Thursday, September 25, 2008

Operation Guttersnipe

Rotten old gutters

We've started on the gutter project (we thought the swing project and the trellis project needed company). We had initially planned to hire someone else for the gutters. I thought, being all mature but willing to make sacrifices to do the responsible thing, "It's probably going to be expensive. It could cost as much as $750. But we're just going to have to save our pennies and do it." So when the first estimate came in at $1,200, it was something of a blow. When the second guy told us he could do it for a mere $3,000 (just a reminder: we do not live in the Taj Mahal. We live in a 1300-square-foot farmhouse. And it's a 2-story house, so it's not even a full 1300 square feet worth of roof) we realized a different approach--a more personal approach--was needed.

Rusty old gutters

The first step was to pull the old gutters off. As we have only the one ladder, and as Matt, to speak frankly, doesn't really trust me in matters where balance and dexterity are required, he climbed up and pulled the gutters off while I picked up the pins and spacers when the fell on the ground.

Matt testing the fascia. This'll have to go.

The next step is to rip off the rotten fascia and replace them. This <sigh> will entail more painting, of course. I wish I could feel that the massive amount of painting I've done has developed my painterly skills set, but every time I get in the shower and see the squidgy, blobby line where the red wall paint meets the white ceiling paint, I taste futility.

Anyway, once the fascia's done, we'll buy & hang the new gutters.

Interesting aside: our house wasn't originally stone--it was an old wooden farmhouse. When Matt was up on the roof, he got to see the original house where the fascade ends.
Stone facade & original wood exterior

Meanwhile, just after I discussed lycoris in the context of oxblood lilies last week, our garden produced a lycoris. I have no idea where it came from--I don't remember it from last year, but I can't imagine I would have bought and planted a solitary bulb like this. In any event, here it is, gamely if inexplicably blooming in the front bed. Wonderfully explosive, isn't it?

Volunteer Lycoris radiata in the front bed

Lycoris radiata closeup

And finally, here are a couple of Crinum macowanii seedlings from the seeds I bought on ebay earlier this summer. They've been rather slow to germinate and then to grow, but they're starting to put on a little size. We'll be putting some in our shade garden--not sure what I'll do with the rest.

Crinum macowanii seedlings


Anonymous said...

Yes, yes the lycoris! That's what sprung up in a hanging basket I have and now 3 in the tree line at the gulley. Have absolutely no idea where they came from. I've never had this plant or bulbs. And how odd that they didn't appear during the last 3 years of the 4 years we've been on this property. Can or do birds drop these bulbs? Yea birds! I really like the little things and will transplate them to a more suitable home.


Elgin House said...

Hey Ladonna! They're lovely, aren't they? I had to google to find out if Lycoris propagate by seeds (some bulbs only propagate vegetatively). Here's what the dude said: "Some hurricane lilies produce viable seeds. Unfortunately, seeds don't germinate easily and it may take 6 to 12 years for seedlings to produce bulbs large enough to flower."

So that may explain why the volunteers took a while to show up.


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