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You can’t rush these big jobs

April 2, 2019

One of the things Mike and I loved most about the property we bought was the sense of being in the middle of a forest. There were other houses close by, but when you looked out the window you couldn’t see them. Unlike other lots in the area, where almost all the trees were taken down before the house was built, the original purchaser of our lot took down the trees in the middle before building the house. We loved it. Mike’s attitude was that no tree would be taken down on our property unless it was diseased and likely to fall on the house.

I shared Mike’s attitude, but the year after he died I decided that perhaps it would be a good thing to take down a few at the back of the house. I wanted to be able to dry my clothes on a line. I wanted to have somewhere I could sit outside with a cup of coffee in the morning.

So I hired a feller.

12-5-7 deer

After the feller, I hired a fellow to chop the rounds into firewood, which I shifted to the woodshed.

But there were still a lot of large and small branches covering the area. It’s okay, I thought. They’ll biodegrade. This is, of course, true, but a year or two later I finally accepted that it was never going to happen in my lifetime.

So, I hired someone else to come and shift the branches. While he tossed the largest branches into the trees at the side of the house (where no one would ever see them), I piled smaller branches up beside the path to the car.

Then I spent several weeks “landscaping” the back forty.


I uncovered huge boulders. I shifted several hundredweight of smaller rocks. I planted heather (which deer don’t eat). I created an area. It was very satisfying.

05-28 Stella 2

This is what it looks like now. And when the cushions go on the bench, it is one of Stella’s favourite summer spots.

Anyway, back to that pile of branches I dumped on the side of the path.

03-21 berm

Several years later, it still looked like this, which has been annoying me for at least a couple of years. Clearly these branches needed to be shifted to the side of the house where all the other ones are.

It’s a job that I could do on my own, but it would bore me to death. I needed a helper. I’ve attempted to recruit a couple, but somehow a date for shifting kept shifting. So, I took advantage of an old friend, Krys, who was coming to visit from Toronto. “Pack jeans,” I told her on the phone, “We have a job to do.” Bless her, she didn’t even ask what the job might be.

It took us about three hours to shift the branches, After she left, it took me about eight hours to clear the moss, pine needles, pine cones and bits of roots.

04-02 excavation

As I suspected, boulders were uncovered and a pile of rocks shifted. As you may or may not be able to see, there are still plenty of rocks in the cleared space. I could spend several weeks clearing the remaining rocks. Or I could plant something in this lovely pot. Another rhododendron perhaps. Rhodo Dave has many rhododendrons growing in pots and they seem to be doing just fine. I shall have to consult with him.

This spot also cries out for pink flamingos. (Well, doesn’t it?)  But I can’t shift my two flamingos, as I wouldn’t be able to see them from the deck or through the window and that would be no good.

04-03 flamingos

If only the local recycling depot would let me buy a couple of theirs. Annoyingly, they won’t.


One Comment
  1. Mariam permalink

    Hi Anne! It all looks so lovely, and love the rock pile… here we still have tons of snow in the yard, waiting for the day when I can go outside and see the bulbs coming up. Love your garden updates! XXOO Mariam

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