Friday, August 7, 2009

Garden History - Chapter Four

This chapter is dedicated to this, lovely, Old Home I found in the city! This is the last of the Historical updates because this home and garden is the last move I plan on making. At least, in this lifetime. I call it my retirement home. With that in mind, everything that has been done, in the yard and house, was done with NO intention of resell. This home and yard has been an adventure, to say the least! Maybe some other day I can tell you the entire story of the its renovation but for today our focus be the yard.

After we bought the house we were told, by the city, that I would need to tear down the dilapidated old privacy fence. It had been condemned. In order to be in compliance with city code and be able to get an occupancy permit the fence had to go (along with another long list of house issues). The yard was an overgrown mess! You do what needs doing first so you can rest your head on a pillow.

We were a little suprised when we found a chain link fence behind the wooden privacy fence. There were all sorts of wild cherry trees, honeysuckle, ivy and virginia creeper vines tangled throughout the two fences. To make matters worse all the vegetation was very well established. Someone, who had lost their mind, had planted a wisteria plant! That thing must have been original to the house because its root system was everywhere!

Thank goodness, my Mom’s husband, came to the rescue. Just so happens that he owns an old antique John Deere Tractor. Well, he cranked that baby up and drove it down the city streets and came over to our new yard. You could hear the tractor coming a mile away! It made sort of a kachug kachug sound. I thought he would get arrested for driving it on an inner city street.

First, we had to cut all the full grown wild trees with the chainsaw and get them out of the way. Then came the tractor’s job. We had a large chain and wrapped it around the fence sections, pulling them down. Then we had to get the stumps out. This was a process because some of the stumps had to be dug up partially before the chain could go around. Chopping, hacking, digging, sawing and pulling that chain attached to the tractor. This project took about three days. It was exhausting. When all was said and done and the tractor went rolling home and the entire back yard was pretty much destroyed. My oh my, then all the debris that had to be delivered to the dump. Maybe one day I will dig out the hard copy pictures but not today. After all that hard work we, finally, got the occupancy permit!

Well, the good side… I had a clean yard to work with eventhough there were hugh ruts left by the tractor tires. So, out comes my Troybilt, thank goodness I never sold her. What a work horse. I tilled everything except the very front patch of grass on the front lawn. I strung plumb lines across the back and side yards because by now it had rained and I knew where all the water was collecting and draining. This project was vital because all the water must run away from the house! I roto-tilled this yard until the dirt was like a powder. Then, I personally, raked every ounce of dirt to those plumb lines so everything would slope properly and have water running away from the house. I have a full basement in a low lying area, surrounded by water. The slope of the yard was extremely important to me. Water must stay away from the basement. This project took about two weeks, I guess, and I was 12 years younger.

This saga will continue. Thanks for stopping by to read.

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