The Final Grade…..

Welcome once again fans of Middle Earth! I hope all is well this holiday season.

I’m just going to run through the pictures I took Saturday of the work Steve, the excavation contractor, did this week. It’s really going to be a special place once everything is green. Check it out.

Preliminary grade out front.
Preliminary grade out front.

He still has to add a little dirt towards the left side of the house if you notice. My fault. I forgot to box out the electrical conduit lines coming out of the slab there.

Steve says he knows a good stone mason. My idea is to cover the retaining wall on the left with stone (As well as the other ones that remain). I think if it’s done the right way it could really finish the outside off nice.

West side of the house.
West side of the house.

To be honest I never really envisioned this side of the house to look like this.  It came out way better than I ever could have dreamed it could. It’s as if the Dwarves of Belegost had a hand in this undertaking. When you see it it’s just awesome. For you Middle Earthers: Belegost (Great Fortress) was one of the great Dwarf cities of the Blue Mountains. First Age of Middle Earth.

Had to throw that in there people. It’s me, remember.

Just getting back to the previous picture. So my idea is to build a stone wall here along the retaining wall. This way there will be a nice transition from these huge stones into the wooden structure of the Hobbit house.

East side of the house.
East side of the house.

So what you’re seeing here, in case you were wondering, is an environmentally friendly stabilization fabric.  It’s like a woven hay type of material (Jute stabilization fabric). So Steve seeded the soil and then put this down so rain wouldn’t wash the dirt off the roof. Once the seed takes, the woven material will just disintegrate over time.

So I’m thinking that this is where we’re going to grill. Maybe a bluestone patio and a hot tub tucked away back there. I’m going to have to build some sort of stone steps up to the roof. Not 100% sure how I’m going to do that yet. I have a couple of ideas kicking around in my brain that might look good.

Rooftop retreat.
Rooftop retreat.

So this is a shot of the roof obviously but what I wanted to show you is the stone pathways we put in. They really are nice. I put a 12 x 12 area on the North side if you look closely. It’s big enough for a couple of lounge chairs or whatever you want to sit on. Great view of the pond and stream from  this location. This is also the spot that gets the most sun. There are Hobbits that like a tan in case you were wondering.(Did you notice how the stone looks around the skylight? Low maintenence people.)

I haven’t really put a lot of thought into the gardening aspect of things. I was thinking that I would try and plant out the skylights so they would be obscured a bit more. The Hobbit shed I have at home is crazy on the roof. You don’t even know that there’s a shed there. It’s so overgrown. It’s kind of what I think of when I’m thinking of Hobbit homes. They blend in and become part of the landscape, really.

From above.
From above.

Once everything grows in it’s going to be hard to see what’s there.

A different angle.
A different angle.

You get a nice view of the pond from here and the size of it. I can’t ice skate but if it freezes over you could probably have a nice little hockey game on it.

From the road
From the road

He really used some awesome stones. I just have to do a little cleanup around the site and we’ll be ready for spring.

This is a good shot of what I was talking about as far as planting out the skylights. I was thinking boxwoods or rhododendron. If they’re spaced out right they might hide the skylights the way I want. That’s a little way down the road. Looking for suggestions though.

Well I hope you’re all as excited as I am. What a transformation, right?

Well enjoy the rest of the holiday season.

I’ll see you next week!

Jim

PS: Saw Star Wars “The Force Awakens” on Sunday. We’ll talk next week.

6 thoughts on “The Final Grade…..

  1. Boxwoods or rhododendron….. The rhododendron is a shade bush that can get 5′ tall, and has pink or white flowers in the early spring. The native version is mountain laurel – do you have those there? Boxwoods like sun, take pruning well, grow slowly, and have no showy flowers. They are also very English. It is really not an either or situation but a what-better-suits-the-site question.

    So good to see you take a giant step forward.

    • Hi Sally! Thanks for writing.

      I think the rhododendrons sound like the ticket. I have some boxwoods at home and some of them grew really well and others not so much so. I don’t know if I picked up a different type but they are definitely not the same. I’m kind of looking for something that will grow about 5 feet tall.

      Hopefully this spring we’ll plant something.

      I guess the other issue is how much soil depth do they need or like. We have about 10 inches. I don’t know if that’s enough for small shrubs.

      Thanks for writing and enjoy your Christmas!
      Jim

      • I am not certain about the native habitat of rhododendrons, but the mountain laurels live in higher elevations and therefore often in shallow soil.

        A very Merry Christmas to you and yours!

        • Hi Sally:Talked to my sister Ann about soil depths and the like for theses species. She thinks it might be a bit iffy. When spring comes around I’ll investigate it a bit further.

          Take care,
          Jim

  2. Jim, what a great job, I’am so impressed.Love the pond.Well son-in-law you do good work,let me give some credit to Steve I can’t believe what he did. It is really looking like I thought it would after the work he did. Love ya mother-in-law

    • Dear Mother-in-law: Any idea why I had him put the pond in? I’ll give you two guesses. Remember the scene from “The Godfather” when they deliver the fish to Sonny? Yes? I thought so. Now if I need someone to swim with the fishes I don’t have to go far if you catch my drift.

      Thanks for writing and I’m glad you like it.

      See you Thursday….and put a little of that scungilli salad on the side for me!

      Love you too!
      Jim

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