19 May 2008

new roof and nurseries

Oh boy! First things first:

We had a new roof put on the house last week. It’s beautiful, it’s sturdy, it’s been a long time in coming. If you ever need a roof and you live in Washington County, New York, get in touch with L.W. Roberts. He came to take a look at the old roof when he said he would, gave us an estimate on the spot, and did the job when he said he would. Plus, his crew was about as clean as they could be.

Because we were so excited about getting the new roof, B and I figured one of us should be at the house to wave goodbye to the old, greet the new, and take pictures. So on Monday evening I drove north (sans B, who couldn’t take the time from work, unfortunately) and spent Tuesday and Wednesday at the house.

Because one can listen to roofers ripping off shingles for only so long, on Tuesday afternoon I took a break to go nursery roaming with Betty and two friends, R and J. We visited four: Zema’s in Stephentown, New York, where I bought two Japanese anemones (“Honorine Jobert” and “Queen Charlotte,” both of which are hardy to Zone 5) and a variety of astilbe called “Ostrich Plume” that I’ve had my eye on (it grows to 30 inches and has drooping pink blooms: lovely). Then we drove to Great Barrington, Massachusetts, for lunch, stopping on the way at a native plant nursery called Project Native, where I bought some wild ginger (Asarum canadense). After lunch we went to Ward’s in Great Barrington, where I found—drum roll, please—my “Katherine Dykes” shrubby cinquefoil! Very happy purchase! The last stop of the afternoon was at Windy Hill Farm, also in Great Barrington, where I was convinced by J to buy a beautiful elderberry: Sambucus “Sutherland Gold.” A smooth operator, that J. He appealed to my alleged thriftiness: “You know, this is a fair price, and if you bought it online, you’d have to pay shipping, and the plant you received probably wouldn’t be as nice as this one.” Actually, I didn’t really need to be convinced; it’s a beautiful plant.

On Thursday morning, my cup officially runneth-ed over: I received my Rosa rugosa “Blanc Double de Courbet” in the mail. On Saturday afternoon, B went out to do some errands and ended up buying seed for the bird feeders, a new outdoor faucet handle, a length of hose to reach out to the vegetable garden, and a butterfly bush (“Black Knight”) for me (the one I bought from Bluestone Perennials was ground into dust by a diligent roofer looking to clean up dropped nails; can’t blame him—the Bluestone butterfly bush was tiny).

An orgy of planting. Loved it.

Back roof going on last Wednesday:

Only some of the new plants (heh heh!):


  1. The elderberry is great! I look at it often, but don't have enough sun.

    My aunt gave me some wild ginger last year. It's grown a bit larger this Spring... with blossoms that are so unique! :-)

    Having a great Spring!

  2. Very exciting! And only one tiny little plant trampled? That is definitely a great roofing crew!