Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Progress Report on the Landscaping Re-do

Goodbye, camellias.

After working steadily on the yard for one day, cutting and ripping out bushes and sod, the next day begins again with the tractor carrying debris to the waiting dumptrucks below.  They have to keep the types of refuse separate: clean green from the other stuff.

As they find the irrigation fixtures, the unscrew them and bring them to a neat pile on my front porch.  They also yanked the hose bib.  This company is first class and I hear them tut-tutting over the way things had been done before by previous installers.  For example, the hose bib should have been sunk in cement, rather than merely affixed to a piece of rebar.

We can now see dirt under all those junipers.  They began cutting at the driveway side, buzz-sawing off the bushes from their roots.  Jesse (the crew chief) told me that he could hear scurrying as the critters that lived in the bush -- I'm guessing mice --  ran for cover.  They saw them run into my neighbor's bushes.  I suppose they'll be back at some point, just hopefully not for a while.

Our across-the-street neighbors are known for their sports-events parties (Super Bowl, etc.).  Tally of the empties that we found in our bushes: 3 wine bottles, 1 water bottle, multiple beer cans, one slip-on tennis shoe, 2 tennis balls and one miniature volleyball.

 Juniper heartwood.

Because most of the sprinkling system is under construction, we have to set the hoses on the trees on a slow drip to water them, so I use Siri to set the timer for long hours.  I think her messages are funny.

The hill, denuded.  They affixed the scooper to the front of the tractor, wrapped a chain around the root and used the backhoe to rip the giant roots out of the hill.  We figure those junipers had been planted about thirty-five years ago.

Cleaned, cleared.  Then I had a few "discussions" with the guy who was our contracting chief about where things should go.  He wanted things here and there and over yonder and way over yonder, but Dave and I had worked on these plans and thought a lot about things and had already done all the "what if" talking.  Sample conversation:
Him: "You know I've won lots of awards, so I have a pretty good idea about how these things should look."
Me:  "No doubt, and we appreciate your expertise.  The sun actually shines brighter over here when you turn onto our street.  But the water feature is staying where it is."
So we walked our yard on Sunday with a tape measure, paper and afterwards, I went in and re-drew our plans, and emailed them to him.  He was not a happy camper.  I went into the nursery yesterday morning, working with another person on the plants for the hill, when this chief kept interrupting, being basically rude.  He's a rough-edged sort of guy, and I do like him (and admire his talents) and usually I can dish back what he dishes out, but yesterday?  Not a good day. The owner heard the ongoing interchange, stepped in and as he said "put a fire extinguisher on it."  And then the owner came out this morning and with a can of paint, "drew" on the yard where our raised garden boxes would go.

  Future location of the water feature. 

And just to keep things hopping, two guys are here installing a "fence return" which is a fence from the property line returning back to the house.  When we did the fences before, we did not put in a fence return on this side as we had massive juniper bushes.  So now it was time.  This side will have a four-foot gate, slightly off-center.

The opposite side of our yard, which is up on a six-foot retaining wall, is also getting a "return."  We originally thought we didn't need one but it has turned into the local access point for the neighborhood dogs, their own personal doggie freeway to do their business in our yard.  (We're tired of them.)  I am having the fence guys include a wee gate, as my grandchildren like to tramp around up here, and need a passageway.

 I leave you with a photo of three new sprinkler valves, a shut-off valve (under the green round cover) and our new hose bib.  We consider this (and the rest of the yard) our Happy 25th Anniversary present to each other.  Some women get jewelry. But I get water features, a raised vegetable garden and three new sprinkler valves. You can't have everything in this life, but I think I have a corner on the market.

1 comment:

Judy said...

I love works in progress, especially when they aren't in my yard. Out with the old, in with the new! No doubt you know what you want where better than some stranger who has never lived in your house. Stick to your guns. (BTW, thanks for helping with my GA-ing.)