Does renting large landscaping machinery make you nervous? We might've been just a tiny bit scared of a couple of the big machines we rented recently - a walk-behind stump grinder, commercial size wood chipper, and tractor-backhoe combo. Brian had never used any of them before and in each case was handed the keys with about two minutes of instructions. Is it enough? What did we accomplish (hint: it included lots of rocks and a few huge boulders)? And would we do it again? These questions and more are answered in this show plus our fall apple tasting tradition (with an amazing homemade caramel dip), updates on the farmhouse, and cool things we've discovered.
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Landscape Machinery Experience
Here's the stump grinder Brian tried to describe in the show. You move it by walking behind it and using the controls, then use the joy sticks to move the front blade back and forth over the stump.
Look close and you can see the stump to the left and the foot he's cut down already with the blade. It was walnut and it took a.long.time. but we figure the cost to have it done would've been$200-300 for that size and material, so we definitely saved.
You can see the backhoe in the back, but please focus on those boulders. It's hard to tell in the photo, but they were each about 3 feet across and 1-2 feet thick - the small backhoe we got couldn't do more than roll them. Which was hard to do when they're in huge holes of dirt that's made as you're uncovering them.
So it was a lot of moving dirt (and LOTS of smaller rocks), rolling, moving more dirt, rolling into place in a new rock wall and then filling the crater-like holes left behind. Yeah, this made our little "we'll just rent a backhoe and dig out that dirt quickly" idea go out the window.
We didn't get a shot of the shredder because it seemed pretty normal. The only non-normal thing was that it was the size of the ones you see the roadwork people using - huge. It got all our limbs shredded in only a half day, that's for sure. And no body parts were lost!
Here's the space we were left with after all the excavating. If you remember from the yard and garden before tour, I had plans for this area of lawn to be an herb garden. So now it's changing to an herb and flower garden surrounded by a retaining wall. 🙂
I promised to show you the plan I drew up the night we finished (gotta use that inspiration when it strikes!) - it's rough, but that's all you need remember? Just something to guide your decisions - and anyone who's helping!
Also, some things have already changed:
- The paths and round will be gravel, not brick.
- I'd love to edge the four beds with brick (herbs + brick just go together for me) and we do have some to salvage on the property. I just don't know if it will be enough. Guess what we do have? Yeah, rocks. So it might be a rock edging.
- The tall evergreens were going to be arborvitae until I read that deer love it. Now I have to research another. They don't like juniper, so maybe a tall juniper? Skyrocket Juniper is usually so expensive, though....
- I probably won't add the boxwood on the curves of the round - there's going to be a lot all around the edges. The boxwood is just an easy way to deal with all the narrow planting beds we have now at the top of the small retaining walls and repeating them on the opposite side just made sense. But I'm thinking it's good to just stop there.
I don't know what type of tall, narrow trees I will use on the larger retaining wall. We need them to help cut the hot western sun in the summer months that beats into the living-dining room. They need to have non-invasive roots, though, since they'll be planted next to our cement drive. I know there are sidewalk and parking lot trees landscapers use for this - I just have to learn the right varieties. And then find them!
But I am excited - I think it's going to look great both from outside and inside.
It's caramel apple time! Totally doable with 4 real ingredients and 15 minutes.
Click here for the dip recipe, a lower sugar version, (first published in year 1 of the site!) and our family's apple tasting tradition idea.
This is Really Cool!
Brian: Nikes for wide feet - Nike Revolution 4 (in the EEEE width)
Jami: Three Identical Strangers documentary (plus our small second-run/art house theater with couches and food, The David Minor Theater).
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