Recent summers have been heavy with house projects, from tearing down walls to building up rotten foundations, from installing new doors to laying patio blocks.
Not so much this summer. After a spate of small indoor spring projects … nada. The last nine days, though. Whoof! On Monday the 5th the big rock garden began to form. It was finished on Sunday, then the very next day the tree guys turned up to begin taking out rotted and dangerously leaning trees.
Here are pix of it all.
This (above) is the house as of Friday. Rocks in place, but not yet turned into a rock garden. The big circle is the “emergency tree” caught in the branches of a cedar. It’s been leaning probably for decades, but only last month did it detach from all reality and become an obvious threat.
You can see we ran out of rock before being able to go around the corner to wall the driveway. A second load of rock was supposed to take care of that (and more), but the need to remove that tree put that plan on hold. Maybe next year …
And here’s how it stands this morning, with the rock wall finished (for now) and the last of the tree being removed. Not an adequate photo, sorry. Because I took this shot in the morning, the area still looks gloomy and shaded. By afternoon, though, the former site of the tree will be ablaze with sunlight for the first time ever. It’s a remarkable change that I haven’t been able to capture in pixels.
Closeup of the rock garden. On the left, I’ve planted seedum. To the right, flat rocks form a stair (which anyone could climb, but only the brave would ever want to descend). Come fall, I’ll transplant moss and Irish moss around the steps to set them apart from the more garden-y part.
Taking out that leaning tree. Being a logger is precarious work. When he eventually sawed off the leaning portion of trunk that he’s standing on in the photo, it rebounded and smashed into his truck. Looking at the vehicle, I’d say it wasn’t the first time something like that has happened. He later told me a much larger tree had once bounced over his head. “I almost quit logging that day,” he said.
The loggers take a well-deserved break. The main guy (on the right) is lean, agile, cheerful, and 60. His helper is stocky, swarthy, closer to 70, and looks like a pirate — right down to his missing leg. Amazing how those new high-tech prosthetics resemble piratic peg legs. (Work a lot better, though, I’m sure.)
Most of this work has required either tremendous physical oomph, professional expertise, or both. So for once I mostly got to be spectator, cheerleader, and client rather than manual laborer. Saturday, though, I spent the day shoveling topsoil over the rock garden (eventually joined by The Wandering Monk, who did it faster than I did). Then Sunday I planted seedum and Alyssium in the new soil between the boulders. Did enough honest work last weekend to end up footsore, backsore, sweaty, and dirty as a pig.
Have I mentioned I loathe gardening? Still, it’s been two whole days and nothing’s died yet, so that’s an achievement. It’s late in the season to be putting plants into the ground, so I’ll be applying Miracle-Gro and hoping those little guys put down strong roots before the rains erode our work.
So far so good, though.