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.
Survived with little visible damage.
Damaged, but will recover.
Damaged, but recoverable.