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View Diary: Saturday Morning Garden Blogging Vol. 9.5 (277 comments)

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  •  Those are big retaining boulders ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, jayden, kishik

    When we moved in, there were just two squares of grass flanking the front driveway - the bare minimum needed to meet the C&R requirements.  Though i know expanding a lawn is controversial, i couldn't stand the giant green postage stamps surrounded by torn up earth.  Pretty much right away, we brought a landscaper in to make a more graceful shape around the house, and to put in retaining boulders to keep the "house" lawn from slipping into the field (the latter of which at the time was just an uneven, crusty, empty, ruddy slope).

    What you see in that shot is a short portion of the retaining wall, and one of the gaps that allows me to walk down into the field before it starts up again around the back of the house.  The burial plots are are where veggies go to die.

    Though the boulders are huge, i have to admit, that wall has always worried me.  Subsequent to its completion, i read up a bit and realized they didn't do quite as thorough a job as they might have.  They had a huge claw contraption, the jaws of which grabbed the boulders and basically propped them up in a line against one another.  They didn't put any kind of backfill or erosion control in, and wouldn't you know, one of the huge boulders tumbled out of its "slot" a few years back.  I decided i liked it better that way (what was i gonna do, summon my bionic biceps and move it?), and just plugged the "hole" behind it.  Eventually, i'll put a flowering bush of some kind in that spot and turn the "oopsie" into a feature.  Meanwhile, i'm piling garden debris and dirt in front of the wall in the hopes that over time, it will be cushioned a little bit and therefore more secure.  Most of the rocks do at least "lean" backwards, but one or two seem to be cocked in a way that makes them vulnerable to gravity.

    •  The Claw (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, jayden, kishik

      A human claw fixing a mechanical one:

      •  Great description. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        estreya, jayden, kishik

        You mean you can't just pop one of those suckers back in line.  Lol.

        About the need to research..............yes.  I've never had anything remotely comparable to a project like that done, but with house additions, rennovations, and some repairs I've learned the hard way not to trust the expertise of professionals alone no matter how experienced they are or well recommended.  Unfortunately you can't do that with everything though.

        You pictures are really enjoyable.  I loved the description about the postage stamp lawn areas and the impetus to do something.  Sounds like good plans so far with some impressive improvements.

        More: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it?

        by blueoasis on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 12:57:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jayden, blueoasis

          "Not to trust the expertise of professionals alone ..." is a lesson i keep learning over and over again.  I must have a "GULLIBLE" tattoo on my forehead that everyone but me can see.

        •  Hey! Hey! Hey! (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          estreya, blueoasis, kishik

          Some of us professionals are well worth listening to.

          Now get busy and rip out those perfectly good plumbing fixtures, knock down that ( load bearing? ) wall and plant that soon-to-be-ginormous shrub one foot away from the foundation...

          btw, I come highly recommended.


          Not this mind and not this heart, I won't rot • Mumford & Sons

          by jayden on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 03:53:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You know, it was on the tip of my keyboard ... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blueoasis, jayden, kishik

            ... to use you as a "present company excluded" example, but i decided to be stingy with my praises (that, and i was short on time).  I was gonna go into a whole Don't Even Get Me Started On My Hardwood Floor Installation rant, so be grateful time was agin me. :)

            •  Installers are a whole 'nother ballgame... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              estreya, kishik, blueoasis

              I've insisted lots of stuff to be ripped out and redone over the years because I wasn't satisfied with the installation. It's not unusual for me to get a phone call along the lines of "Will you please come to the jobsite? The fireplace doesn't look at all like the drawing you provided. Can you help us figure out what the masons did wrong?"

              And one of the biggest caveats I say to clients is "It will look great. IF it's installed correctly..."


              Not this mind and not this heart, I won't rot • Mumford & Sons

              by jayden on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 09:02:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I'm afraid your calibre is becoming (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            estreya, jayden, kishik

            fewer and further between.  People who are both knowledge and really care about the quality and client.

            From what I hear not only from people I know in the area but friends from all over the country, the problems are becoming epidemic.  There are people who can't be satisfied no matter what one does, but the complaints I hear are about pretty basic stuff.

            I won't go into detail, but we've had 3 different major construction projects, a small guest house completely remodeled, a sizable addition, and the original house with restoration, redecorating, and some remodeling, all with different contractors and all with serious difficulties of varying types.

            I'm curious what your impression is generally about professional work today.  Do you notice differences in your area about the commitment and quality?

            More: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it?

            by blueoasis on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 05:20:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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