Saturday, October 16, 2010

Final House Thoughts

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The sun has left a 4 mph wind to close the day as larch needles fly like snowflakes and maple and birch leaves drift past my office window. Mrs Doe Deer and two fawns were here for over an hour earlier this afternoon as they munched on raspberry leaves, a deer candy of sorts. Since they left, the only visit has been from brief gusts of wind and wet leaves bouncing against the window screen. 40° did not make for a pleasant day and as I dumped the rain gauge with 2.2 inches of rain since yesterday, I was thankful it didn't get colder last night as it did in some parts of New England. We have seen snow this early before but it's never welcome.

Yesterday in Back In Vermont I mentioned the benefit of studying older landscapes and older home architecture. Today I ran across this picture from a house in Harmonyville, Vermont I took last fall. We were in southern Vermont tracing the steps of writer of weird tales, H P Lovecraft, and his good friend Vrest Orton, later of Vermont Country Store fame, when we noticed the house. The house is not winning any local community awards for a tidy lawn or well kept premise but once again it exemplifies my suggestion that old is good. The lines of this house are straight, there are plenty of windows for lighting and cross ventilation, there is an ample attached shed, and originally there were two chimneys (now one), probably complete with fireplaces, top and bottom.

The standout on this house is the porch as Gail will quickly point out. In the old days, all houses had a porch someplace and the further south you went the larger the porches. They were places to recover from the heat of the day or from an overly warm house. Gail says there's nothing like a long porch and a line of rocking chairs to momentarily tranquilize an exhausted gardener. She has a point.

I don't want to overstate my premise that old is good but with houses as with gardens, there's something noteworthy with the designs of the past. In this case, a very simple architecture provides a home with ample space, opportunity for several layouts, and in modern consideration, affords both green and sustainability options that are very marketable. If this style house were rehabbed to modern standards, space exists to provide those assets and make buyers smile.

No more house stories. Promise.

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond. Alex and I have chicken duty now--have to take care of a friend's chickens while he is away taking care of his recuperating dad. Maybe they'll enjoy a fresh kale......the chickens!

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
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anna said...

I always enjoy your stories, whether on houses, nature, or other 'Americana'. Your stories show the best side of the country you live in, they're uplifting & sincere.

anna said...
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