Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Summer Projects 2016

I got a lot more work done on my green roof project this summer.  The modules I planted this spring did quite well, and they are finally up on the roof (thanks Greg!).  This is the last set of modules, so next summer I'll work on replanting the ones that didn't make it through the winter.  I think I'm pretty much done trying sedums, and am going to start trying different types of grasses.  Also the Aleutian Speedwell is not growing well enough to save, so all of those modules from last year need to be replanted.

Anyway, I also got the rest to the rubber tiles up on the roof and my walkways between the different modules laid out.

Rubber Walkways In Place

Looking West
Looking East
The second project underway is the backyard.   I haven't done much with it and the alders were starting to grow too tall.  The lower end was very rough and rutted, running the brush hog over it didn't work, so in June I had Danny with Dutchboy Landscaping come out and tear up the weeds, then smooth out the dirt.  Then he hydroseeded it.  In July I wasn't sure the new grass was going to grow, but by the end of Aug it was 2+ feet tall and coming in pretty thickly.  We'll keep it mowed the next couple of summers so it chokes out the alders.

Clearing 1
Clearing 2

Hydroseeded and starting to grow

In addition I removed the crushed rock from the fire pit area (which I never bothered to use) and covered that area with some typar road fabric.  This week I added some galvanized steel raised beds with typar liners and today we got a pickup load of soil and filled them up.  Next spring I'll plant strawberries in the 3 smaller beds, then potatoes and beets, and maybe carrots in the bigger bed.
'Lawn' mowed

Raised beds

Liners and Dirt added

Monday, July 11, 2016

Summer Update

Wow, it's already July.  This summer is flying by and I have a lot to get done.

Last week Danny from Dutchboy Landscaping came out and re-contoured my back yard.  He smoothed out all the big lumps and ridges left from installing the drain field and then hydro seeded it.  Now the grass is just starting to come up.  I'm still going to have to deal with some of the weeds, but should be able to shape this up into a nice yard over the next couple of summer.

And the new modules I planted for my roof this summer are doing really well.  I wish the ones from last summer were, but most of them were winter killed.  So I have a lot of re-planting to do.

Then today after running some errands in town I decided I really needed to get a step built for my front porch.  It's only been 7 years....lol.   It took me a couple of hours but should work just fine once the paint dries.  The guys at the SBS yard where I purchased the lumber were very good about cutting the 2x6 an 2x4 exactly as I asked, so it all went together quite well.

2x6 pieces

Getting started
Mostly done
Waiting for the paint to dry

And the flowers I've been planting out front are starting to look pretty good.  It's a constant battle with the weeds.  And moose stomping through them or the cranes digging them up.  But progress is being made.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Floor Mosaic Beginning

Back in 2009 when I was building my house, I had the concrete guys put a plywood spacer in the floor, just in front of the french doors that open on to my deck.  The plan is to have Shari create and install a tile mosaic.  Shari has finally decided on a plan and has started the mosaic.  So I needed to remove the spacer and get her some exact measurements.

So today Robert was kind enough to stop by with a saw and an old blade and remove the space for me.  It only took a couple of minutes, once he could get a small hole and a crowbar under the plywood, it just popped right out.

So now I have a 2 ft by 3 ft hole in my hallway floor, and I'm very excited and happy to have it, and I'll be even more excited to get it filled in, hopefully this fall.

Plywood Spacer



Open Space for Mosaic

Sunday, November 15, 2015

New Artwork

Last month I spent a week in PA with my sister Mary.  We had a great visit and spent a bit of time in her glass shop.  We made a couple a set of glass panels and today I finally go them up on my wall.
I really like how they look.
Thanks Mary!!

First Panel 

Both panels

Both Panels in the sun

Both panels in the sun 2

Standoff  Hanger

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Green Roof Phase 2 Update

I'm pretty pleased with my progress on the green roof this year.  57 more modules planted and up on the  roof.  The majority were planted with Aleutian Speedwell, which I expected to fill in nicely.  However we had a very hot and dry summer, and they got a bit fried.  But I'm still hopeful.  There are lots of little speedwell plants starting to show up.  If we don't get a lot of ice this winter, and they survive, I think next summer will be much better for them.

Anyway, Greg was here yesterday and got the modules lifted up to the roof.  Today I moved around some of the rubber pavers for my paths, and laid down more root barrier, then arranged the modules.

Next year, Phase 3 should be the last of the modules.  I'll have to re-calculate, but I'm thinking I only need 52 more.  Then Phase 4 in 2017 will involve more pavers to fill in the walking paths, and some trim!

Phase 1, modules & pavers from 2014

Phase 2, all the modules from 2015.  Rubber pavers re-arranged.

And, in addition to getting my modules up on the roof, I also got my alder pile from this spring burned. It's very dry here, and we had some gusty winds, so I kept the fire pretty small. It took about 6 or 7 hours to get it all burned and then bed of coals extinguished.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Green Roof 2nd Summer

Thursday afternoon my pallet of growth medium (80% pumice and 20% coconut fiber) and half a pallet (50) of the GreenGrid modules arrived.  So I spent most of Saturday afternoon and a good portion of today, getting them all planted.

Last year I planted a variety of sedums, but this year I decided to try a local plant, the Aleutian Speedwell.  It's a pretty ground cover plant with purple flowers.  It's known to get out of control in peoples rock gardens, but I'm looking for a lot of coverage, so most of the modules I planted this year all contain it.

Gloria pulled some of it out of her garden for me, and I had great luck last weekend in Anchorage at the Wildflower Club annual plant sale.  I bought all the Aleutian Speedwell they had for sale, plus several of the members either brought me a tray full from their gardens or let me dig some out of their gardens.  I was really amazed how everyone was willing to share.

Anyway, the mods are planted and I'm going to leave them on the driveway for the next couple of months so I can sort of baby them and make sure they get growing.   At least thats my current plan.  I had to chase a porcupine out of them earlier today, so if he comes back I may need to get them up on the roof and away from his depredations. 

Tomorrow I really need to get my new ladder set up so I can get on the roof and see what survived the winter.

Pallets Arrive

Everything is planted

Aleutian Speedwell

More Aleutian Speedwell

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

New Roof Ladder

I finally went into town this afternoon a bought a new 20" extension ladder rated for 300 lbs.  It's a bit more sturdy than the folding ladder I'm currently using.  So I spent the evening installing the safety handles, and the Lock n Climb feet to help keep it steady.  I'm rather a chicken when it comes to ladders and to heights, but I need fairly frequent access to my roof during this green roof project, which will take another couple of years.

Anyway, I'd purchased the safety handles and the Lock n Climb several months ago.  So I got the ladder home and unpacked my other boxes.  The safety handles were pretty easy to attach.  The ladder came with a plastic "Pro Top" attached, so I had to drill out the rivets and remove it.  But then the safety handles just slipped over the ends and clicked into place.  I just had to tighten the attachment knob so they don't slip.

Attaching in the Lock n Climb took a bit longer.  I don't know what it is about complex instruction sheets, but when I try to read one, my eyes immediately glaze over and I have no idea what any of those words mean...lol.  After several re-readings and looking closely at the pictures, I got started.  I had to drill a couple of holes in the ladder so I could run the bolts through, but it all went together fairly easily, if slowly.

The next step will be to take down the current ladder and put the new one in place.  But that may have to wait until Saturday.  It's going to take a couple extra people to maneuver it into place.

Safety Handles Attached

Big Parts

Small Parts

First legs attached

Lock N Climb all attached and half folded

Landscaping near the driveway.

This spring I decided to take down a patch of scraggly alders at the top of my driveway.  When they leaf out in the spring, they are hard to see around, and they are pretty ugly.  So after an entire winter of almost no snow, we got close to a foot of spring snow the week I wanted to start this project.  At least I had a sunny April day when I got started.

In their place, I planted some pink rugosa roses that Linda dug out of her garden for me.  I'm hoping to have a nice rose hedge in a couple of years.  

Since I didn't have the stumps pulled, I'll need to do some alder clipping the next couple of years, until the roses can smother out the alder shoots.

I like my small chainsaw.

Stacking alder to burn later.

Done with day one

June 1st, 6 groups of roses planted.