August – getting ready

August 17, 2015

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The plans are almost complete, and we are anxious to get things moving along.  But before we get started, there are some things we need to do to prepare for the devastation that is on the horizon.

Once the permit is issued and the silt fence is in place, we’re going to have machines digging holes for foundations and trucks parking everywhere and concrete trucks and dumpsters . . . basically general mayhem!  So if there’s anything we want to save from the landscape, we’ve got to get it out of harm’s way now.

Most of the front foundation planting is nandina, and we’re not planning to keep them, so we’ll just let them bite the dust with the excavation.  However we do have some nice Hosta that came from Dale’s parent’s house and we’ve cultivated for years that we want to keep.  So we spent some time digging and dividing and replanting them in the back where they will be safe.

Lots of Hosta moved to the backyard planter
Hosta moved to backyard planter by the ditch

Once they were gone, we also removed the brick edging that we put in many years ago.  Most of the brick came from the old Plainville Brick plant up near Calhoun, and was fired back in the 60’s when Dale’s parent’s house was built.  So the brick is now all safely stored in the back for future re-purposing in the landscape after the construction is complete.

Digging up the brick edging
Digging up the brick edging

The one item that we couldn’t save was the large Red Maple tree in the front yard.  Years ago we carefully selected, positioned, and planted it with hopes that it would be the most beautiful red/orange tree in the neighborhood when the sap drained in the fall.  However, almost from the beginning woodpeckers (the dreaded yellow-bellied sap sucker type) decided that it had tasty grubs inside, and devastated it with their powerful beaks.  At several levels it was completely ringed by small puncture holes to the extent that the tree was unable to transport nutrients up the trunk and the top completely died out.

Tree felled - exactly where we planned
Tree felled – exactly where we planned

So we decided the best thing to do was to put it out of its misery and take it down before all the construction started.  Cutting it down was the easy part.  Then we had to cut it up into manageable lengths and eventually into firewood for our new fireplace.  Thankfully the City of Marietta will pick up brush if it is cut short enough, so we created a huge pile up by the road for them to haul away.

Hundreds more cuts - to make firewood and brush
Hundreds more cuts – to make firewood and brush

That was a full weekend, but once it was gone (except for the stump) you could actually see the house again – no longer able to hide behind the green boughs that had sheltered it for so many years.  The flaws and lack of maintenance were more and more obvious now that it was bare and exposed, and we knew we needed to move forward soon.

Maple tree gone except for stump
You can see the house again!


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