Big tree hole

An hour or so with the shovel got a couple more tree holes dug for bare-rooted specimens. Then work began on the hole for the cherry tree to be moved into.

It certainly helps to have a dump truck there to carry the dirt away.


And, after a full day’s digging:


And … trees

We’ve been waiting months to put trees up there on the meadow hill. And now is a good time, so in they go. One English elm and three birches.




Had to get a new shovel, and by golly is it a corker. Such a difference a proper one makes.

Getting ready to move the cherry tree

The previous post showed how the garage is planned to extend into the spot where the cherry tree is. We always said we’d move it instead of chopping it down, and since it’s winter it’s the best time to do it.

Broke the shovel.


One suspects this cleared circle around the drip line will turn out to be highly optimistic.


The first tree spiral is going quite well. The plants are still small, struggling to grow in the winter light, but they all look healthy enough and hopefully they’re developing strong roots.


And, the first bark pile is gone! Yay! Onto bark pile number two.


The broccoli and poppies on one of the levels in the meadow are going okay, but none of the plants on the other level have taken off at all. Lots of little seedlings sprouted, then nothing. Don’t understand it at all. They’re side by side.


Progress on the hose pipe

The base concrete for the hose pipe plinth has been brewing away in its formwork for a week, so it’s time to take it off (I think).


Seems to be holding together.


And then, pile a whole heap of dirt up there. Still a way to go to get ground level up to the stone path, but well on the way!


First concrete

There’s all sorts of plans for putting concrete around the grounds – mostly foundations for this that or the other. Of course, the last time I made concrete was 20 years ago. Putting in standard survey marks, we’d dig a hole, mix some dirt and cement in a bucket, hammer a bit of rebar in the hole and fill with concrete to the top. Voila, instant survey mark you can rely on.

Today, a bit of concrete is needed to form a base for the post that the meadow hose will be attached to. This ‘post’ is actually going to be a small wood monolith, 50cm wide, 5cm deep and 85cm high. It’s something that’s going to get leaned on, so it needs to be seated properly. The post is going to be 120cm long, with 35cm under the ground and concrete-encased. Not so much concrete that it can’t be broken later, but just enough to hold it steady.


A quick bit of formwork was knocked up with some odds and ends hanging around the shed. A bit of rebar in there connects it to the ground, although it’s not critical because this whole thing will be under the ground. It’s just a plinth for the post to stand on.

Then, make up a tub full of concrete. I used the local dirt to see what colour it would come up as.


This job ended up needing two of these tubs. The tub is great; it was something I saw on the back of Ross’s ute (Ross makes the dry stone walls). I thought if Ross uses a flexy plastic tub then I would use a flexy plastic tub. I realised why it was good as I was trying to get the concrete into the formwork: as the tub flexes it presents a lip that makes it really easy to just pour in.

And … job done. Now we wait for it to cure.


Moving the hose

So everything seems to be in place to move the hose up next to the big totem tree. S and R went to the Kallista market for a bit of fun so it wasn’t going to bother anyone to have the water off for a while.

Step 1: saw off the hose pipe and attach the copper/retic joiner.


There’s no going back now!

Step 2: let’s do a flow and leak test. Success! Water comes out the new hose pipe.


There is a small leak on that elbow near the meter (just a drip now and then). It’s not the right kind. Thought it might do, but it will have to be replaced.

Step 3: remove the nasty green pole. It’s all wobbly, so I thought it could be just pulled out of the ground. Muscles alone weren’t doing it, so gave the winch a go.


Nope, it’s not budging. I know, let’s just cut the damn thing off.


Oh, that’s why it wasn’t budging. One of Carl’s patented “that’s not going anywhere” jobs.

Step 4: neaten everything up for the box.


Meanwhile, up at the hose connection, I’ve bought the wrong connector. Again. Sigh. 19mm does not equal half an inch. We’ll just leave the retic isolator closed until we can sort it out.