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free labor....

Sunday, February 19, 2017
...provided an opportunity to get some yard work done yesterday. I had a couple of little projects that were only a dream, but with help from two willing workers came to fruition on Saturday. Nothing particularly complicated, but due to severe motivation deficiency they had languished for months, without no visible progress.

A little spot in the front of the house right near the front door, that would not grow anything. I had an idea, and started on my project months ago, digging up some hopelessly infertile dirt but stalled out and made no more effort. The space is about four feet square, tends to wash badly when we get a heavy rain, due to Someone (The Man Who Lives Here, perhaps?) demanding that a metal piece that would divert water into guttering be removed.  I believe he felt this little piece of metal, installed by roofers, caused leaves to accumulate in the valley and cause problems with dampness under the shingles.

In conversation with someone, as I was seeking advice about my little problematic area I was lead to understand that even rocks will 'float', strange as that sounds. Which I took to mean they will tumble down stream if the force of running water is strong enough. I knew I needed to get rocks big enough to not wash out of that little space when we have a downpour. We went to the landscape supply shop, and took my recycle bins. Got one filled with good sized rocks, and two filled with cypress mulch.

The plan was to install bricks for edging, with the intention that they would be put in at an angle, so they would help keep the dirt in the planter area. Leveled with the concrete of the driveway on one end, and slightly elevated on the other, to help retain the dirt and plants that would go in this space. Of course I lacked several bricks of having enough, so might have make a surreptitious run to a nearby public park to abscond with a dozen more bricks to complete the edging.

I dug up some plants and relocated them in the area where the rocks would go, hoping they will grow and develop a root system. To prevent erosion over time as they spread and stabilize the area beneath the rocks. Agapanthus, blooms blue on tall stalks, from a bed that is just across the walkway leading up to the front door. And some Mexican petunias  that have dark purple flowers,from a friend, that could be considered 'invasive' if you are not careful where you put them..

The cypress mulch got put in the planters up close to the house, sprucing up a sadly neglected space where I hope geraniums will grow and re-bloom in summer. Making that space look much improved. Then we put out the bin full of rocks. Some pea gravel to fill in between the rocks will make it perfect. I am very pleased with the result. And thankful that those people showed up to provide the motivation and labor to see it through.

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