August 30, 2008

Butterfly/Hummingbird Garden, Sub-Floor & One Wall

Saturday August 2nd, 2008 - Sunday August 3rd, 2008
When you have 10 acres and you love to garden, you keep getting the itch to buy more plants and make new gardens. So that is what I do. Jared loves to mountain bike and wants to create trails in the future for this purpose, and not just any trails but ones with jumps, curves and steep hills. We have a perfect spot for the beginning of such a trail, coming from The Rock and passing behind our shrub garden. This is an area with large boulders and open sky above, and the butterflies love fluttering around and basking in the sun on the rocks. I had decided it would be a perfect spot for a butterfly garden. Since my colour theme around the campsite is white and pink, I added purples and blues to my new garden (my favourite flower colours). The last time we had been up, I had planted some Monarda didyma 'Petite Wonder' & 'Petite Delight', Geranium 'Jolly Bee', Liatris spicata 'Kobold' (my favourite), Syringa patula 'Miss Kim', Scabiosa caucasica 'Compliment', Scaboisa columbaria 'Butterfly Blue', Veronica spicata 'Blue Bouquet' & 'Giles van Hees', Campanula carpatica 'Blue Clips', Anenome multiflora 'Rubra', Salvia nemerosa 'Sensation Rose' & 'Blue Hill', Saponaria ocymoides, and a bunch of Delphiniums including Delphinium grandiflorum 'Summer Nights' & 'Summer Blues', Delphium 'Summer Skies', 'King Arthur', and 'Misty Mauves'. I had also bought a beautiful Picea pungens 'Neon Blue' to plant in a spot where some huge boulders create a wall behind it. This garden is definitely a work in progress, but it makes me happy to see my favourite colours cascading down the hillside beside our future bike trail. Everything is growing well and flowering beautifully.

Jared worked on building the subfloor of our bunky. He used 2 full sheets of chipboard and another half sheet. It was pretty easy work to screw into our frame once he used a chalk line to mark where the floor joists were, but I don't think he enjoyed carrying the wood from the truck. Once he finished, we stood on our sub-floor and looked at the view we were going to have from our little cabin. It is incredible how high up we are going to be, especially when you look towards the valley going towards the marshy area. I am going to source native shrubs for that area, because of course I am going to landscape it. Unfortunately we were both feeling under the weather this weekend, so we didn't get to do very much. This was the first time ever that I didn't want to be at Rock Pile Ridge, but I tried to enjoy it despite being so sick.

Saturdy August 16th, 2008 - Sunday August 17th, 2008
Jared went up by himself this weekend to work on the walls, or so he told me. Instead he went fishing, which is very typical of him. If there was one thing in the world that Jared could do all day everyday, it is fishing. He did do some work around the property though. One thing we have been needing badly is to distinguish our property line so people won't trespass on our property thinking it is potentially for sale. This is a problem we've been having lately, and it really bugs me since we clearly have our property marked as a No Trespassing/No Hunting area. So Jared cleared a trail down our property line to our rock, and even posted a sign that states it is in fact our property line.

I can forgive him for not building walls since he did this (which he knew was very important to me) and he also took some amazing photographs of the Irondale River, my flowers and the fish he caught. My Summersweet was blooming finally and so was my white Clematis. When I saw the pictures I was so excited, but disappointed that I hadn't been there to smell the Summersweet (Jared doesn't bother with doing things like that).

Saturday August 23rd, 2008 - Sunday August 24th, 2008
This was the first weekend of the year that it didn't rain! It was an absolutely beautiful weekend, with sun and warm temperatures. Curtis and Jordana came up on the Friday night too, so it was nice to spend a weekend with them. On the Saturday they came over to Rock Pile Ridge to give us a hand with our first wall. Or maybe I should say Jordana and I supervised the guys work, but I did pound the nails that attached the wall to the floor. It was a lot of fun to hang out with them, and seeing our first wall go up was very exciting. Later that night we went to BrownTown to play a drunken game of Scrabble (we killed them) and hung out with a nice campfire. Jordana didn't forget to tell me that they have a ton of birds and chipmunks at their place all the time, she likes to rub it in, but I think it's just because our feeders have been empty for a while. Once we fill them again we will have all the birds at our place! One of the coolest things I saw this weekend was a Ruby-throated Hummingbird taking a sip of nectar from the Beebalm I planted in the rotten tree stump. It is so nice to see wildlife utilizing nature for their food needs, and I made a vow that I will never put up a hummingbird feeder but instead I will convert my butterfly garden into a butterfly/hummingbird garden.

I finally got to smell my Summersweet! It smells so lovely when a slight breeze blows into the campsite and you catch a wiff. At night it is covered in moths, and during the day the bumblebees are harvesting the nectar. I also got to see my lone Clematis flower before it dropped it's petals. I planted a Caryopteris x clandonensis 'Dark Knight' in my butterfly/hummingbird garden, but it is a zone 5 plant so I am doing a test to see if it will survive our winters. The bees love me for planting it! I also replaced a sad looking Lamb's Ears with a Sedum in the campsite, and planted a few other perennials. I have probably spent close to $1000 on plants by now... but it's worth it when you have beautiful gardens to enjoy. I also saw a very strange caterpillar on a rock, and I identified it as Orgyia leucostigma - White-Marked Tussock Moth.