that had to be put back on.

I finally figured out that a quick burn with a lighter to fuse the cut threads made getting the string through the tiny hole a whole lot easier. The remaining three windows to do are all short ones. Now I have figured out the easy way to put them back together after cutting off the extra slats. Hopefully it will go a little quicker.

The fog lifted late in the day and I went for a second stroll. It was still wet and cold and I didn't linger.

Familiarity breeds quick photography.

I know where to look for new things. Rare on Bulbhilla, regular large kind tulips mingle the smaller species tulips that are being given a chance to see if they will perennialize.

One of the species tulips is already getting ready to bloom. What will it be?

The other Erythronium, possibly pagoda or kondo is looking more robust each year. There is a native Erythronium to these mountains, so we do have the right conditions for the Trout Lilies.

The entire next week is looking to be a wet soupy mix. Very spring like. The fog has already returned.

It could slow the inevitable momentum of the 10,000 daffodils need to bloom.

Maybe there will be something of it left when the resident gardeners finally arrive.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Unpacking The Dust Of Kihei

Except for the loft ladder that was shipped on the 21st not the 16th, my list of improvements for the inspector mans is complete. After a full week of work kind work it was time to play house some more.

I have been going through boxes that have been in storage for almost four years now to see what's inside and where things might could go in an effort to whittle down the pile of boxes. I am also seeing that many things are coated in a thick layer of dust and sprinkled with gecko turds.

There wasn't much time for a deep cleaning before packing things in boxes in the frenzy to dispense with a twenty year accumulation of stuff.

There is barely enough room for the little bit I kept. Most of what I kept were the objects de and these two masks have found a new home.

My computer's other parts were unpacked and will be ready and waiting for the move and for the hookup of that stupid Hughes satellite internet service. I plan to pay for the next higher level of service to start and see if it is worth the extra money. The keyboard was just nasty dirty.

Kihei is a dry savanna grassland with an average annual rainfall of twelve inches. The trade winds blowing across the sugarcane fields of the central valley of Maui made for a very dusty place at times.

The phone company is having "issues" and keeps delaying when my new telephone number will go live. They haven't been willing to tell me what I already know. The buried phone cable coming up the mountain was damaged in a rock slide two years ago and they never fixed the cable. They just switched the resident gardeners phone to the extra cable. Now there is no room for me and a new number. And the damaged section of the buried cable they need to repair was buried under a bigger rock slide two weeks ago that the DOT just pushed off to the side. I'll make another inquiry on Monday.

An old old ceiling light fixture cover borrowed in Fort Collins, Colorado in the early 80's was turned into a table lamp with an old old lamp base. It amuses me.

Objects de gather. In no time the place will look cluttered.

One of my next projects will have to be a storage shed. I bet I have most of the parts stacked in piles in the lumber yard. The lumber yard is on the list too. Four years of construction left overs need to be dispersed.

Friday, March 25, 2011

All On The Same Day

It snowed on me in the night. No big surprise.

I went down to the cozy cabin this morning to put sliders and felt pads on the legs of some of the new furniture while waiting for the snow to start melting. My destination for the day was in the upper elevations.

Same day, different elevation, a little later in the morning. It only snows on me.

Daffodils are tough, but when they are in full bloom, strong wind, heavy rain, freezing temperatures and a dash of snow can combine to cause stem breakage. There was a fair amount of floppage from the combined effects of the storm. The flowering Magnolia looked fine.

From a distance you can't tell. It's still a hillside covered with 10,000 daffodils.

New things are coming into bloom. This Fritillaria verticillata likes it here and has been multiplying like crazy, but frankly the flower is boring.

Erythronium dens-canis is back and blooming for the first time since being planted.

Another round of weekend long rain is in the diagnosis. I can see it on the western horizon now. There is no mention of snow. But what I see looks suspiciously like snow even though it is currently 46 degrees. Stranger things have happened.

The Bulbapaloozathon is far from over. There are plenty left to bloom that haven't even started to open. I can only say good luck to the daffodils in full bloom who jumped the gun. I may have already seen the peak perfection of bloom.