Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Garden series - post 2

You may have read post #1 in our garden series.  If not, now would be a good time to do that. 

Day #2 of building yielded lots more children getting in the way of things help from the littlest members of our build team.

Oh yea, that looks all kinds of safe.  But at the end of the day, all members of the team survived, and we had a structure.  It certainly wasn't a garden.  And it wasn't going to keep anything out quite yet. 

In fact, it looked a little more like it was especially designed to let the groundhogs and other critters in.  I was careful not to point this out to my father-in-law and husband who had been shedding a lot of blood and sweat (leaving the tears to the kids) for the past two days.  Or maybe I wasn't careful not to do that.  Nonetheless, they had paid close attention to structural integrity as promised in garden series post 1.  

Except, they ran into a little issue with their desire for structural integrity.  Apparently, we have really really rocky soil (like hit a rock the size of your head every time your put your shovel into the ground rocky soil).  This meant two things.  First, they could not sink the posts nearly as deep as they'd planned which left the structure a little short of the desired integrity.  But, they had a solution.  A solution that would, of course, not come to bite them me in the you-know-what.  They added in some support beams.
Take a good look at that last one.  I wanted to make sure you got up close and personal to that beam, because well, I've done so more than a couple times now. So, there are two diagonal supports on each end and a beam going straight down the middle.  Aesthetically, not ideal. (And I didn't complain about that at all.  Really, I didn't.  Why don't you believe me?).  But more of an issue was the beam straight down the middle of where you might be say, gardening, if this was, say, a garden.  It's ok.  We'll leave it at that.  Just take a good look at the beam.  You'll see it again.  I promise.

The other major issue (I did say there were two) as a result of our crazy rocky soil was the 12 x 12 inch trench that had been originally planned around the perimeter to sink the fence down into truly foiling those frighteningly smart groundhogs.  We spent a lot of time thinking about those groundhogs, thinking like a groundhog, and consulting multiple, well, let's call them 'groundhog elimination specialists' who have quite a passion for keeping these small (or not so small in our case) furry critters out of our garden.  Since we were choosing to avoid the option that included various firearms, at least to start with, (it's still a backup option), we settled confidently on digging a 12inch deep trench around the perimeter to sink the fence so that when the groundhogs tried to dig down, they'd hit fence and give up.

Now, that carefully constructed and theoretically sound (much more a passion of mine that structural soundness) idea was tossed to the wayside because the ground was just too hard.  My husband and father-in-law just could not imagine digging all. that. dirt.  I took this reality well.  I threw a small fit (yes, I'm woman enough to admit it.) and sent my husband a few days later to buy himself a pick axe.  Before you get all snotty on me, I then PUT DOWN the camera (which is why there is a large gap in our photographic record) and picked up the pick axe and a shovel and went to work alongside my hubby.  And dammit, that ground really was insanely rocky.  Like hit a rock the size of your head every other time you put your shovel into the ground.  And the times you didn't hit a rock the size of your head, you hit a rock the size of my youngest child's head, which if you've ever met him or heard about his head, well it ain't small, really it's freakishly large.  So we dug, and we dug... and we got blisters, and we dug some more.

To be continued....

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