The rock wall/rock garden project begins on Monday.
I already killed a whole bank of grass and weeds (an early and encouraging victory in my recently declared War on Lawns). My act of vicious, premeditated herbicide is supposed to make it easier for The Wandering Monk to carve through and shape the soil of the bank, but that’s still going to be pick-axe work. Ugh.
The quarry brought out the rock yesterday morning and dumped it across the street. My instructions had been “rock of the maximum size one man can handle and some slightly smaller, everything between 60 and 40 pounds.” I’d worried that they’d break it up too small, which isn’t the way to make a good looking rock garden.
When I saw what they brought I was pleased — but knew instantly The Monk wouldn’t be.
The guys at the quarry have a different idea than I about what one man can lift.
The majority of these rocks have got to be well over 100 pounds, with a few running closer to 200 — great for the wall, rotten for The Monk and his minions (which for this project include both me and a 14-year-old from the neighborhood).
The cat likes them, though. As averse as she is to anything new, she took to the rock pile right away and has been climbing all over it from the first hour. Naturally, being a cat, she wouldn’t do her queen of the hill routine when I wanted a photo. But she did deign to turn her regal head and give me A Look.
The Monk wisely came out yesterday afternoon to scope out the situation. We discussed dollies, pully systems, hoists, skids, and other ways to move the mini-boulders across the road and lift them into position. We couldn’t agree or come up with anything really brilliant.
So we dashed to the lumber yard, when I knew the semi-retired town’s-greatest-expert-on-everything-construction-related was on part-time duty. He grokked immediately what we needed — a makeshift hoist — and as he described it The Monk and I were relieved to realize that between us, after years of construction work on both our houses, we have almost everything we need: heavy-duty chains and ropes, giant bolts, a come-along, and inch-plus plywood. A few 4x4s are probably all we’ll need to buy, and those can later be used on other projects.
That’ll be Tuesday. Monday is shifting a whole lot of dirt and spreading plastic sheeting (which again I have a ton of, thanks to Ye Olde Wreck’s many past needs).
Wish us luck.