Tag Archives: landscape

Wow! Lots of Activity


“Warner’s”We have a lot going on here at “Camp Smedley”! 


We have a lot going on here at Warner’s “Camp Smedley”! Our house is nearly finished although I’d argue that it will never really be finished. Homes are a work in progress. Right? Ned and Tom have been working on the porch railings and the steps down to the yard. It’s wonderful to have our coffee on the porch again!

Last week the landscaping was started and it should be wrapped up on Wednesday with our sod going down. This is a huge project! As far as we know, there’s never been any “real” landscaping done here and many of the plants that we planted have not survived.

We hired Native Notions from Belgrade Lakes to do our landscaping. Matt’s design was creative and the plants were appropriate and hardy (and low maintenance). He really listened at our first meeting and delivered a plan that was just what we asked for. Thursday the crew arrived and went to work scraping the old gross yard away and then began to fill it back in with loam and the flower beds began to take shape. A couple of things that we particularly appreciated what that they installed a silt fence to protect the lake and were thoughtful of re-purposing the hosta and day lilies that were planted by Ned’s mother all those ages ago.

Here’s what it looked like before …

The yard on the railroad side of the house ... before

The yard on the railroad side of the house … before (with a little bit of Ned in the top corner)

Helen's Garden Before

Helen’s Garden Before

Lakeside Garden Before

Lakeside Garden Before

Every day when I came home after work I  was pleasantly surprised by the changes that I could see. It’s already a huge improvement and I can’t wait to see the finished project! I hope I took enough before and after pictures so that you can see what a wonderful job they did!

Day 1 - the yard on the railroad side after

Day 1 – the yard on the railroad side after

Day 1 - Lakeside Garden - After

Day 1 – Lakeside Garden – After

Day 1 - Helen's Garden - After

Day 1 – Helen’s Garden – After

One of my favorite parts, oddly enough, is the pathway of rocks around the house that will serve as a drip edge. It’s so pretty!

We are getting ready to have the whole family here for our wedding on July 30. Lots to finish up and clean up in preparation for our big event. I figure if we can live together in our little guest cottage for ten months and build a house without detesting each other we figured it’s time to make it formal!

Every day we thank our lucky stars to be here!

Meet Elliot

A Beautiful Messalonskee Day!

A Beautiful Messalonskee Day!

It’s a beautiful spring day here on Messalonskee!

We met with (the incredible) Elliot Thayer this morning. Elliot is our surveyor and he’s been a most wonderful help with the entire permitting process, walking us through it step by step. Today we were discussing our “special” case and how the frost wall and slab for our new house will work. Because we are so close to the lake, we have to take (and want to take) all sorts of precautions. The first of which will be to build a berm all around the construction site to keep the silt and run-off from going into the lake. We’ll take delivery of 16 yards of wood bark mulch and some rock to mix with it to build the berm and then the backhoe will place it all around the site.

We were given Elliot’s name last summer and when we met him we knew he was “our guy”. While the initial fee was a bit shocking, we are so grateful to have him in our corner and I’m quite sure that we’d be nowhere close to where we are without him. And, on top of it all, he’s a really nice man.

Elliot called the roads department after he left us and he says that the posting on our road will be removed on Sunday or Monday. Then we can really start to make headway! We also have to get a permit from the DEP for the demolition. Elliot is going to work on that.

Day Lilies

Day Lilies have doubled in size since yesterday!

The birds were all over the yard this morning. gold finch, yellow rumped warbler, and several others. The feeders were active and it was a brisk 49 degrees.

This afternoon we got the better part of the yard raked and ran a bunch of errands. (I now have a bank account in Maine! Woo! Hoo!) The perennials are popping up all over the  yard. It’s such a thrill to see the plants come back year after year. I’m looking forward to adding to the perennials this summer and planting bulbs in the fall so we can see them come up next spring.

Baby steps. Every day there is progress!

lake rocks and fog (1 of 1)

This was a summer house and as such one didn’t spend long stretches of time there, season following season, growing older. You would assume children who grew up in one place would have a great affection for their childhood home, of hours spent in the rooms,  or perhaps the swing in the back yard. An itinerant of sorts, I moved when I was ten and then that house was sold when I went off to college. However, the summers I spent here, swimming, exploring, and jumping from rock to rock in the ever popular game of “Get From Here to There Without Touching the Grass” produced an affectionate attachment to certain naturally occurring solid aggregates. I remember when I was young and some work was done on the property involving a backhoe or some such construction machine, it came through the yard, burying or displacing the landmarks of my youth. When I discovered the rocks gone I couldn’t of course complain to adults. That would have been perceived as silly.” THEY’RE ROCKS FOR HEAVENS SAKE!” I dismissed those feelings as childish. But I don’t think they were. Certainly they were the product of carefree vacations not the grind of school or chores or responsibilities. The affection I have for those rocks is based on memory, however faulty, and I respect that.rocks at night (1 of 1)

Now I will make an effort to hold on to those ever-present denizens of the dirt. (Shoreline rocks are as fun but that’s a different game.) Woe be to the backhoe operator who destroys my friends, or alters the difficult hop/jump path one must take to avoid the grass.