Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Flying Darts

For some Kitty Licks

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lily Gilding

Through the magic of the internet I can place a lily from Client #1's down in Clyde in the same post as lilies from Bulbarella's garden way up on top of the mountain. The internet and gardening blogs in particular are proving to have their own kind of magic.

An internet invitation was accepted and yesterday we were visited by Siria and her husband Tom for a garden tour. It was a really enjoyable evening getting to know our neighbors from over the mountain. Bulbarella's comment was that having me here has improved their social life. I think too that the resident gardeners are quite pleased to be able to show off their beloved garden to an appreciative audience for the second time this year. This time the weather cooperated.

Despite my current laughable stereotype of the grown son living in his parent's basement, alone and typing furiously away on the computer, it is not an exercise in futile isolation. The garden blogging world and the BlogAsheville world leads to real and genuine people. More is created than the posts on this blog.

500 and some odd holes have been pre-drilled through the panels of the metal roof to make fastening it down on a steep pitch less taxing. Rain however is putting a kink in the works. We want a dry roof before we cover it over.

But you have seen the roof and the house colors. I showed the style of flooring I want. Now some of you are ready to move on. Kitchens and bathrooms come to mind.

This glass tile, Pearl will be the main decorative element of the to be determined, white tile walls inside the glass block shower.

This glass tile, Inkwell will be the backsplash above the to be determined solid surface Corian type of kitchen countertop.

A vase filled with lilies would look good next to both of these.

Or a vase filled with gladiolas.

And sunsets like these are a great way to end a garden tour with the neighbors from over the mountain.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Is it possible to make the house color do everything? I want the cabin to be sharp, to look good, to have a meaningful presence. At the same time I want it to blend in with the forest, the future gardens and the atmosphere of the place. I don't want the cabin colors to shout at me.

I painted all the colors together on the front roof section's plywood sub-wall and added the metal rake flashing as a test and I was not wowed. Was I supposed to be wowed?

I think the colors work together, though I may have been too afraid of a stronger yellow. The subtle yellow of the 'Crafted White' is barely distinguishable.

The darker walls with the lighter trim and roof will pull the eye up to the double, steep pitched roofs that mimic many a baptist church front in these parts. All holy white was out of the question. These colors will fit in with the little chapel in the woods effect that I want to maintain and hint at. I think they are growing on me.

The doors can blue or red or green or maybe even a terracotta golden orange to go with the floors inside. The floor's look is determined. The actual material is still a bit up in the air.

This cabin and the land that surrounds it will be my sanctuary. The cabin's colors are supposed to make me and my guests feel that.

So how can this Turk's Cap Lily be so blatantly orange and look right at home

And my cabin in that color would scream Howard Johnson?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

On The Fringe Of Art

A Door With Red Trim

BlogAsheville is a community blog that acts as a central link hub for any and all bloggers in WNC. The BlogAsheville meet and greet was a way for bloggers to step out of cyberspace, network and press the flesh. In a way this event was held on newly hallowed ground.

John Payne, a well respected and highly regarded local metal sculptor was a pioneer of the River Arts District and owner of the Wedge Building were the blogger get together was held. He passed away just last week.

His work which greeted me as I entered the space got my mind to thinking. "Don't be so timid with your plans for the metal part of the entry gate." Not that they were all that timid, but they sure were not this big and bold.

The River Arts District is a re-purposing of abandoned warehouse and commercial buildings along the French Broad River in Asheville. I was intrigued. I want to see more.

I talked with some interesting fellow bloggers while I was there.
Kristy of Stoplight Haiku and Liminal Screeds.
Susan of Recovering Iowan.
Felicity, the reigning BlogAsheville Queen, crowned at last years Blogapaloozafestivalthinga mado and writer of the Hangover Journals.
No blog happening would happen perhaps, with out the main instigator, Gordon of Scrutiny Hooligans.
I did not have a chance to speak with him, but the Zen of Zenography was there. I like his work.

I did get a nice people shot, but I am loathe to post pictures of people without their consent. This incredible metal work by John Payne will have to do.

Still just a little outside, I lurk on the fringe of what Asheville culture has to offer.

Every time I peek over the wall, I see something fascinating in its own way.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Nice Scarecrow

Scene at the Asheville bloggerati get together down by the railroad tracks in the bottom of the Wedge Building.

He makes Uncle Ernie look like a real weinie.

High Drama

In High Summer

Client #1's is in its full summer regalia.

I still find it strange that three months ago a completely different extravagant carpet of spring bulbs and iris ruled.

What was dead brown twigs and bare earth is now a two to four foot tall cacophony of bloom.

A little touch of royalty looks on.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Colorful Life

Most of the roof arrived today. Only one major component was missing, the eave flashing that must go on first and starts the whole roofing process. Now at least, I know what color it really is. Did the colors previously chosen for the house and trim work with the roof color?

I'll get to that, but first I have been tagged by Cindy at From My Corner of Katy, that's in Texas, for one of those random things list. This is the procedure.

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on the blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.


1. I have been cursed or blessed with a faulty, sometimes non-existent memory my entire life. Other people can remember events major and minor. Some can recall conversations. Me nada. Zilch. When I think I remember something, I generally get accused of the memory being faulty. I have come to call this condition Early Onset Alzheimer's. If I should ever get subpoenaed by Congress, this condition would come in handy. It makes living in the present much easier to achieve. When you only vaguely remember the past, you're not likely to dwell on it.

Cindy's list was good. I thought I might follow along with it a bit, but back to other color matters.

When the roof arrived this morning it was a non-descript beige, an off white with the slightest hint of brown. By this afternoon it had begun to take on the hint of grey/green that I saw on the metal roofing website. The colors chosen for the house needed to work with this imaginary computer roof color.

The roof. I think this picture is pretty true in color, at least on my computer.

2. I have fallen in love with the wrong people as a pattern. As a result I am still single. There is no happy ending, life long partnership to tell you about. My embellished memory of the real characters involved and the time it took me to recognize the pattern and stop doing it would be good fodder for a long tawdry tale; for another time, in paperback.

3. I lived in Hawaii on the island of Maui in the town of Kihei next to the resort of Wailea for twenty years and one month. That represents 40% of my life. I spent another six years living in Colorado, two and a half of those years in the ski resort of Vail. While I consider myself a Floridian, I guess, most of my life has been lived out of that state. Maybe I am stateless. I feel at home here in the mountains of western North Carolina, but I have a long way to go before I become Kama'aina.

The chosen colors for the house and the trim are the overlapping ones in the center. The house will be "Artichoke" (gray) and the trim is a pale yellow, "Crafted White". I am still supposed to check on another pale yellow, Oatland Yellow before I settle totally on the Crafted White.

4. I have met or seen closeup in person several celebrities. These are some that I remember. Elizabeth Taylor came to Cherry Hills Country Club in Denver while she was married to the Senator John Warner when I worked there. I stood behind Mike Myers at the Foodland in Kihei a few years ago. I just thought the guy had a really strong resemblance. He was such a skinny scruffy runt I didn't think it was really him. When it was my turn, the cashier said do you know who that was. I told her who I thought he looked like, but it wasn't him and she said he paid with his credit card and it was Mike Myers. What a runt, a teeny, tiny petite little thing.

Tim Curry cruised me big time when he rented a house on Maui that I was the gardener for. This was long after Rocky Horror at the beginning of his Hollywood career. We chatted a bit about plants and kept weirdly bumping into each other around the island. I never let on that I knew who he was.

Slightly different lighting of the house and trim color choices with the roof. They are the two overlapping ones in the center. The door color that goes with this combo is a deep blue called Waterloo, 4003-6C on your Valspar paint chart.

Besides the missing eave drip flashing there was another small problem with the roof delivery. The ridge piece that caps the roof peak looks to be a metal of a different color. It goes just fine with the light yellow, "Crafted White" trim color, but do I want a Bi-color roof? I think not.

5. I am the eldest son and the middle child.

I don't know if it was subconscious or a lucky coincidence, I think I may have given it a passing thought, I don't remember, I just think the gray/yellow combo will work well with the two dry stack stone walls that form the terrace for the basement patio. Now what color will I paint the columns? They are already gray.

6. I never noticed all the warning sounds my truck makes for seat belts, open doors, keys in the ignition and such, when I lived on Maui with all the incessantly barking dogs, squawking parrots, sirens on the highway down below and the comings and goings of all the neighbors. Now that I live on this quiet mountaintop, the noises my truck makes drives me absolutely insane.

An added bonus to this post is one of my UFO pictures. A local newspaper photographer took some pictures and found some odd blurry spots he thought were UFOs and this started an intense discussion on another local weekly paper. The regulars who hang in these forums are an interesting bunch. I'll have to let them know I found one of my UFO pictures. You can click the picture to enlarge it. See if you can spot it. These UFOs show up pretty regular.

Here is a cropped closeup view of the UFO.

Time for the list of tagees.

Ladies, Elizabeth, Michele, Susan and Amy, you have all been tagged. I am sure the loyal readers of GardenRant want to know a lot more about the women behind the writing. Four in one, not bad.

Now lets see. I do not keep up with these kinds of things so I have no idea who may have already been hit on. Les at A Tidewater Gardener, I don't remember seeing this meme on your blog of late. You are tagged.

Frances, have you been tagged for this yet? A list of random things from the Faire Garden could be fun.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Air Quality Alert

I guess they wanted to get our attention.

...Air Quality Alert in effect from 6 AM to 9 PM EDT TUESDAY...

Madison-Yancey-Swain-Haywood-Buncombe-Northern Jackson-Southern Jackson-Transylvania-Henderson

The North Carolina Division of Air Quality has issued a CODE ORANGE air quality action day for the Asheville region. An air quality action day means that ground level ozone concentrations within the region may approach or exceed unhealthy standards. For additional information, please visit the North Carolina Division of Air Quality web site at

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Butterfly Blues

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Big Wilt

We have been invaded.

Last night I half expected Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier to come running out of the dark woods. The hounds were baying in surround sound; on the ridge top directly above, out at the road and in the valley just below. Gunshots had been heard. Klieg lights swept through the tree tops and down on the ridge top garden. Muffled voices crept between the constant long barks. They were getting too close for comfort.

Hoooo Weeeee Hoooo Weeeee. There is a house down here! Hoooo Weeee.

Two hounds came huffing down the hill to the base of the stairs, sniffing. They turned and headed down the drive. Within a couple of minutes the commotion along the ridge top quieted, a truck drove away out on the road. The call of the hounds receded further down the mountain.

That I can live with, but something has invaded the cucumbers and that just bums me out. It must be the dreaded bacterial wilt spread by the cucumber beetle.

Cucumbers are their favorite target, but squash and melons are also susceptible to the wilt. Two of the Delicata squash and one whole row of cucumbers have been zapped. Another whole row of cucumbers, minus one plant is fine. The diseased row has been reseeded. Despite the wilt there are already three jars of refrigerator pickles made up and marinating and no shortage of cucumbers in multiple recipes. The vegetable garden produces plenty and adds much to the table.

Cute baby Cantaloupe grow bigger next to the larger Delicata and Butternut Squash that have set fruit. These will all be for a late summer harvest unless they get unusually big before then.

The patient wait for the first ripe tomato continues. The corn for the racoons grows taller. It could be that with coyotes and baying hounds regularly about, there just might be some corn for me.

What will the new night bring to this mountaintop?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Color Choices

Pink and pastels are fine for some purposes.

The Astilbe, bought in all its colors reverts to this pink. There are pink Astilbe stem to stern.

Red has been on my mind today. Red is bold. I am thinking of a cozy cabin with red trim. What would that be like? What should the house color be with red trim?

Stark white is not an option for a wet, often muddy, deep green forest or the generally filthy inhabitant lurking the grounds.

Blue is good. Blue has a chance.

Green is the standby color. It is just too obvious to capture my color imagination.