Sunday, July 5, 2009

It's Been A Long Time Coming

I know it has been a long time since I have last written, but spring really came in like a lion here in Cornwallville. May was an absolutely gorgeous month - sunny skies, bulbs blooming, and all the birds returned in full force.

This month also meant major gardening. Aside from planning the pottery during the winter, I also was plotting major perennial borders around the grounds at the M.H. Merchant stone house. As much as I wanted to power wash the barn in preparations for the pottery, my focus was on digging and planting five good sized beds. It was truly an undertaking I wasn't prepared for. The gardens took Stephen and I the whole month. For every shovel full of soil there were three of rock and debris. By month's end the beds were finished and planted with perennials, summer bulbs, seeds and some of my favorite annuals.

Soon after completing the new gardens, within the next week, the weeds began to show their ugly little heads. It was a sight I was not ready for! Mulch was not in my budget this year and I knew I was going to have to weed, but I had no idea what I was in for. The next couple of weekends were spent weeding, and at that point I had little hope the pottery would be open in time for our open house at the end of June.

Then came June, wet June, soggy June, muddy June, one of the wettest June's on record. It rained 22 of the 30 days here in Cornwallville. All the rain was too much for some of the plants in the gardens. I lost about 10 percent due to root rot. The rainy weeks were so poor for the perennial borders but it was the perfect time to wash the inside of the barn.

So one dreary weekend I set out to the barn with the power washer. I emptied the contents of the barn out in front and began to blast the inside of the barn with jet powered water. I do have to tell you that power washing is dirty work, you get covered in what ever you are washing and soaking wet, but it is so much fun.

It took about the whole day between washing and raking out the debris, but when it was done it looked like a new barn.

The following weekend, I built some tables and shelves from the old doors and pieces of wood that I found here around the grounds, and set up the clamp lights afterwards. I decided that we should put a pea gravel floor in, but that could wait.

I set out some pottery that I had in some of my displays using rusted tin cans and found objects. When I was finished it actually looked and felt like just how I imagined it would be. It resembles something of a cross between a Catskill barn, an industrial goods antique shop, and a Japanese tea house.

I was so happy and satisfied that this dream of mine was complete. I could have never have done it with out the love and support I get from Stephen. It really has been an amazing time here in Cornwallville and I can not wait for the years to come.

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