Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bottle Wall, Day Four

Spring is here! Today while working in the yard I saw 6 species of butterflies. The butterflies were 1 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail,  4 Falcate Orangetips, 1 Sleepy Orange, 2 Spring Azures, 1 Anglewing sp and 1 Mourning Cloak.

The frogs are calling nearly non stop, mostly Spring Peepers, then Upland Chorus Frogs and new for the year today Pickerel Frogs calling. Tonight the peepers are a 5-6 on a scale of 10 for intensity.

Between my errands I had to do today, I worked on the installing bottles in the bottle wall. The first being underground I have to make sure they were capped. I found caps or corks for most of them, the rest I sealed with duct tape. My expensive duct tape (left over from a job) messed up and can not be used until I can fix it, never had this happen before. FYI when you lay the bottles point them down slightly towards the opening so it does not fill up is it does get wet.
 You can not see it, the bottom two  rows of bottles are green then clear. The photos makes those lower clear bottles look green. The plan is to bring the wall up to (grade) the top of those sunken in concrete blocks(the upper blocks are one of the cold frames). The two green bottles on ends at a 45 degree angle are the base of leaves. Those leaves will curl out and then down slightly. Between the leaves will be a big blue flower above grade so the light can shine though it. The top of the wall will likely roll up and down.
A bonus with the bottle wall is the reflection on the pond, I like it.

The mix I used for concrete was 3 shovels Portland Cement, 6 shovels #78 gravel and 9 shovels sand per wheelbarrow load. This portion of the wall took two wheel barrow loads.

Right now I'm hoping that using Portland cement  instead of type S mortar is going to be OK. Type S motar is Portland cement with lime added. Reading the bags type S is for 1/2 inch joints and concrete is for 2 inches deep and over. It all looks good, in the morning we'll see.

Now some of what is blooming in the garden!

Crocus chrysanthus 'Gipsy Girl' just opened up yesterday, it is a stunner and new addition to our garden.

 This primrose we bought from Clifford Parks at Pine Knot Farms Hellebore Event last year. Glad to see it made it through our hot dry summer.
 Crocus vernus 'Jeanne d'Arc' in a small drift.
 American Plum blooms are at peak right now. The tree has been is sad shape for years, maybe 1/3 of the tree is blooming. The aroma right now on a warm day can be picked up more than 50 foot away! Butterfly magnet, yet today I saw no butterflies on it.
 Our Bleeding Heart, Meg pointed this out to me yesterday. It is a mini right now, hope it fills out like last year.
We have seen Valentine in the new bird feeder a few times, she scatters if you bring out a camera. Grumpy on the other hand has one-eye and he is very tame. No he won't catch any birds, just enjoying the view. I'm really surprised he climbed up there.


Southern Lady said...

I love the bottle wall. The reflection in the water will be a great bonus. So glad that you are enjoying this nice weather. We are enjoying hearing the frogs croaking at the pond in the evenings now. Carla

Beyond My Garden said...

The wall is coming along nicely. The cat definitely knows a secret.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

The bottle wall is really looking great. I wasn't sure what it was going to look like since I'd never heard of a bottle wall before. Looking forward to seeing more pictures of your progress.
Our Bleeding Hearts are still barely out of the ground, almost a month behind. You have a really nice variety of Crocus.

Chandramouli S said...

Oh wow! Reflection of the bottle wall! That's gonna look awesome! Your crocuses are lovely...

One Question:
Do you have any tips to attract damselflies to the garden other than having a water source? Or is that the only way? I was surprised they came to my garden because from what I read, they are found near water sources, aren't they? Did they come because it'd rained that day?

Chandramouli S said...

Oh, another Q: (:D): I've heard that miles (about 15 miles) from our place they get hummingbirds. Is it possible (I think it is not, but just curious) that they would come here into the city, attracted by flora?

HAZEL said...

The photos of the flowers are, as always, superb. I am enjoying the building of the wall series too. But my absolute favourite part of this blog is the one eye cat in the bird feeder...his name suits his expression perfectly!

tina said...

Grumpy is adorable. Your bottle wall is looking beautiful.

FlowerLady said...

Your bottle wall is going to be fantastic. I too, love the reflection in the water. Can't wait to see the end product.

I love Grumpy.

Happy Gardening, Wall Creating and Happy Spring,


Bangchik said...

Your wall will be very authentic!! ~bangchik

Darla said...

I like have really been working on that bottle wall, it's going to be so unique and what a splendid addition to your gardens. That first Crocus is stunning!

meemsnyc said...

The bottle wall looks amazing! I love that your cat is in the bird feeder. It's like a trap for the birds. LOL

Janet said...

I see your one eyed cat and raise you a one eyed dog. They do manage well don't they?
The wall is coming along nicely. We have been seeing some butterflies here as well.
I will have to check my Bleeding Heart...saw buds a couple days ago.

wiseacre said...

I see what you did :)

The wall looks interesting and I want to see it finished with the light shining through. Don't forget to embed a coin with this years date showing.

Poor Grumpy, at least he looks like he's getting along well. Was he a fighter or did he runz with scissors?

Cameron said...

Wonderful wall! And, all of those blooms are so gorgeous.

Grumpy has a great vantage point! LOL

We went to Raulston today. So lovely this week, but we were tired from all of our garden work, so ventured over to Raleigh to see the blooms there.

Cameron said...

Randy -- since you asked on my blog, I'll answer on yours...

The Boys from Carolina playing near you:

Museum of Natural Sciences, 3rd Floor Raleigh NC May 9 6:00 to 8:00

Broad Street Cafe Durham May 13 9:00

PlantPostings said...

Can't wait to see the bottle wall completed! I have some Crocuses, but I'm not sure what variety. They aren't blooming yet, but I'll have to ask all of you Crocus experts to help me ID them. Happy Spring!

Just Jenn said...

It's fun watching the bottle wall go up and Grumpy hanging out in the bird feeder is funny. ^^

Kim and Victoria said...

You have so much in bloom!

Les said...

Me and my non-gardening wife are drooling over 'Gipsy Girl'.

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Anonymous said...

nice job. can i please ask if your '5 to 1' concrete mix has turned out okay? i am also about to build a bottle brick wall and am contemplating using 5 shovels of sand to one shovel of portland cement. thanks!