Wednesday, July 11, 2007

rhododendron and garages

We are very fortunate to live in an area that has four seasons, incredible natural beauty, and an abundance of water. We teeter on the edge of being a temperate rainforest, and that results in extremely lush forests. Native rhododendron grow rampant, and this time of year they are all in bloom. It has often been noted that rhododendron and mountain laurel were contributing factors in the isolation of Appalachia. To tall to see over and too thick to walk through.

We have an acre and a half which is covered in rhodo and laurel. We relish the privacy they afford us as there is truth in there ability to isolate. Most of out property looks like the picture below.

But, there is one downside. We ( and this time I mean Laura) have spent the last three weekends underbrushing in order to allow for a little more light and air circulation, as well removing an accumulation of downed woody debris. Not all of it, but the excess. And sadly, the pile in the picture below is about 1/100th of what needs to be done. So far I have worked my way up one half of one side of the driveway. That leaves the rest of the driveway, all around the house, and in the back where we are planning a native shade garden. But, before we can continue we need to figure out what to do with this first pile. Its too big to burn, too expensive to haul. So, we are investigating the purchase of a chipper/shredder. Right now we are looking at a 10hp Troy Bilt. Does anyone out there have any experience with these? If so please leave a comment with your thoughts!!!

So, with the underbrushing on hold, we decided to tackle the garage. It has gone through several transformations over the last year from our living room/kitchen to storage to concrete countertop staging area to dumping ground to Bermuda triangle or all things construction related. Talk about keeping your fingers crossed that it doesn't rain! We did manage to create relative order out of the mess below, but after we finished I was too tiered to hold the camera up to take a picture. But, Matt has his shop back in working order now, full of tools and sawdust. Which is good, because we are excited to announce that he is getting ready to go out on his own! He will be doing custom interior woodworking around Western North Carolina. I'll provide more info and links to his new website soon!!