Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Stripping in Public, Again

Last time I had a post with this title, it was the summer of 2008 and it involved standing on my screened-in back porch removing the finish from pieces of wood trim.  It still gets a lot of hits, probably not from people looking to find out about on woodwork refinishing.  The way people's minds work!  Though come to think of it . . . Oh, never mind.
Anyway, this time I was stripping in public again, in broad daylight.  In the front yard.  The dead brown thatch and the unneeded clumps of grass had to come off the new planting bed, and I did what had to be done.  And after three or four days of effort (seems longer!), the area is stripped.  Denuded.  Bare.

Well, all except for the spotted spurge and the sorrel that has opportunistically covered a lot of the ground I deturfed last autumn.   And yes, I'm still digging out the nutsedge, wherever it pops up its head(s).

Monday morning
Project took a good part of the past two days, not including what I stripped off the last weekend in May.  My good pointy-ended steel trowel turns out to work really well for getting leverage under the old grass roots.  Though sometimes it was easier if I stood up and hacked it with the hoe.  I'm not sure if it was easier with the songs that kept going through my head . . .  "The Farmer in the Dell" and "Oats, Peas, Beans, and Barley Grow" as earworms are bad enough.  But when you get the "Ode to Billy Joe" going on your cerebral MP3 player starting the morning of the 3rd of June and can't get it to stop for the next two days . . .  Well, maybe it did help.  You stab and pry the roots of the unwanted grass all the harder, just to compensate for the annoyance.

Early Monday afternoon
Where I left it late Monday afternoon
Found a few interesting things as I stripped thatch and grass.  Not artifacts, no.  No buried gold.  (*Sigh*)  But natural history, like evidence of the tree the previous owners took out of the yard way before I bought the house.

Decaying tree root
And bits of brick that tell me this was to some extent fill dirt (ok, that is an artifact) and not native soil.  And most interesting, a deep tunnel, too deep for me to get my arm to the bottom of it, extending down into the earth from the depression where a mother rabbit had her babies in the front yard two years running.  A warren?  Had no idea it was there.  Dumped dirt and more dirt down it, and I hope it won't sink in.

Rabbit hole.  Yeah, this is a picture of a hole in the ground.
Tuesday-- the last of it before the last of it.
Got the last of the unwanted grass up at around 3:20 this afternoon.

Gone!   (Barring the spurge, of course)
But it wasn't time to go in and wash up. No.  Because I'd been contemplating how the line of the new planting bed looked in the gener neighborhood landscape.  Overall, the shape of it seemed well enough.  But the more I looked at it, the more I saw that the 4' radius quarter-circle that swung off what's left of the straight front border was just too tight and finicking.  So out again came the tape measure, the stakes and the string, and I replaced the initial arc with one with a radius of 6'-6". Pulled the grass off that new sliver, but as for moving the bricks to redefine the border, that has to wait for another time.
Revised radius
Dare I admit that I bought two purple lupine plants last Sunday after church?  And that I have hopes of getting them in in the next couple of days, not to mention the broccoli and the eggplant?

Hopes-- or delusions.  Well, we'll see.
Stripped for action!


Mayfair Mistress said...

Looking at the pouring rain outside, I'm thinking you could host a mud wrestling match in your new flower bed at the moment . . .

Kate H. said...

Didn't rain up here today-- though I hear it should tomorrow. ;-)