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Teahouse Takes Shape

Posted by moccasinlanding (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 19, 11 at 15:29

I'm continuing the Teahouse (the building formerly known as DERELICT GARAGE) construction job on this thread, since the foundation crew showed up this morning to dig around the foundation of the slab.

New footings will soon be poured to support the cement block walls. The walls will then be filled with rebar and filled with cement. The old metal flip-up garage door comes off, and in its place two swing open doors built by the contractor. I suppose that would be called a French pair, but not necessarily glass.

They are in the process of knocking down one corner of the cement block structure now, so they can dig out the huge tree root which lifted up the slab and that corner of the garage.

Once the footings are in place, the termite treatment will be handled, the rest of the old slab will be drilled and treated for termites as required by code. Then the moisture barrier will be laid down. As I learn what takes place when, I will post it for educational purposes.

Earlier today, I took a few pictures of the dug-out foundation. These guys work quickly. DH tells me they are presently cutting back the old tree root and knocking down the crumbling corner of the building.

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And this is the south end near the privacy fence.
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And this shows the garage as it sits on the lot, in relation to the back deck, the sun porch which is on the south side of the house too, and the gate opening out to the driveway and the street. We are looking due west here. I am standing in the "back forty", land we bought from our neighbor last year to have space to garden.
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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Teahouse Takes Shape

It's going to be fun to watch the transformation. I can't believe how green it is there.


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OMG, Marti, you and I seem to be the only two online at this time of day! I suppose it is green, but the grass feels like straw. The greenery of the upper branches is, in my yard, huge old ligustrums over the garage area, then across the street some big pines and live oaks. In the foreground I caught a couple of azalea branches , the trunk of a young pecan tree, and the metal arbor with a young star jasmine trying to cover it--the cold did nip that one.

Nice thing about all that dirt piled up around the garage, the foundation crew asked me where did I want it to go...they will move it and spread it out for me. What a blessing, because that soil has about 60 years of leaf mold to contribute to my garden plants. Oh joy.....

Actually, I had a knock at the door,a nd it was the termite guy come to treat the building for us. Wow!! They do not waste time. If the cold weather holds off for a few days, we'll have the total cement job poured and set up. My DH says it needs about three days to cure above freezing so it does not turn to dust or whatever cement does when it fails.

I am happy as a bug here. I know they will also put braces on the original block walls to plumb them up before pouring cement into them. I will be adding photos to my garage album on Webshots.com with the link below. Anyone is welcome to follow along as the Teahouse takes shape. And spring approaches also. Heck, I think this will be done in about three weeks if the weather holds.

Here is a link that might be useful: Garage Reno...Webshots photo album


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way to go! they're sure moving right along...

i could use 'em here!

can't wait to see how it all turns out - will be an awesome place for you to putter, relax and meditate.


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ML- I'm so happy for you...how fun to have your very own teahouse! What a wonderful project :)


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Oh, I can't wait!! (teahouse-- I LOVE the name) Your sunroom looks like a dream.


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Expecting to have workers by 7am this morning, DH and I were up and on the move by then. With the corner of the garage knocked out, looking like a bombed hulk from some WWII movie, we had a hole big enough for the two of us to WALK THE CANVAS/METAL FRAMED GAZEBO out through the hole. And now it sits in the middle of the back yard, until I decide how to dismantle it enough to have the 10x10x8'H shelter pass safely through the 5 foot wide chainlink gate. I am giving it to our sweet little neighbor lady in exchange for all the mature blueberry plants she gave us this winter.

She had a humongous 100 foot tall pine tree removed last week. It left a big gap in the shade of her back yard, so this is best use for the gazebo. It also has hooks around the perimeter so her flower baskets can hang there as well.
I hope that when I am in my 80s I can keep as positive and as active as she is.

Now, the old garage is empty of everything....except for the rubble of the fallen cement blocks from the old wall.


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ML so excited to see your start. I had to work yesterday and was so mentally exhausted when I got home I went to sleep.A good day but it did me in. LOL

I think you are really going to enjoy having the tea house. I know I am going to enjoy watching it bloom.


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Again this morning, the crew arrived early. The huge tree roots broke DeMouy's chainsaw yesterday, so he was back with renewed determination this morning. My photos which will go in the Webshots Garage Reno album show the slabs of the roots. Big big roots look like the trunk of sizeable trees.

And later this morning, I heard the beep-beep-beep of a truck in reverse, and looked out to see the cement truck backing into the driveway. They opened one of the 6-foot privacy gates so the swinging trough could reach through the gate across the brick patio to the wheelbarrows. We were
waiting for a while, and I found out they needed the moisture barrier laid before the pouring began.

The portion of the building being poured via wheelbarrow today is the footing beneath the walls. And also the corner of the old slab which was removed to give access to the huge sweet gum tree roots. I know nothing about cement pours, but it is a slower process when it must be ferried via wheelbarrow to its final destination. Maybe forty or fifty feet bayond the fence I suppose. So the really important part of the job, the structural strength, is a GO.

Perhaps this reinforced block Teahouse will become our storm shelter. I lay awake last night thinking about what I'd experience walking inside the place, with cibtauber plants on casters, limbs and leaves reaching up into the V of the roofline. And a couple of my teak chairs with cushions, a hanging lamp for reading, some hanging bird perches for my parrots to fly through the bird-friendly area. The spiral wrought iron stairs near centered for max head room to the loft, still being debated by my DH who wants me to wait about ordering the stairs until we see just how much headroom there will be. But I know it will be okay. I think DeMouy told me the roof will be 8-12 pitch?
I want those stairs, and I want to look out through the Lexan across the shaded "back forty" garden area. My treehouse.


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Looking good.


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Foundation footings poured

They poured the cement for the wall foundations/footings late yesterday. Since it was going down to 28 last night, DH went out and covered the pour to prevent freezing.

He says that you don't want your fresh cement to freeze. The water and cement ingredients will sort of separate and you will end up with DUST, not a solid or strong end product. He also told me that the drying process creates a chemical heat, so covering it will help retain this internal heat and keep the integrity of the cement once it is dry. Bless his heart, I could not find him after dark last night, and that is where he was. I'd already covered my tender plants with their blankeys and was inside keeping WARM.

Oh man, you should see the tree roots they had to cut from under the existing slab! They were bigger around than my DH's waist. I plan to save a couple of the lengths they cut out, to use for plant stands inside the garage.

Come on warm weather! This entire project might be done in about three weeks. I cannot believe it. How nice.


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ML- It will be so fun to have your very own teahouse.

If you (or anyone else) is interested, we have tea every Thursday afternoon, on the Cottage Garden forum...conversation side. I don't think anyone over there has their own teahouse, but yours would be an inspiration! :)

I'm so looking forward to seeing more pictures. It's going to be so beautiful...and spiral stairs to your own loft...how wonderful!


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Also...

Oops, I meant to add that there are a few gals, on the Cottage Garden forum, that have been talking about getting gardening sheds and having something similar to your teahouse. Not as cool, with a loft, but I'm sure they would LOVE to see your pictures, when it's all finished! :)


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Ok, today we have the beginning of a ROOF (first roof in last 20 years I imagine on this garage).

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And we also have the loft in the north 1/3 of the teahouse.
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There seems to be plenty of head room under the loft.
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I'm quite happy with the way things are going. I think there will be enough headroom in the LOFT too. I want to keep it as open and airy as possible. I may even take out the boards up against the sloping roofline, so air can circulate in that space. Maybe some metal grating. We'll see....nothing urgent about it.


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OH WOW ML so excited for you. Looking great!!!


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OH WOW!It's really moving along now! won't be long and you'll be decorating it!


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moccasin I love your backyard, this is going to be AWESOME when it's done!


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Thats sounds like its going to be awesome. Its fun following along with everything going on. Your parrots are going to love their own fly zone. That is so cool. Sorry to hear about Hurricane Katrina - I didn't even think of that when I created my post name - its just a nickname my brother has called me for a long time. I hope it doesn't bring back bad memories for anyone, I am thinking of changing it because of that. Great idea for a derelict garage.


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I love the way you are restoring the garage. I can't wait to see it when its finished.


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Katrina, not to worry about it causing a problem here. You bear no resemblance to a hurricane whatsoever. :)

And thanks for your nice remarks, and Nydia's also. It is awesome to see this old derelict turn into something quite useful and hopefully pretty as well. I can hardly wait for the spiral metal stairs to be delivered. And the Lexan panels too. And the metal side of the roof too. And the stucco guy... Much has been done, but there is work yet to be done before I get to do the FUN STUFF.


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This is definitely a cool project- keep the pictures coming!


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Thanks, Jay. Here is the state of the Teahouse during the day Friday. Roofline is about all that can be seen from the street when the gate is closed.

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Here it is viewed from the "back forty".
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This is the way it looks from the north end gable looking through the remaining holes in the roof.
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That's going together so quickly! It's going to be wonderful, when it's all done :)


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Looking Good ML. How does it feel inside now with the roof on? Except for the lexan (SP?) that is.

This is going to be such a great extension to your house yard life.

ME= jealous.

Chris


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I finally got time to check out the progress on your tea house today! I watched all the videos on your album. It was so cool to hear your voice!

I can't wat to see it all done and see videos of the birds flying inside. They will love the height and the sun. All of that concrete should make for a nice cool building each morning!


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Chris, your life up there in the mountains is awesome, but if you want to come visit the deep south some time, come on down!! I'll set up a nice bed with a mosquito net canopy out there in the Teahouse....not because there are skeeters to worry about, but because it feels so tropical with a gossamer canopy to sleep under.

Nancy, so pleased that you had time to visit and post. And I am guilty as charged of having a southern voice. Sigh.....when I first went north after Hurricane Katrina, folks in the shops there always always knew I was "not from around here." I thought I was using my best Harvard Yard accent too!

I walk around inside the Teahouse regularly to get a feel for the space, and how I will arrange things. One of my first things is the 4" thick slab of Honduran mahogany that is 39" x 8' long. DH estimates it weighs around 600 lbs and will need at least six steel legs. Placing that will be a major chore, not soon to be moved either. DH will build me some plant dollies with fairly large heavy duty wheels, enough to support the huge pots that might never get moved without wheels under them. And today I bought some lengths of chain by which I can hang flower baskets from the rafters, maybe some lengths of galvanized pipe to travel up/down with some pulleys, and my computer table (not a desk) to take my flights of fancy high up on the loft where I can look out at the trees. I have two large bird cages for my parrots here, but I have two even larger cages up north for them. Hauling them home to Alabama this summer will require dismantling them. But at least now we will have lots of room to sort through the goods we must bring out of DH's lovely cape when we finally sell it.

If we were younger, I'd consider keeping two houses, but since we are not, we must make some hard choices. Better now than heirs having to do it after we are gone.

There is (or was) a recording group called CELESTIAL NAVIGATIONS and they did 4 or 5 CDs with story telling set to music. Geoffrey Lewis was the narrator. One of the stories recorded had to do with breaking free of possessions. Each time something was released, he felt lighter and expanded into the open sky. Until finally, he was absolutely free and had nothing keeping him from loosing the bonds of the earth and soaring into happiness. Or that is how I remember it goes. Love their unique style.


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Looking good ML. What are your plans for it when it's finished?


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Marti, thanks for asking. I'm avoiding getting too specific with it, since it is my Freedom getaway.

Basically, this is what I want to do:
1. My plants. Top priority, getting them into a good spot where they can be cared for with minimum effort. Moving huge pots is hard work, and some of the plants have thorns (like the bougainvillea which is already blooming and does not like me to get too close to it. Then all my hanging baskets, some need shade and heat, others need shade and water, and then I have some which will only spend winter indoors. These include a couple of bananas and a couple of elephant ears. Tropical looking in the winter is a big love of mine.

2. A place for my painting where I can leave it be.
3. A chair, lamp, and table for reading and for messing with the computer. That will be up in the loft. I'm thinking the loveseat I already have, a floor lamp, and the old upholstered desk chair. Just so I don't roll off the edge of the loft.
4. A big heavy work table I can go all around to cut out fabric, even if I do not sew out there. My Viking Designer I might not appreciate the humidity out there as a permanent home. But I can spend time there without doing my cutting on the floor...my knees cannot take it any more. I ordered 2 more legs for the table today, DH says it might weigh close to 5-600 pounds, so 6 legs would be advisable.
5. Storage up in the loft under the low eaves as a permanent location. But TEMPORARY storage for the goods we'll have to keep once DH's cape up north is sold. I love some of the furniture, especially that which I selected, and do not want to get rid of all of it at once. Like 3 matching twin beds with great quality unused guest mattresses and linens, Pottery Barn tables and lamps, matching pair of upholstered swivel rocker, paintings, a Boston Interiors love seat, an Ethan Allen armoire, a tall cherry grandfather clock, and a buffet w/hutch. Plus a trestle table that DH made years ago. Also a round pedestal dining table And BOOKS from DH's lifetime as an academic.

6. I am thinking my parrots could like this space, as long as I am frequently there as a companion. Birds do not thrive if they do not get regular attention. But I know that my African grey will have a blast flying in this room, as long as I make sure no one is careless about leaving the door open or the ceiling fan on.

7. And, of course, I want to use this as a place to entertain friends. And listen to music. I think I can pump up the volume out there. Our two closest neighbors are both deaf and wear TWO hearing aids. What will I listen to first? PINK FLOYD WISH YOU WERE HERE ALBUM....classic!!!

That about covers it.


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We're just two lost souls swimming in a fishbowl,
Year after year
Running over the same old ground
What have we found?
The same old fears,
Wish you were here.

Sweet!


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Nancy, have I found another Pink Floyd fan? You rock, friend!
:)


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I heard that album with some friends who were high on pot. I always used the story of how I left my body when in the hospital for knee surgery at age 14 whenever someone offered drugs, and the story was creepy enough that I could get out of participating in the drug use! But I loved the album they were listening to, and bought it for myself. I always said that with Pink Floyd on headphones, no one needed drugs!


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"I always said that with Pink Floyd on headphones, no one needed drugs!"

This old ,still bra-less, hipppy chic is holding her tongue. Heheheheheh


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Well, you are all welcome to come listen to Pink Floyd with or without headphones in the new Teahouse. I'll have to hold a Teahouse Warming and upload a video to YouTube. I hope you will all attend?

(side note)...my computer is acting very funny, It is typing a single word on a line, then when I begin the next word, it shunts the previous word into the line above. I'm wondering if I've made some shortcut somehow with all my fingers going to wrong places. Like hitting the control key instead of the Shift key for a capital letter. I'm restarting to see if I can get rid of it. Most annoying not to have the words go where I want.


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ML Has some thing to do with word wrap in formatting but I do not remember how to fix it. Some times a restart will cure it.


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Testing one two three.
It seems to be cured by my restart. Thanks Shades.


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ML, we have both had trouble with our laptops here. Most typing is fine, then for no reason, the cursor will jump up and you will be typing in the middle of that line - sometimes several lines up. Mine, for the last few months, DH only recently. He thinks it may be a virus or something that the Norton has let slip through.

Chris, I have nothing against old hippies! I am going for the long white haired hippy look, myself. I've got to lose about 200 lbs to make the long skirts and sandals thing work for me, though. I may not have the actual hippy experience (a little too young for that, anyway), but the younger generations will never know the difference. I will NOT ever claim to have been at Woodstock, though! That is too sacred to try to fake.


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LOL Nancy. I was not there either. I did do SF a few times and it scared me half to death. I was kind of a quiet hippy. While most were living stoned I was working and learning to live off the land. Love the long skirts and sandals and I am right in the age frame.Even if I am too fat for them. Who cares. I wear them anyway.

ML how it your Teahouse coming?? Can hardly wait for the decorating part.

Chris


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I can hardly wait

for the polycarbonate!

Chris, my dad was a sort of later-day hippy in the mid 1970s. He found his second wife in the P's and S's in The Mother Earth News. He was a Mother's Lifer. He used to talk about putting Savonius Rotors on top of his barn. Instead, he let the barn collapse. Our State Farm agent lived just down the road. One day he stopped and asked my dad, "Gene, you don't think I am insuring that barn of yours anymore, do you?"

Dad and his wife had a lot of dreams, but never followed through. The last year I lived with them, she planted over 100 tomato plants. I used to have to hoe and water them. She ended up feeding most of them to the pig.

Come on, teahouse, we want to party!

Here is a link that might be useful: Savonius Wind Generators


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Sorry for the hijack ML but have to tell the truth behing Mother Earth News.

YEARS ago there were a few motor cycle riders that decided they did not want to work or live in LA,CA any longer. They went off and started writing Mother Earth News. MY Husbands Father was a large contributer to this rag. They would interview people that really knew things about the ways of farm eco life and then write about it. They gave Marion a life time subscription to it. Was just a way for them to make money. I remember we would laugh over how it all turned out,. Many interviews with Joe's Dad and it was Gardening how I got with my husband now through his Dad. I was friends with his dad Years before him. Maybe 11 years. I worked next door to his Dad.

Funny how the world goes around. I graduated in 1967 but was a flower child prior to that.

Was not all bad. I learned to garden make soap and do all kinds of canning and preserving. Always had a garden. I even remember making olives and boy if you do not do them right they are HORRIBLE!!! Shall we say a tad soapy tasting.LOL Still have the recipe. I doubt there are olives growing in Idaho.


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This is such a fun project and such a great get away!

I am enjoying watching this unfold. Congratulations on getting closer.

BTW, I love Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and used to play it all the time. Without drugs. ;^)


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ML- I like the idea of cutting out all your material, in the teahouse. That's going to be wonderful on that huge table. My grandmother taught me to sew and said you always need a bigger table, for laying out patterns. Seems you've finally got the right size! :)


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Shelayne, yes, DARK SIDE was the other album of Pink Floyd that we listened to when we were underway at sea especially at night when the waves were dark and lifting us rhythmically. We'd listen to that so much, we said the tapes (not CDs then) had 100,000 miles on each one of them. We sure did enjoy that music in the darkness far out at sea.

Well, today I tried to get the 12 foot long wire shelf into the walkin closet and lacked about a foot of getting it in. So instead of cutting it in half, I realized I could use it in the Teahouse quite easily, and I went to Home Depot to get two six foot shelves instead. So in my closet I'll cut a gap between the two where I can mount something pretty on the wall. The particular location is above the clerestory windows and will only hold wicker baskets or clear boxes with shoes or something that will contribute to the look of the master suite.

Now back to the Teahouse. They built the two doors for the car entry (emergency purposes only), and have the primer coat on them. These doors swing OUT, not in, they have a wide eave above them so blowing rain should present no problem. I hope, anyway.

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Foggy foggy morning. Everything dripping wet.
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And then, the view from the loft looking through the spot where the Lexan panels will be. Note our "back forty" has been cleared of the huge old azaleas. Star jasmine is planted to cover the 7 foot tall chain link and make it into a living privacy fence.
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That roof looks awesome. i love it.


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Long-white-haired hippy

Nancy sez: "I will NOT ever claim to have been at Woodstock, though! That is too sacred to try to fake. "

Thank you for mentioning Woodstock and being there. I was thinking of the movie PARENTHOOD, where Diane Weist says,
"I was at Woodstock, for Pete sake!" Her two kids thought she was over the hill, and out of sync with the modern age.
ANOTHER one of my favorite movies. One of the first movies for a young Keanu Reeves (besides I LOVE YOU TO DEATH).

Long white hair...me too. And losing the weight...me too.
Sandals and a muumuu...sounds familiar for sure. I know just what you are talking about, but I was ahead of the curve and too old for Woodstock.


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WOW WOW WOW All the pictures look wonderful. Love your tree top look out. Will be a wonderful space to sit and enjoy. Now I wish DH had put a window in my loft. LOL Maybe some day. Then again I would have just about the same view from our bedroom.HUMMMMM

Your roof looks lovely.And the double doors.

Love the foggy , dreamy, picture. WE have that here a lot. Many complain about it. I really like weather to happen. We are having a pretty heavy snow right now.


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snow? yikes. we had rain today... it's damp and chilly here now. I have socks on...and a sweatshirt!

I was a mild hippie - I still have my favorite jeans from HS, my suede fringed vest and purse - somewhere... I think I got those in my early 20's tho. oh gee. that was some time ago now... lol!

I love the foggy pic - looks spooky to me! your building is sure moving along. I can't even move that fast. as in walking or actually moving...


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Lexan is installed on the roof

Here is a pic of the outside, and then the inside. You can see dimly the bare tree branches through the double layered Lexan.
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and
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Now the roof is closed against the weather, although some of the trim will soon be put in place.


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Oh I thought it was going to be clear. This might be better to keep some of the heat out. Trees look dreamy in this picture.

Are you getting close to moving in then?

Exciting.


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I love the roof - you'll get a LOT of light in there.

you'll be moving in there very soon!


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Shades, I think it allows 95% light to pass through, and it allows condensation to slide down the grooves. I would have preferred it be totally clear, but for the sake of keeping the interior cool in hot weather (most of our year is hot), I lost that clearness. Dh says that we will put in two sheets of the clear on the south-facing end gable later on. One over the other. Maybe half a sheet cut in two? And a small window in the north end gable, so I can see out that from the loft.
Not a big priority, nor did we want to raise the cost at this time. The cement cost a lot, but was very important for the stability of the structure. I can live with the solid end gables for the time being.

I asked the contractor if I could move some stuff inside now, and he said I could. So some of my totes are going out there from the back bedroom. Simple stuff, because I've been really dizzy and unsteady all day.


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Looking good. I didn't realize you were doing so much with it with the lexan roof. I'm another Pink Floyd fan - I saw them in concert once and I was just mesmerized, my friends didn't like it and I couldn't believe it. The teahouse looks like a lot of fun, especially in your warm climate.


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Oh, nice. I like the blurry trees. It must feel good to get the totes out of your back room.

Dizzy and unsteady does not sound good. Are your blood sugars too low? BP too low? Maybe you need to drink more fluids. Take the time to take care of yourself, too, ML!


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And now a little further along, the double doors which lock only from the inside bolted to the floor and overhead.
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They just hauled away the heavy metal swing up garage door for salvage, DH nixed my plan to turn it into a living roof for a hammock shelter...said it would fly around in a hurricane. So now there is a window in the hole and we are ready for the stucco crew to show up Monday. After that, with a few little finishing touches, and the assembly of the spiral stairs, it will be turned over to us. I like that.

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic


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Oh, wow, ML! I love the doors and the roof! I bet you can't wait!


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OH it turned out wonderful I am so filled with envy. I know you will have your lovely plants growing in all around it in no time.

How hard does it look like it is going to be to put the spiral stairway together? Did it come in a box or??


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oh that's beautiful! lucky you. i'd love to have a big work space like that! can't wait to see the stucco on - and the inside.


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If I can do so, I will video the application of the stucco, which is a spray-on direct to the cement block. When they did it to the house, they first installed the Duroc cement board, a brand name like Hardie Board for the same stuff, I'm told. So the Teahouse exterior will match the house, both will be white.

That little window which is real glass, will have a pair of working shutters installed to the wooden framework, with a small shamrock cut into them. Then we can close off that one vulnerable opening to secure the Teahouse from tropical storms. I'm thinking a small window box as well, with pots of nice red or pink geraniums in them. Since that faces west, it is best to rotate plants in/out to give them some relief. I can see this image in my head, viewable from the kitchen window, or from the sun porch, and I know it will be a reminder of such peace and quiet we found in Ireland. My DH is proud of his Irish heritage, both his parents emigrated from there around 1905-10.


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That is well on it's way to neat. I love the name.


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I like the doors - like barn doors. I would love to see Ireland. So far I've only seen travel videos. Around here we always have to consider the cold, where you live its the storms. The window box sounds very picturesque.


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Katrina, yes, we do have to consider the storms, but we manage to luck out some years.

The stucco crew showed up this morning to prepare the surface of the exterior for the layers of stucco. They will even put a "lip" over the two garage doors to keep water from running down inside. This is the same crew who covered the house bumpout with stucco and matched it so nicely. I am getting VERY excited now.

And oh yes, indeed, I want the window box mounted under that window. Perfect Irish touch. Then a pair of shutter to close with the small shamrock cutout as a design. That glass window is the most vulnerable feature of the Teahouse, yet I think we needed it to be there.

Once the stucco job is complete, the spiral stair will be put together. It came as a kit, you specify the way you want the spiral to go, where you want the landing, any addons, etc. It came in a box bigger than a stove/range, but I did not see it in the box. The contractor had it shipped to himself, and delivered it to the backyard where they uncrated it and put the pieces inside the Teahouse next to their installation spot. I have not touched it at all, because I want no parts to disappear.

Oh boy, it won't be long now. Then I can begin restoring the garden plants. My garden helper/friend came over this morning and dug the big hole required to transplant the large lace-leafed Japanese maple from our river lots. I finally figured that it should be located where I can see this beauty from the dining room and the sun porch. We will move it (takes 3 people at least to load it) on Thursday.
A Japanese maple planted on St. Pats Day in front of an Irish Teahouse. Good timing, methinks.


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Spiral Stairs going UP

Yes, this morning the guy showed up to install the spiral stairs. How confused I get with what the final look will be, which way they spiral. And of course, the stairs are going to go UP as well as DOWN, come to think of it. Soon I will be able to walk up to the loft. Not MUCH headroom, but enough for me. Glad I'm not a tall person. Maybe tonight I can upload the complete stair. The railing will come later. Made out of wood, and it will be a bench if I can get away with it. No kids going up there, adult only zone. I do not think this has to be approved by code but we will soon find out.


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Todays progress:
Spiral stairs assembled, ready for railing.
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2. People door (plus window and double "garage" doors) have eyebrow added and are trimmed out. Other picture had deep shadow and did not show up very well.
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3. Exterior surfaces have cracks mortared, Duroc cement board (plus insulation beneath it) added to both end gables
Note that the cement blocks are not so visible any more.
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WOW ML coming along nicely. Stairs are neat. Can you go up them with out railing? I would be terrified but then I am so afraid of heights.


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ML- Your teahouse is amazing! I can't believe how quickly it's all come together. In no time, you'll be hanging that window box and planting the geraniums. Have you decided on pink or red...or are you going to rotate the color? What about the shutters? Green, with shamrock cut outs? I'm looking forward to seeing your next pictures...it's going to be beautiful! :)


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I didn't know they could do stucco like that. Nice stairs, looks like they'll be maintenance free. You and your DH have done so much!


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Shades, I'm looking forward to hiding out in my loft The mfgr has yet to ship one of the railings for the top landing of the stairs, so it will be open until they pop that into place. I also decided to leave off any security railing for the loft itself, so I could have full access to loading awkward shaped items off to the side. If need be later on, I can always build a sort of low bench across the open space.
The finishing carpenter adjusted the doors to swing properly, hung me two very long 2x4 boards I can use to suspend my hanging flower baskets. I won't use hooks, I will instead put circular loops of rope over the boards, then put the pot hanger through both ends of the loops. No nails, no screws, nothing to weaken the wood.


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Transplanted Japanese maple

I've loved this tree for 7 years now, and on St. Patricks Day we yanked it out of the ground and planted it. Took 3 people, a truck, and a comealong. I'm not sure of the variety, but it will have very lacy leaves, just now beginning to come out. I was hoping for a few more cool days to give it a rest, but today was in the 80s. It really adds a lot to the courtyard area in front of the Teahouse. Here is a shot of it in its new location.
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Oops, I thought this was it, too, but it is the very short and very round Japanese maple that is closer to the Teahouse, also in the courtyard.

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....and another foggy morning in Mobile.
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How fun to be able to garden. I can say now I am looking froward to it. Too soon here. I did go out and clean up dogs yard and add a few more lines to my clothesline. Until I ran out. Going to have to buy another spool. Adore your foggy pictures and it will make it nice for your transplanted tree. So the Tea house is all stucco now? Looks like it in pictures. What a wonderful transformation.

Going to be sloothing through yours and flowerladies yard pictures for yard ideas for here. Even though we can not grow the same plants I am sure I will gather lots of fun design ideas.


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OT For ML

I am sorry for going off topic but you gotta see this one.

Here is a link that might be useful: Doxie Fashion


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ML, I love these pictures of your progression, and I adore those stairs. You're going to put the rail back on after you get everything up there, right?


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I'm doing an experiment here. Off topic but ADORABLE.
all dressed up

Marti, you are the one afraid of heights? Or is it Shades?
Anyway, I probably will put a low wide bench like a rail around a deck, and the black metal rail which came with the stair kit will go up when it arrives.

I found some bright red geraniums with deep green leaves at WalMart today, also 2 satsuma trees in bloom for DH, and 1 blooming pink Japanese magnolia. Then 8 Wintergreen dwarf boxwood, and one flat of bright red dianthus. I'm also looking for a real Irish flag to hang flat on the wall inside the Teahouse. I cleared the plants out of the sun porch, and now DH is thinking he can set up his computer out there. Not on your life! That is going in the front bedroom which will become the study. I also bought some copper pipe 3/4" and 1" to make the double 84" wide curtain or drapery rods for the master bedroom. Espresso dupioni silk lined, don't think they will be heavy weight, and then the back rod will have cream colored sheers. DH also hung the closet doors and the bathroom door, which I must paint. But, for now I have to eat and help move the gazebo to our neighbor's yard. I think I just posted this to the wrong thread, but I might just copy and paste it to the Master Suite thread. Sigh. One project at a time is ENOUGH.


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Stucco applied today

And here is the finished stucco job, done by Bill Copeland here in Mobile AL. I've uploaded a few videos of them doing the spray work, to my Youtube MoccasinLanding account. And here are three of the latest. As the stucco dries, it will become whiter. I sat my geraniums in front of it to see what it looked like, decided I need a LOT of geraniums to make an impression.

Bill Copeland said he wanted to see the end result, when we paint some trim green and put a couple of shamrocks on it, and set up the windowbox. He said he did his best to make it "pretty," which I dearly appreciate, since it started out looking like a pig's ear if you remember way back then.
No roof, falling down, tree trying to move it, etc.
But....TAAA DAAAAA....

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This was the last wall to be sprayed, so its color is still creamier looking.
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First one sprayed.
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And now for the finishing touches inside. Which will take a little while, but it will be fairly easy, mostly decorating after the general contractor moves his scaffolding out of the way. Not a bad day's work.

Oh yes. He said he used about 500 pounds of sand and who knows how much mortar in this final spray coat.


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WOW This turned out WONDERFUL!! You really dazzled that pigs ear to pretty Irish cottage. Do you find yourself going to the window to look at it over and over?? I would be doing that!!!

Can't wait to see how you do up the inside.


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It looks great! Not EVEN the same building. How is the inside coming?


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At this point, I am resting a little. The contractor has to pull out his equipment inside the Teahouse, and now we work on the condition of the soil around the building. We only have a few weeks before it gets hot, and any new plantings will require more watering, so I want to get the structure of the garden in place before then. We have an air conditioner for the interior, so it will not be sweltering when the season grows hotter. An air conditioned greenhouse sounds like an anomaly, but it won't be really COLD, just knocking the heat back a bit for both man and greenery. I am getting a "feel" for the volume of the space, and it is GREAT having a high ceiling, raising the eye upward, and then a lower sheltered part beneath the loft. The plan is a new opportunity for me to try different things, and I love the ideas I'm seeing. The word INGLENOOK might be appropriate for beneath the loft? Just not a seating area, but my cutting/work table, the bird cages, some decent neat storage. Then upstairs to the loft. I am still mentally moving furnishings around up there. But first a RUG on that floor. 8 x 20. Think I should use a pad beneath it?


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ML I would say NO pad. I am afraid anything you might trip on would be dangerous. A flat rug would be great. We got one for the master bath on the cheep at 20 dollars. Mostly to attract the mud that comes in with the dogs. Plan was to use it, clean it as needed and toss it when it gets too yucky. But there is not much chance of me falling over the edge of some thing in the bath. LOL

Another thing. My DH built me a gate on the loft at our last house. I could open it to get larger things up there but there was still safety for me. At this house loft he built railings.All around. I HAD to have them. I am terrified of heights. Even 8 foot freaks me out.

I know you want to keep it as open as possible but please consider your safety.There might be building code about this.Can you tell I am worried?


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Shades, I hear you there. No pad for the rug, and we will make a railing for the loft. Not sure when exactly, but it will be there. Please do not worry, I have a protective streak for my own safety also.
:)


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I'm so happy for you, been following the progress of your teahouse. Can't wait to see it when the trim and all the plantings around it are in place. Envious.


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I like Inglenook for it. And I hear you on the garden work. Everything stops around here when spring planting starts because they have to get established before the horrible heat makes life miserable for both humans and plantings.


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Schoolhouse, glad to have you aboard on the Teahouse project.
It is a labor of love. Not really a RENOVATION because we never saw a picture of the garage with its flat shed roof that was the original construction. It was in such bad shape, even the contractor was doubtful it could be saved. Purists might raise an eyebrow over what we've done, but it works for us. My DH is a "bomb shelter" kind of guy, and I am prone to flights of fancy so I can try out new stuff. (Hence the spiral stairs, been itching to have a set.)

We toured through Bellingrath Gardens and the home yesterday with our family guests, result being total exhaustion today. It is overcast but no wind, by noon if it is not raining I may feel up to some yard work. Lovely day really, with a chorus of bird songs coming from every tree.
Have a great spring day, everyone.


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I like Inglenook too.

We kind of name the rooms in our house too. My arts working room is the Studio and that is tongue in cheek kind of studio. The master bath is the dog house.The dinning room is The Sitting Room.the rest of the rooms are what they really are.


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Haven't checked this thread in a while and now am so glad I did. What an incredibly wonderful makeover!!! Once dilapidated, now gorgeous. And I thought you were just going for a rustic facelift!!! I'm so jealous you have a loft. That was an afterthought for my glasshouse and SO says it's not structurally feasible, so I'm bummed :( I'm still trying to scheme how to get it done. LOL
Waiting for warmer weather so I can get out and finish my little retreat. Sister and family coming from Australia for a month's visit so I will have more helpers. The building permit expires near the end of May, so we must get hopping.


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The stucco looks great. I always wanted a stucco house for some reason. Not in a cold climate though. If it were me I would furnish it to make it as easy maintenance as possible. A place to really relax in and not worry about always cleaning. You are making good progress, I am looking forward to doing some landscaping myself when things finally warm up around here.


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Rafor, I think it was a Balinese house that I saw MANY years ago, which was of bamboo, with big timbers coming to a four-sided pyramid at the top. It was on stilts, raised up for air circulation beneath. There were the wide overhangs, and the sides also rolled up and then at the peak of the roof pyramid, a vent opened to allow air flow to exhaust the hot air. What was so neat about it, in the center of the structure was a raised platform, which stood there on posts, with a lower sheltered space beneath it, and then sitting upon it was the sleeping space surrounnded by netting, what we'd call mosquito netting a la tropical rain forest. It was this design which I suggested to a friend who felt sleeping within a pyramid would be healthy for him....maybe he should have tried it, because he died at 59 about 2 years ago this month.

I saw the original house depicted on the end papers of a WWII book, called THREE CAME HOME, which was made into a movie starring Claudette Colbert as an American POW in a Japanese camp in the jungles of SE Asia.

I think this idea is an old one, sort of post and beam style, and it gives a sense of enclosure within a high ceilinged space. A free-standing "inglenook" perhaps?

I barely squeezed a loft into my Teahouse, but it really gives a great sense of height to the un-lofted part of the space. And we could still bring a car inside if necessary...which I hope might not be any larger than a Fiat Punto or a really tiny thing that takes nothing away from the Teahouse style. I'm more into LESS IS MORE these days, and am exploring the WABI SABI concept of Japanese culture.

Good to see you back among us, Raf....
And Kat, I'm with you on the NO CLEANING. :)


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ML Some inspiration for you and your loft.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gorgeous loft


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Shades, I visited that site, and it's taken me two hours to get back here. I agree, that is some inspirational loft!
Did you see that slab of a coffee table? Oh boy.


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That is a neat place. What do you think this material is on this backsplash? Glass over something red, or something else?


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Guessing it is glass over red paint or maybe just red glass.Leaning glass over paint as red glass is very expensive. They use gold in it to turn it red. Not sure how that all works.

ML I also spent time at that blog after posting the link I saw the blog. That table is a real beauty.

There were several things about that loft that was similar to your loft.


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ML- It's amazing how much that little teahouse has changed! It's beautiful and makes the perfect 'away space' for you :)


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Marti, that looks like something that IKEA sells, and they are super reasonable with pricing. Take a look at their kitchen setups online. Sigh. I love IKEA.

And I am totally exhausted today. The teahouse HAS changed, and I am so pleased with it. Today, I was out shovelling dirt piles away from the exterior, most of it the subsoil clay, until I got down to the really rich topsoil made from years of leaves stacking up. Tomorrow, I will try to plant my leriope (lilyturf) groundcover and lay some stepping stones along the south end of the building. If I can get my sore muscles out of bed in the morning!

Wouldn't you know that our streak of guests continues, and this time my college roommate (who was maid of honor at our wedding 5 years ago) will be coming to visit April 15, just in time to tour the Teahouse.....which was named for the student hangout at the college we attended back in the mid 1950s. All my girl friends from college came to our wedding, because they knew my DH back then too. What an outstanding group of women they became. Awesome ladies.


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Moccasinlanding, Your Teahouse looks wonderful! I'm looking forward to seeing your progress on the inside. Enjoy your visit with your old friend, and have a wonderful Spring!


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Oh wow, Mama, how wonderful to hear from you. And today of all days. I attended a memorial brunch today at the home of a long time old friend, with her three daughters, in my friend's garden. It was a very touching occasion. There was a lot of hugging going on.

Please drop in when you can, I will start another thread about dealing with the Teahouse interior. It might take a while though. I'm having to do my gardening before it gets too hot.


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Fourth side of Teahouse Garden Planted

Yep, yesterday I planted it with stuff I moved out of the way of the NEXT building project, the kitchen remodel. Which won't be until next winter, but the plants can contribute now to the garden. I learned that major upheaval is NOT GOOD for the ground around a project.

But here is one of the views of the Teahouse, which looks nice IMHO. My DH is very pleased. He asked how many plants have I purchased and/or moved this year, and I estimate about 300. Most are small, you know. If I have to dig a hole, that counts as ONE even if it is a clump...like the iris clump is ONE. The ajuga plant (I had about 20 of those) totalled about 20....separate holes for each plant. And the new white-striped aspedistra/cast iron plants counted as one per hole. So saying 300 is a conservative estimate. One reason I am having leg cramps, pushing the shovel, bending over to set the soil around these plants. My hands are such a MESS, even with heavy duty gloves.
But here is one ....or maybe two....of the garden shots.

The door trim painted with Ace DRIED HYDRANGEA (yeah, I know...not GREEN so much)....
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The north gabled end planted third. Everything in the ground will stay low. The big pots are the show.
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The back or east side gets morning sun, evening shade. I will put hostas, aspedistra, elephant ears, iris, and leriope muscari here. Path is dry laid and mulch down, waiting on DH to complete drilling hole in wall for a/c vent and drain.
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The morning light after I planted and watered the east side garden:
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I just like this picture. The wall is wet from watering plants.
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I planted this west side second. I laid the path and landing pad first, since we decided that no car would ever go in my Teahouse! Most of the birdbath bed was moved from elsewhere in the garden. The strawberry bed covered in pine straw is only six new healthy plants. Lovely berries.
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See how barren it looked before I dug out the clay dumped around Teahouse perimeter during construction? Lots of rubble to sort out.
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And this is the south side, planted first with ajuga and dianthus on one side of the patio stone path, and leriope muscari on the other. Neighboring trees make it fairly shady as you can tell. I plan to hang fern baskets on wrought iron arms mounted to the 4 fence posts going down the side.
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And here is the latest view of the far end of the "back forty" where shade tends to protect the plants much of the day.
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Oops, Forgot To Show R2D2

Yeah, R2D2 is what I'm calling our little portable heatpump which DH mounted on "lifters" so he would not be so short, and so his feet would stay out of any wetness when I water my plants. As you can tell, I have yet to do much inside...waiting until it is too hot to work in the garden, and will then work on the Teahouse proper.

Isn't it cute? Just like the StarWars robot?
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Wow! I can't believe what you've done with a once-derelict building! You've got a great eye for the garden; I can't wait to see pictures after it fills and and gets established. Someday, I'll get to start my landscaping- lot's to do first, though! Is that a mini-split heat pump? I'm looking into those for various purposes around the homestead- basement, barn, etc.


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Double WOW!!! Isn't it fun to start new beds? That's what I did earlier in the week before the rains came (then I went to the cape knowing everything would be well-watered). Started to put in a small perennial bed just off to one side of the glasshouse. Brought home lots of plants from a nice nursery I found down there. Haven't been really impressed by the nurseries up around Concord NH. Maybe I just haven't found the right one.

But enough about me, back to you!!! Great job there. Your garden and surroundings look great.


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Thank you so much, Jay and Rafor. It is fun to create new beds for my plants. I had to restrain myself this last year before construction began, because any work around the Teahouse would have been wasted effort. But gosh, it was hard digging out that compacted clay and the chunks of spilt concrete, and old broken tile that someone had used years ago as fill where the old shed roof dripped

Jay, what we installed in a sort of permanent way is made by SPT-USA, model WA-1230H, and it is called a "portable air conditioner" on the owners manual. BUT, it is a dual cycle, heater or air conditioner, and a very economical heat pump. They are wonderful, let me tell you. My SIL had a unit about 5 years ago which heated/cooled their media room above the garage instead of running ductwork out there. It comes with the stuff to poke the 4" diameter exhaust duct out a window, and it draws less than a hair dryer in electricity. It has a 3-prong plug, it will usually evaporate the condensate unless it is a "high humidity" area, like south Alabama, so DH built ours with a drain line just below the air exhaust. Knowing it would put out water regularly, I planted my iris by that drain line. Since our walls in the Teahouse are 8" thick solid concrete, our installation is of a permanent nature instead of a movable or portable one. DH has an older unit up in MA that we will bring down here when that house sells. You can never have too many air conditioners that do not have to block a window! I plan to use that one in the kitchen when we redo it next winter. So this is our third go-round with the portable units.

I do not know where DH bought the latest unit, but I'm sure you can find it online. They shipped it to our door. It weighs about 70 pounds, and has casters. DH built little "elevators" for ours, I think it has a short guy complex, but it sure does look like R2D2. Oh yeah. It is quiet also.


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Congrats on the finished project, been waiting to see new photos of this tea house. You did a good job, and what a lot of work in doing the landscaping; it turned out great.


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moccasin, everything looks wonderful. I love your enthusiasm for the new plantings. I was hoping to see a GREEN door, but the gold looks good!

We have a similar portable AC in our new room upstairs. I've never liked it, since it's so big--now that you've named yours, maybe I should appreciate ours more!


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ML- It's beautiful! Your gardens are so inviting...I especially like the last one, in the shade. The arbor, statue and plants are lovely :)

So much work, but it looks wonderful!


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ML it really looks welcoming. Turned out so good. Great call to save the old garage.


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I love R2D2. Is it quiet?


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Mama Goose, I have plans for the DRIED HYDRANGEA by Valspar/Lowes to do the single entry door, but I found that what you are calling "gold" is the ACE DRIED HYDRANGEA, and
it is like a chameleon, changing from a faint gold to faint green, a cream, and sometimes even lavender. It is an amazing paint. I also have Martha Stewart's version of DRIED HYDRANGEA D-15, which is from Home Depot, and it is a really bright green, which I might have to tone down by half, and use it inside the teahouse, since it is much harsher than I want. I must admit, I went looking for every version of DRIED HYDRANGEA, because I love the NAME
ever since you used it in your home.

And actually, the hydrangea plant itself is a many-splendored thing, changing color according to the soil in which it is planted, and it has many many coats to wear.

Marti, R2D2 is quiet. We actually have TWO of them in the garage, plus a 20" box fan up in the loft to keep the air high-up from getting still and thus hot. All is quiet in the Teahouse. With that thick wall, not much sound gets in, and the metal roof is insulated with some sort of material, that lets me hear it raining nicely (whenever THAT happens again, who knows), but breaks the heat from penetrating fully. The rafters are open.

Shades, the contractor doubted it could be saved, but I knew it had to be if we were to put anything like that size in the backyard....there would only be room if it was close to the property line, and this garage was grandfathered in where it was IF we could restore it. I think DeMouy and his crew did a great job. No silk purse but it is a far cry above the sow's ear we started with! DH cannot believe how nicely it turned out, but what can I say.....I KNEW it would work out. :) Not many times in my life have I had the opportunity to dream a dream and it come to pass.


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OH, ML, it looks wonderful! I am looking forward to your photos as you work on the interior!

In the meantime, happy gardening! :^)


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