Wednesday, June 16, 2010

On the Outside

Now that summer is beatin' down our door, we've been working on the outside of the house.  I built 2 raised garden beds out of local hemlock from the mill down the road and filled them with topsoil/compost mix.  We also built some flower beds around the house and planted edibles and native plants.  Due to the expense of good quality native plants, I'll have to fill the flower beds over time.  For now I just planted things like squash and melon, so the beds wouldn't be so bare looking this season.  Our other big item is a 20' by 15'  blue stone patio that was built by Peter Ledda Landscaping.  We were very pleased with the masons who built it, including a small stone retaining wall (step) on the driveway side.  They were able to use stone from our property.  Apparently, we have great stone here and lots of it, so I'm thinking of all sorts of projects for the future.  Likely some more walls and flower bed borders.  We used blue stone from New York and I think it goes really well with the house and the native stone we incorporated in the patio.  They also poured two footers at each outside corner of the patio so we could add posts for a large pergola over the patio.  We'll definitely need the shade on summer days.  We've been working on a design and thinking about materials.  Jeremy is going to visit the CL&P substation near his business and see if he can pick up pieces of some old utility poles for the posts.  Hopefully we can get some without too much creosote on them, nasty stuff!  If not, then we'll probably use hemlock because cedar is really scarce around here and very expensive.