Spring has finally sprung!

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Spring is here.... finally! The grass is green and the leaves are just starting to pop on the trees!

God bless America!

Spring means the big rock-moving excavator can come back and build more walls.
Late last Fall the very talented excavator men built a beautiful retaining wall for the gravel terrace that will be off of the french doors in the barn room. To see that process click here.  Several commented that they thought the "mason" was doing a great job..... but the mason has been busy building the chimney- the person building the stone walls is the driver of the excavator!  To watch him maneuver the excavator is like watching a gentle giant- it is fascinating!   With that large claw on the excavator he moves huge stones with the utmost grace and ease .  The man is a "stone whisperer"!
There is still one more tier of that retaining wall yet to be built, but the mason has to finish stuccoing the chimney and remove all the scaffolding before that can be done. Until then the excavator men are proceeding with building the end stone wall (the wall that is perpendicular to the retaining wall) of the terrace.   I designed the wall to have a soft, gentle curve to it since everything on the back side of the farmhouse is very rectangular.

So, here is just a little of what we've been up to this past week! 

In this photo where you see the brown dirt under the scoop, that will be the graveled terrace-  to where the man in the blue shirt is standing which is where the retaining wall is. You can't make it out in the photo, but there is a 9 foot drop to his left. All the stones in the huge piles (and these are just some of the piles;) are from the property- stones and slabs that were removed when we renovated the barn and dug out the bottom floor to make the garage.

The excavator man drives around the property and hand picks each stone.  (In the lower left of the photo is the mason's helper mixing a batch of stucco.)

The chosen stone being brought to the wall.

The first stone of the curved wall being set.

Ella thinks that stone needs to go a little to the left!  She loves the excavator driver... he brings her puppy treats!

The chimney with its third and final coat of stucco.  The chimney will (should;) dry to a medium gray, just a bit lighter than the barn stain.  You can see the curved stone wall coming along nicely in this photo.  From the terrace level down to where the excavator is in this photo (the grass slope in the center) will have antique stone curbing (long steps) embedded in the grass that follow the line of the curved wall.

No, we're not building a castle as one neighbor asked;).....the 4 foot x 4.5 foot granite hand-cut chimney top requires that we hire a crane to set it!  That was supposed to have happened last Saturday,  but it didn't, so until then we look like Rapunzel is in the house!!!

To recap:  before


Where the top level of stone ends on the right of this photo (the cut out)  is where the third tier of the retaining wall will start and run into the corner of the barn.  This tier will be built tall enough to act as a small wall on this side of the terrace. 

The first two tiers of the retaining wall off of the barn with the adjoining curved stone wall.  The curved wall took them only two days to complete!

Oh, and here's another little project that was built this week!
The stone wall behind the tree only took them 4 hours to build!   The man's a stone-genius I tell ya!

The wall was added for visual interest as you come up the drive, and to level off the sloping grade and make it more user-friendly for landscaping (please ignore all the worker trucks!)

During Phase I on the renovation we buried our electrical lines from the street, so I'm trying to landscape out the big box, and the electric meter!  Note the little Christmas tree-shaped plant in the photo.... 

This dwarf Alberta spruce was a Christmas present from my mother about six years ago!  We knew we wanted to move to New England, so decided to keep it in a pot so we could bring it with us to New England!  It was only about 7" tall when we received it, and has sat out through three NE winters, so I think he is going to be one happy little tree to get out of that pot and into the ground!!

 "Cheerio" to Dan, who is in London today! xx