United States Edition

Yard Carnage

Friday, 29 Jun 12 Sunny 37°C / 99°F

  • 6
  • Unhappy

Yesterday, the sewer construction crew ripped up my yard, to a depth of 8 feet. I saw geologic formations – clay, limestone, shale. Even the crew said, “Wow, you have almost no topsoil.”

The Stump Island bed was savaged a bit, but it will recover. The red maple had a branch broken off, and its roots cut a bit into the drip-line on one side. Moved some coneflowers and coreopsis, but some were unavoidably crushed. The backhoe operator really did try not to. He avoided my great-grandmother’s peonies. When he had to dig through a coneflower clump, he lifted it up in the bucket and set it down at my feet, which the crew said that meant he liked me – LOL!

Plants will recover in a year or two – sewers will last a lifetime or more. My neighbor’s basement flooded with sewage last year, from a broken pipe, and this work will make that 100x less likely to affect me in the future. Sold! They installed a new manhole under my sidewalk, and connected the main and two laterals, scoped the laterals for roots. It was fascinating, really. I stood out there for hours, watching. They worked more than 12 hours in 95-degree heat, humidity, and gnats.

Bonuses for me:

- I get 8 sections of broken sidewalk replaced for free.

- They made a huge mess, more than expected, and although I did not complain at all, the supervisor seemed worried I would. They are going to regrade the yard, bring me topsoil, reseed the parts I want in grass, and bring me mulch for the planting bed expansion. All work I don’t have to do! Freakin’ wonderful!

- I got some rocks for the rock garden.

- They let me borrow a professional grade shovel to work on the small stump I have been digging out. Made a world of difference, and I got it out. They clapped for me. Need one of those shovels!

- I actually enjoyed seeing what was down there, how sewers were/are constructed, the use of a number of good digging tools, and some virtuoso backhoe work. The men were a nice group of hard-working guys. Even if they did keep their shirts on. :-)

The Montauk Daisy took a hit when a manhole cover was dropped on it. It will recover, but the center of the clump was broken. I am rooting 12 cuttings from the broken part. I’ll tie up the rest. No work today, beyond some watering. It’s over 100 degrees with the humidity. Massive thunderstorm thundered us out of bed at 4:30 am last night. Rocked the house and knocked out the power and cable. I was sure it hit us – I felt the air pressure drop, but I see no sign of it.


This entry is about

Day 4563

Tree, Japanese Maple

Acer palmatum

Survived with little visible damage.

Day 667

Perennial, Montauk Daisy

Nipponanthemum nipponicum

Damaged, but will recover.

South Corner garden

Damaged, but recoverable.


  • rosemarieGardener

    rosemarieGardener wrote:

    What fun. I love your sense of humor and positive thinking. But really, did you try hard enough to get them to take their shirts off?……images, after all! :shakes head:

    Posted on 30 Jun 12 (almost 3 years ago)

  • rainymountain

    rainymountain wrote:

    If it was sunny they were probably sensible to keep them on, UV and all that. It is always interesting to see roadworks in progress and these guys seemed pretty nice to worry about damage to your garden. A road over from the one I walk down to the studio has been having its sewer pipes relaid and they went from that road to my road across the football field.

    Posted on 30 Jun 12 (almost 3 years ago)

  • Matriarchy

    Matriarchy wrote:

    All my Facebook friends were also asking for the shirts to come off! There is something of a township policy about staying dressed – but really it protects them from the sun and soaks up sweat. I wouldn’t want all that dirt stuck to my skin. They were filthy by the end of it.

    Posted on 01 Jul 12 (almost 3 years ago)

  • HollyBee

    HollyBee wrote:

    What a great experience! Would that they were all like that … looking forward to seeing some photos of all the gardening you’re going to do with that wonderful new topsoil!

    Posted on 01 Jul 12 (almost 3 years ago)

  • HazelJ

    HazelJ wrote:

    After so many recent stories of front-yard garden unfriendly towns & cities, it’s nice to hear that some municipalities are considerate when having to repair infrastructure. Nice that they’ll bring mulch rather than just covering it all in sod too. Have fun planning the new garden!

    Posted on 05 Jul 12 (almost 3 years ago)

  • TolCath

    TolCath wrote:

    Wow! That was exciting. I reckon it’ll be fun to do more gardening after they’re finished.

    Posted on 05 Jul 12 (almost 3 years ago)

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