Thursday, May 16, 2013

Flat Top Goes Solar

Isn't she beautiful? Not the wisteria bud in the foreground, but the solar panel! For the past five days, we've been tapping the sun for our power, and it seems to be working out great. Amazing, huh?

So far, this 265-watt baby, perched atop our well house, has been keeping our batteries charged quite nicely. Of course, we've just had five glorious days of sunshine. (We'll see what rainy days and gloomy winter bring. It's a work in progress, as always.) We still have to run a generator when we take showers (the well pump, 375 feet underground, requires more juice than the batteries can provide), but now we only have to run that generator for those 20-30 minutes -- however long it takes us both to shower.

While Mason's been busy on the solar installation, I've been working in the garden. I've added a few new shrubs -- camelias, mountain laurels and others -- and have been babying the new swath of lawn on the north side of the cabin. Here's a glimpse of some of it ...

Sum and Substance hosta
Check out that leaf size!

The new north lawn, with Nick hiding in the trees. See all that dirt I need to plant still?

Columbine that I planted from seed during our first summer here.

Heucherella "Stoplight" (From the Barn Nursery)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Happy Earth Day to Us

I'm more than a week late posting our big Flat Top news: On Earth Day we ordered our solar panel system. Trust me, this is very exciting! As soon as it's set up, the only time we'll have to run a generator is to refill the water tank. Stay tuned for photos and tales of our adventures getting the thing installed and wired properly. Or more accurately, Mason's adventures.

Meanwhile, signs of spring continue to pop up around here. These dwarf irises, above, grow wild around here near the creeks -- and some somehow found their way into one of my flower beds. My cheap little Home Depot azaleas (purchased long before my new gig at The Barn Nursery) continue to hang on, and the grass I seeded about two weeks ago is finally peeking up out of the soil.

Congo azalea
Encore azalea
Not sure what these are. Clipped them from a tree alongside our dirt road.