Sunday, August 26, 2012 29 comments

Further down the garden path

A couple of days ago a Dirt Diaries reader visited my posting Leading You Down the Garden Path and commented that my new trail would look fabulous once finished.

That post was written on March 13th.

It occurred to me that between gardening, writing, golfing, traveling, entertaining guests and demolishing the kitchen I hadn't updated the progress of the project since then.

So thank you Karen from Australia,  author of the lovely blog A Gardener's Life, for giving me a dope slap and reminding me I needed to tell the rest of the story. 

Getting from here to there

The plan was to build a walkway from the house down to the waterfall. The hope was to get from here to there without falling down the mountain or ruining my jeans slip-sliding my way to the bottom.

There was no official design design aside from some rough pencil sketches. I explained my vision to our builder Alfredo and he took my thoughts to places I had not even envisioned.

He started by leveling out some natural walkways that would become the path and created a more gentle slope in the steeper areas.

He used 6" by 6" pressure treated spruce to build the steps and filled the interior with creek stone.The posts and hand rails are crafted from local locust. Pine bark mulch was laid down between step sections.

I could not have imagined how amazing it would all look in the end.
The first few steps are built to begin the project

    Ferns and hostas now line the steepest slope of the trail       

    Alfredo and his helpers dug out the area that would become the patio
    A stone wall is build around the entire patio

    The view from across the stream. Ferns, impatiens and a turtle cocktail table!
    The trail begins next to the house and winds down to the stream

    Steps had to be built from the driveway to the path

    Another stone wall was built to keep the hillside from eroding

    The view of the completed path from the deck

    A clematis likes its new home on one of the posts

    Nameplates mark plants of interest along the trail

    Chickadees soon took up residence in one of six birdhouses

    The trail is now finished except for new plants I'll add as time goes on. More ferns and natives (including Doll's Eyes and Pussytoes) are on the wish list.

    Next spring we will hold a little dedication ceremony and christen "Curly's Trail" to honor my Dad who loved the mountains, wildflowers, birds and birdhouses.

    I think he would be pleased.

    Friday, August 10, 2012 22 comments

    Free mountain vacation exclusively for Dirt Diaries readers!

    It's August and for most people that means vacation, staycation or as they say in the UK, summer hols.

    Unfortunately, the Hunts aren't taking any big trips this year. The pocketbook is still recovering from our month-long adventure Down Under, but that's no hardship since every day seems like a vacation here in the mountains.

    My mother and a Daytona friend are coming up from Florida this weekend for the first time since we moved to North Carolina. I'm anxious for them to see as many of my favorite local haunts as possible and I thought I'd invite the Dirt Diaries gang to tag along.

    So, welcome to my world. Enjoy your stay.

    I'll be back soon with postings on an exciting new rose, dahlias, fairy gardens, terrariums and much more.

    In the meantime, be sure to let us know if there is anything we can do to make your mountain holiday more enjoyable.

    Moonshine, shower caps and bear repellent are available at the front desk.

    Head for Pisgah Forest and Looking Glass Falls (scenes from The Hunger Games were filmed near here.)

    Mother's going to love this!
    Nature's own waterslide is just down the road.

    A trip to the Biltmore is a must
    The perennial borders at Biltmore are breathtaking
    An espaliered Rose of Sharon

    Play golf and check out waterfalls at the same time in Brevard!

    Preview one of the settings for the new Dirty Dancing at Fairfield Lake(What's wrong with the OLD Dirty Dancing?)
    High Hampton is another Dirty Dancing destination

    Number 8 is High Hampton's signature hole

    Visit Wolfe's Angel in Hendersonville. You might see a white squirrel along the way
    Or sit by our waterfall with an adult beverage

    And enjoy the mountain view from the deck