Assorted Landscaping Work

With my brief winter holiday upon us, some landscaping tasks have been getting done, or at least started on, at long last. We have, for example, the brick pile in the front. It's overgrown with bermuda grass and infested with large black spiders, so my first task is to pull the bricks out and toss them into a cleaner pile to shake off the spiders and free them from the grass. Then I put them in my little wagon and haul them to the back yard.

Brick pile

In the back yard I have my brick cleaning factory. On the left are the dirty bricks, on the right are the clean ones (don't be impressed; most of those were clean to start with). Notice my fancy new mason's chisel, with a guard to protect my hand from being bashed by the hammer. Very nice.

Brick cleaning factory

But still, I can only clean a few bricks before my arm strength gives out and I have to do something else. So today I began eating into the giant pile of gravel that got left in the back yard.

Gravel pile disappearing

I shoveled it into my little wagon and piled it along the side of the house, in the alley where I will be planting a fern garden. It'll end up hidden by the ferns, and it will be a reminder not to let soil pile up on that side of the house.

Gravel bed

I've also started getting ready for the trees to arrive. One of the things I want to do is move some of the sod away from the orchard and into the places where sod was supposed to be placed, such as alongside the house here.

Only it's really rooted in. I suggested last night that we rent a sod cutter, but Noel thinks he can make better headway than me, on account of having some upper body strength.

Moving sod

The other piece of preparation I did was to mark out with fence posts where the trees are going to go. And then I added little tape flags to remind me which tree will be planted where. Since we're not planting the ornamentals in the garden this winter, there will be a bunch of empty spots. It's tempting to buy more fruit trees and skip the ornamentals altogether, but I do want the garden to look nice in addition to providing us with enough fruit to make ourselves sick all summer.

Marking tree locations

Notice how spoiled the dogs are: not only do they have this huge yard to play in, but they have a fancy watering trough as a play pool (empty now because it's a bit cold for getting all wet).

So that's what we've been up to. On Monday, the plumber shows up to redo the water main and a lot of the galvanized plumbing. I picked up the permit for the work on Friday last week, and was reminded how much I love dealing with the City of Alameda. It took fifteen minutes. And everybody was friendly and smiling through the whole process. What terrific folks! Anyway, more about the plumbing work on Monday.

posted by ayse on 12/15/05

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