For weeks I've been coveting these beautiful crepe myrtle trees at a local garden store. The color was a magnificent deep fuchsia and every time I'd ride by the front of the store (which was just about daily) I'd glance at their beauty and think how gorgeous they would be in our yard beside the driveway. I did watch them for weeks but didn't purchase because they were almost $100 each and I wanted all 4. Ouch. Our budget just wouldn't allow them right now with me setting funds aside for my trip to Dallas at the end of the month and the party that my family is throwing in honor of my 40th birthday this weekend. I guess we could have afforded them but we didn't want to at that price.
Last week I noticed in the paper that this particular store was about to begin their 30-70% off clearance sale the next day. I stopped by the garden center that next morning and inquired about the crepe myrtle trees. They were heavily discounted. I asked if I could pick/pay for what I wanted and have them picked up the next morning with hubby's truck. They said sure. Was this an answer to prayer or what?
Wondering what this has to do with holes?
They say you gotta dig a $100 hole for a $50 tree. We had 4 trees. $400? Good Lord almighty!
Just so you don't get bogged down in where I'm trying to go with this story - and because I've got to go and get my kids dressed - we (hubby & I) realized about 10 minutes into digging the holes that we weren't going to be able to do it ourselves.
We hired 2 muscular young men who play football at our local high school to dig the holes. We found them compliments of the athletic director of that school who lives 2 doors down from us. Digging those holes was hard work. Just hard for someone else, thank God.
We don't have the best soil and ground on our property. These holes had to be dug with a mattock and shovel - break apart the ground with the mattock and then scoop out the shale/dirt with the shovel. Because of the size of the root ball on these trees - the holes had to be 18-24 inches wide and equally deep so that we could supplement the soil that went back in around the root ball.
It took both those boys digging almost non stop over 3 and a half hours to dig those holes. I insisted that they rest for a water break after the 2ND hole. I wasn't sure they were going to make it near the end and had to do a bit of prompting to get it to completion. The temperature had already soared to over 94F and that last hole was the most difficult. They did finish; however, and we paid them $40 each for their work.
Please disregard the date on the picture. Someone dropped the camera and the battery popped out which caused everything to reset. I wasn't aware of this until after I was uploading the pictures last night. All future pictures will have the correct date, I promise.
One side note is that we were able to salvage and transplant ALL of the grass from the tops of these holes and successfully move it to around the mulch/play site. Hubby and I did that 2 days ago when we realized we couldn't dig the holes but we could move the grass ourselves until digging help arrived the next day.
See that white rock? Those are clumps of cement. I can only guess that when the driveway was poured however many years ago (at least more than 10) that there were clumps that were just smoothed over and graded even. The ground is full of rock, bricks and chunks of cement like you see here.
While the young men were digging, I was working with the weed trimmer and supervising the depth of the digging. Hubby was reorganizing the garage. We accomplished a tremendous amount of work yesterday.
Hubby doesn't tolerate the heat as well as the rest of us so after lunch, when we was still feeling funky, I suggested that he nap for a while. While he napped, I put 3 of the trees in the ground. He awoke and came outside as I was back filling the 3rd tree. I had hoped to finish everything before we woke up. He helped me finish up the 4Th tree and wanted to know why I didn't wait. He understood when I said I was trying to get it done to save him from the heat and as a little surprise. I didn't tell him that I wanted to prove to myself that I could do the physical work. I am; after all, about to turn 40 and I guess I have something to prove. He doesn't read my blog - so it shall remain our secret, right?
Someone has to play :) He kept telling me that he was a gopher and would scrunch down in the hole and then pop up with an exclamation. I just laughed to keep him busy.
We finished up around 4:15 yesterday afternoon - just in time for me to shower and take some food to the church for a funeral.
Here's the finished product from a few different positions.
This is the view from our kitchen door. Besides the fact that I adore crepe myrtles, the main reason that I choose this location for this landscape is for needed privacy. This is the first step to having some privacy for our back yard from the neighbors. When these reach a more fuller existence next year - we'll be able to be in our driveway without everyone knowing what we are doing/wearing. The next phase involves some shrubbery that will not grow higher than 3 feet. We will position that shrubbery about 2 to 3 feet towards the road in front of these crepe myrtles. The crepes will provide the color screen up top and the shrubbery down below.
This is the view when you are driving in the subdivision (just a little closer). This fall, we plan to remove everything from this planting bed beside the house. Eventually, the two beds and the entire area will all run together as one. Whatever we plant in these areas (beside the house and in front of the crepes) will get morning sun but not afternoon sun. Sometime in the next few weeks, we will remove the rest of the sod between the trees and the driveway. All of that will be covered with mulch.
Here's the view when you come up the driveway. See how once these trees fill in, how it will provide a privacy screen for all our spring/summer backyard activity .
Also notice that our van is parked INSIDE the garage. I was excited about the trees. Hubby was excited about the van being in the garage.
Holes dug. Trees planted. Garage reorganized. Yard further prepared for party on Saturday. Van parked inside garage. Slept well.
More to share in a day or two.