Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Good News Is

I figured out the bizarre and unfathomable electrical issue the well pump was having.

Now I can have water gush out of the bottom of the cabin at will with the simple flip of a switch. Perhaps I should add a water feature in the basement patio when I take it all apart and put it back together again.

My guess is the lines froze the first winter after it was closed up when the cabin wasn't heated at all. All the water lines form a shallow U under there and can't be fully drained. They had been filled for inspection. Even with the R-38 insulation under there what I will do is add a thermostat controlled electric heat tape to the lines that can be plugged in during the winter. I don't need a repeat of this.

The electric problem the well pump was having was that the two pole 20 amp circuit breaker that sends 240 amps of juice to the pump has to be connected to both bus bars (the metal frame that the breakers snap on to and that carries electricity through the box) on opposite sides of the load center box. The solution was to put the two pole 20 amp circuit breaker in a new location in the box where it did connect to the two opposite side bus bars. Who knew? Praise the Google I say.

There is one less electrical issue now. The ones left are smoke alarms that only come on with a set of wall sconces, back porch and basement patio lights that don't work and a garbage disposal/under counter light switch that doesn't work.

I still don't have gas in the tank or a phone yet. I've been waiting on a gas delivery for two weeks now and the phone was ordered two months ago. I was issued a phone number. I wonder if it will still be good when they get around to getting me a phone.

In all my comings and goings to the Lowes for one solution or another, a baby Kousa Dogwood managed to follow me home and was planted where the former temporary power pole used to live. It will add a little privacy to the front porch and much beauty in the years to come.

The other good news is the sole official in all of Haywood County with the designated authority to sign an official signature on an official form managed to get his butt over to the mortuary services in Asheville for a signing. The cremation can now proceed. It won't proceed fast enough however to let us leave early in the morning. The cremains will be ready around noon they say. I offered more money to have someone come into work a little early. Didn't work.

It was a day of good news. Everything is finally coming together. That calls for a stroll through the wild cultivated garden.

The continuing warm still has things ahead of schedule compared to previous years. I should be happy though that all the vicious storms battering the south have missed us. This last batch went north following the line of high mountains that form the NC/TN border and stayed west of us. I don't think these mountains are much good for tornado formation, to much air flow interruption.

The iris are really starting to take off.

In nature's garden the trilliums are peaking and the wild geraniums have joined in.

More of the azaleas are blooming.

One of the two oddball yellow rhododendrons is a having a good bloom year. The other is being rather stingy with the flowers.

I hope the rhododendrons can hold off just a few weeks longer. The bulk of them are still in bud stage.

Bulbarella still wants to have the garden warming/cozy cabin debut as planned. Perhaps by then all the kinks will be worked out in the cabin and the rhododendrons will be in full glorious bloom. Might be a few other blooms to be found in the wild cultivated garden then too.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

This Could Be Yours

We wait for the officials to do their official business in a bureaucratic manner. Rules and proper procedure defy the specific circumstances involved. Rules are made for a reason and then reason gets lost to the rules.

That meant there was time to get a little work done and I will be less backed up upon my return. Nice view up there. This view could be yours.

It comes with this nice little cabin, a two bedroom, two bath on a bit of acreage. You could even retain me as your assistant gardener.

And spend cool evenings high on a North Carolina mountain top gazing out at the view after a pleasant day in the garden.

But alas there would be a lot of forms to fill out for this view. Lucky me, I get to borrow it.

At some point what is ours should be returned to us after proper procedure is followed. Then we will head to Florida. There may be a lesson here. It would be a good idea to let all the procedures to follow come at their own pace, in their own good time and just be fine with that.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hyacinthoides hispanica

It was a long and aggravating day. The cozy cabin has electrical issues beyond my abilities and when I called the well man to come check his well he bypassed some unfathomable and bizarre electrical issue by putting the bare wires of the well pump directly on the main feeder lines. Water came forth and then proceeded to come out of the bottom of the cabin. The water lines beneath the cabin floor either froze and cracked or have been chewed through by varmints. UGH!!

There comes a point when you just have to stop and go for a walk in the garden. The millions of Spanish Blubells are beginning to reach full bloom.

In pink

In blue

In white

En masse

This little miniature iris is doing a repeat bloom.

The drive to Florida is now on Friday. We wait for an official signature of an official who is gone, but who surely must have already signed another official form stating the cause of death. I talked to him on the phone and he told me the official verdict days ago and released the body. The search for a secondary official signature is on. That official signature is needed on another form to allow the mortuary to proceed with the cremation. It would be nice to be able to take my father back to Florida for his funeral.

The deciduous azaleas are starting to show up. No form needed.

Can iris have four petal arrangements?

Bulbarella in her garden.

I see this and will believe this garden has magic powers.

It has been clearly stated that the stay in Florida will be of the briefest duration possible and would I stay in Florida until Wednesday to drive Bulbarella back to her garden.

It would be my honor.

This garden has magic powers.

Monday, April 25, 2011

It Gets Better

The wild cultivated garden keeps getting better every year. I'd like to think it is due to the more frequent routine maintenance it has been receiving over the last few years from the new assistant gardener. It's a garden though and other factors could be involved. Time is a big one and the mad passions of more that motivate a certain seed flinger and bulb divider are bound to have an effect.

Last week there was a comment that,"I think the Bluebells have begun to increase exponentially. There almost a pest now. I don't think I need to gather and spread seeds anymore."

I'd have to agree. I'd also have to say that the Bluebells, Hyacinthoides hispanica in blue, white and pink are the perkiest I have ever seen them. All this warm weathers of late, 80 degrees in April, high on the mountain, no crushing snows and their now exponential numbers are putting on quite the display.

It's a little sad though thinking my dad is missing the best spring ever in the wild cultivated garden. But then maybe he'd say, "We've had better springs than this." It's a bit of a family gardening joke, you should have been here last week when such and such was blooming or to bad, in another week this will be blooming or fall color will be at it's peak and you'll miss it.

Would it be terrible if I said getting the official paper work done for a death feels a bit like trying to choreograph a herd of cats into producing a single hairball? I suppose crossing state lines doesn't help, but there seems to be a lot of official fingers needed on the paperwork.

It's good to come home after unpleasant tasks and just look at all the different kinds of iris that have started to bloom.

The native Dwarf Crested Iris, Iris cristata has also been multiplying exponentially.

There are catalog iris of very description.

And plenty more iris yet to come. I did mention the madness of more and how that might have some impact on why the wild cultivated garden keeps getting better every year.

I have been the assistant gardener and assistant handyman for several years now, though in many respects I had already assumed full duties. It is official now. I am responsible for two houses and two gardens. The list of chores hasn't increased yet somehow the responsibility looks bigger. That ominous feeling will get better with time as a new routine emerges I am quite sure. I'll have more control of the list of chores at least.

And the payoff is to live in Eden, the wild cultivated garden that keeps getting better every year.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

We Went For A Walk In The Garden

For a short while at least we can forget that someone is missing and forget everything that needs to be done. Tomorrow we have to go back to Asheville to fill out paperwork for death certificates and sign off for a cremation.

For a short while at least we can walk through the garden absorbed in what's there. No room is left over for what's gone.

Because right now the garden is filled and growing fuller.

The dogwoods are stunning this year and look at all those small ones getting bigger. They really are in the wrong place and need to be moved or removed.

Some of the rhododendrons are off to an early start. Not a good thing necessarily, but they are here and must be enjoyed.

It's a simple thought that brings out the tears. I can't really read the comments on the last post without crying so forgive me if I don't respond.

We went for a walk in the garden, my mother and me, followed by curious Spots, to forget for a short while at least.

And to be filled with everything there.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The House My Father Built

My father died quickly and quietly in his sleep last night. This wasn't supposed to happen yet. Every thing stops and you can't sit still. The processes of death come at you fast like a speeding train.

He leaves us when the mountain top garden where he built his own beloved home is greeting a new season in all the splendor a temperate climate and the hands of two passionate gardeners can muster.

One last spring he sat on the deck and looked out at things he planted bring beauty to his life.

The shock will wear off. It is the adjustments that lay ahead that are sure to bring new tears.

We will go to Florida where he was born, then return to a North Carolina mountain top and the house my father built, to the garden he planted, to heal and to be thankful for the life he led.

One final act of love and kindness, at times well hidden, but what was at the core of his soul and who he really was as a person, is a cozy little cabin high on the low spot of a North Carolina mountain top. My father welcomed the prodigal son home and built a house for him so they could be close to each other. The building contractor got one more project done before it was time to go.

We will we stroll his garden, Bonnie Brae and remember him. The sign he finally got to hang at the entry will remind us too of his mother and father and the line of gardeners from which he descended.

It is a beautiful time of year and a beautiful place, high on a mountain top, for a soul to leave this mortal coil. The dogwoods put on their best showing in years just for him. Thank you for being with us for so many good years, they say.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Post Daffodil Peaking

10,000 daffodils are really only a prelude, a little warm up act for what the wild cultivated garden has in store for the rest of the season. Act II has begun. The Dogwoods are approaching full bloom in the low spot on a North Carolina mountain top.

I sit comfy in the cozy cabin on my own computer with lights, fans and a few appliances if I should choose to turn them on. There are still two mysterious electric circuits needing attention. One for the basement patio lights and outlets and the garbage disposal/dishwasher circuit. I still wait for water from the well, gas and phone. I listen to the sounds in my new home. What's that? Nothing or bad? I did hear a varmint trying to chew its way in and need to remember to check the most likely spot. Damn varmint!

The tree peony always the first, is blooming.

Camassia come from a bulb catalog, but they set a different tone to the late end of spring. I must remember to set a shovel into this clump when they are done blooming. I can find a few places for camassia in the garden to be.

The first deciduous azalea has also burst into bloom. Today all of a sudden it was in full bloom.

I wandered back into the deep forest at the end of my day to check on the Showy Orchis. It will bloom at some point.

Might as well go a little deeper into the forest to see what is there. An astounding and seems to me growing number of trilliums dance through the leaf litter every where I look. I wonder if the Great Easter Freeze of 2007 put a hurting on the native spring ephemerals and they are just now coming back in full measure.

Got Violets? There are about seven species here best I can tell.

Eventually you have to come back out of the deep forest. In a little more sunlight a thick carpet of multi-colored Bluebells readies to bloom.

And the first of hundreds of irises have arrived.

The daffodils are pretty much gone, but nobody here really cares. They served their purpose as Act I. The show must go on.