March 1st, 2010

Garden and Infrastructure

It was a busy weekend, and there is some chaos happening at the house… Most of it isn’t caused by us. Somehow we managed to decide to build a house at the same time and in the same neighborhood as most of the city’s big infrastructure projects. The Oak Basin Sewer Project which has been closing down streets all around us finally reached our block today. Its not the only project, but it is the closest. We are also getting a streetcar which will be the first one operating in the neighborhood in over sixty years, and the Burnside / Couch couplet is underway which will lead to Burnside and Couch being one way streets with a big overhaul of a couple of major intersections. All this will lead to a really great improvement of Buckman’s urban center (where my studio is)… But its been a bit of an ordeal coordinating deliveries and work involving the crane. Fortunately we only have one big delivery happening for the remainder of construction, and that is our ecoroof plantings which should be showing up on Friday. But the construction has been an ongoing issue throughout the process because when telling people how to get to the site, the directions change daily.

Our Garden and Gabion Walls

We finished hauling stone into place on Saturday and got to work backfilling the vegetable garden. Except for the need to wire the tops shut, our gabions are done. We had a pile of rock left over, and it looks like the sewer crew is going to dispose of it for us and put it in the street.

In the back we planted a couple of little apple trees. We’ve been pretty much obsessed with Winesaps since picking up a bunch at the farmer’s market last fall. The complication with those is that their pollen is sterile so not only do you need a pollinator, but unless you resign yourself to having a small orchard, that pollinator has to be self pollinating. We have a small yard that we’re trying to pack as much functionality into as possible and what made this work is that Portland Nursery had Gala apples with “Mini” root stock. They’re self pollinating, supposed to only grow to be six to eight feet tall, they bloom around the same time as Winesap apples, and they’re tasty.

On the Inside

We’re just sorting out the last things for the inside of the house. The plumber should be hooking up fixtures in the next couple of days, after that we get outlets and lights. There’s not much else to making the interior work, but we have been working out details for our handrail brackets, and handrails are one of the last things we’ll need to have legal occupancy.

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