SOD, ROCKS, FIRS & HEATHERS

 

SOD, ROCKS, FIRS & HEATHERS

SOD, ROCKS, FIRS & HEATHERS

Somewhere along here ?

The last of the current round of garden projects is now underway with the creation of the front Heather
and Conifer bed. Its been a while getting to this stage but finally, the crew, yours truly, broke ground
yesterday armed with the faithful pickaxe and wheelbarrow.

First layout

The upside down paint had survived the hailstorms and all other excuses were exhausted. A dolly
came to hand and a collection of various rocks from the jungle at the rear of the property were all
dragged round the front with much huffing and puffing. I was washing same off when one of our
guests asked what was happening so I told him I was just about complete apart from one rock that I
really liked but couldn’t, as yet, work out how to transport to the new bed. A beautiful giant rock
weighing close on 500 lbs had caught my eye but was too heavy for the borrowed dolly. The Stone
Henge builders had only been able to roll it over after a double hernia and it had crashed through the
undergrowth taking everything else with it ending up in the ditch along the side of the property.

First batch of heathers and pretty rocks

Some time later the guest and friend appeared at the new bed location to announce the arrival of said
giant stone which they had hauled round the front with his Chevy pick up! Not quite sure what I’m going
to do with it now but I guess where ever I decide to put it I had better get it right the first time.

The 500 pounder arrives!

Sod cutting was the order of the day and as night approached 25% of the task was complete. Not the
fun part but it has to be done so I’m looking at another day and a half at least before rock positioning
and planting can continue. Another item on the “to do” list came to light and it seems the two pool
recliners were assembled by two different carpenters and believe it or not one has the arms on
backwards!! so much for quality control on expensive teak poolside furniture. The even stranger thing
is having had the furniture for nearly 5 years I had never noticed it either!

Spot the difference

The “Friday afternoon” chair

In other news the fruit bed, which was looking fine, is now a sorry sight for the eyes. Not sure whether
the cold strong winds have fried the plants or whether the new sheep manure compost is not to their
liking. Questions are being asked and we are waiting for America to vote and see whether the
compost gets the heave ho or we wait and see if its a combination of transplant shock and cold
winds. Personally I think its the sheep sh1t ! The new little “tree bed” is looking the same and that is
also full of the same base compound for planting……. as always we live and learn but somehow never
fast enough.

Try again…… minus the SS

Opinion has it that the compost is too strong and is frying my new plants so today they must all come
out, be washed off, SS removed and replanted in ordinary low grade soil and hope for a miracle that
they will pick up and come back. The Sod removal continued a pace and by lunchtime I was at the 50%
stage. Bloody hard work and for some reason this pickaxing is making my elbows very sore?
Fortunately Jim and Lucille arrived and my “break” was extended into a pleasant afternoon in the
shade garden. Plans are now made to remove the SS compound in the morning but, that plan is now
“on hold” as ever helpful Brenda went to another guest last night to fix his computer but on leaving the
RV managed to slip off the step and now can’t place any weight on her foot. Strangely it has not
swollen up as you would expect but its another trip to the ER this morning and purely from a personal
point of view any plans I had of doing Steamboat this weekend are now canceled.

2nd visit to the ER in 6 months!

Sure enough she has broken her foot, not one bone mind, but the 3 big ones leading up to the toes!!
Last time it was her finger which she shattered……. I’ve heard some excuses for not walking the dogs
but these last two are a bit extreme. Fortunately the new casts, or big booties come in her size and
even her color.

Crutches and the new black bootie

The week moves on with double duty on everything including dogs, shopping, cooking, cleaning,
watering her gardens and running round after all and sundry. The garden tasks seem to have slipped
but I did manage to remove the blackberries and replant those. Still two more rows of raspberries to
do but I fear for their mortality.

All the raspberries are up and in intensive care soaking in water after a shower to remove all traces
of the dreaded SS. The new tree bed was replanted and is now looking good. In the veg patch the
new peas are up and have a good color and the mystery parsnips can now be identified and seem
to be going well.

Back to the sod removal which I’m not enjoying but once its done the fun part of placing rocks and
planting out can begin. Another day of toil with my favorite tool and by nightfall I’m closing in for the
kill and at the 80% point.

The bed is ready!

The Sod has gone! Meanwhile a giant trackhoe arrived in the field behind the property and set
about clearing all the trees much to the annoyance of all our guests who rather liked the private
woodland. With the trees all gone he has now leveled everything and exposed yet more rocks for
me to sift through for other raised bed projects. He also tells me I can take any dirt I need which is
sadly lacking on our side of the line.

TONY DOWN

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