Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Shingles, Shutters & So Much More....

Yesterday being Labor Day, we did exactly that....we labored! I mowed down a large area of 3 foot tall grass and weeds while Michael continued shingling the gable end of the house. The area I mowed will someday be our vegetable garden. I left a large stand of bee balm and another stand of blackberries and a small grove a walnut saplings that we will soon transplant. Although you can't really tell from the photos, the land slopes down quite a bit so I'm planning on building stone steps that will lead down to the garden. The mowing and cutting was a slow process because so much was hidden in the tall grass. I found stumps and logs, baseball bats, soda bottles, tomato cages, horseshoe stakes and even a sand box. I had to walk through everything before I could mow, to ensure that nothing got tangled up or caught in the blades of the mower.

                                              This is what the area looked like before I mowed

And this is what it looked like after I mowed.
I also painted all the shutters we are hanging on the house. Although very gingerbread looking, I think they are ideal for Catch Meadow Cottage. These lovely shutters have quite a colorful history. I was able to rescue them from demolition at the nearby Winery, almost two years ago. My son Tim is the property manager at the Winery and he called me one day to say that the old Winery farmhouse was being torn down to make way for the new event space they were building.

I knew that the farmhouse shutters were handmade by the previous owners of the Winery and I just couldn't let them get tossed away with the rubble. With the help of my son, I was able to pull all the shutters off the house. I've been saving them ever since.

The old shutter is on the left while the newly painted one is on the right. They are now an olive green color. We took the purple backing off the shutters and later, shortened each one up to fit the new windows.

   This is a photo of the original farmhouse that once stood at the Winery. I took this picture from an old    
             magazine ad. If you look closely at the main house, you can see the green shutters I rescued.

Because we knew that big rains were on the way by mid-afternoon, we really pushed hard to get a lot done today. That included finishing the shingling on the gable end, hanging the shutters and moving the extremely large rhododendrons from the front of the house to the side.

                                     Michael and Mark finished up the shingling this morning.

           This is what the front of the house looked like this morning before we moved the two bushes.

       Mark and I uprooted the first one. Rhododendrons have very shallow roots and are quite easy to   

A couple of strong men really come in handy when the bushes are as big and the second rhododendron we moved. The approaching rain was timed perfectly for the transplanting!

                                                                 This one was huge!

And now the shingles, shutters AND bushes are in place on the gable end. We still have to add two small shutters on each side of the top window and finish painting the meter box pipe. Did you notice the rounded shingles on the peak around the window? 

Just as a reference, this is a comparison of what the house looked like during the first week of July....

                                          And this is what it looks like today... just two months later!
                            There's so much more to do but we're very happy with the progress.

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