I woke up this weekend morning like I always do…
Oh I don’t think so!…
Yes, that’s a little more like it!
I rolled over for a few more minutes of hobbitless blissful slumber, then something slowly started to creep quietly into my subconsciousness, something that immediately started to niggle at my quiet dream-state psyche, but what was it? The niggle turned into some obligatory mouth forming of some “sleep-words” that apparently became grumblings that quickly mutated into a full-fledged nightmarish scream… “uuuuhhhh?…Noooooooo!”
“HELL-STRIP ESP? …You’re Not Done Soldier!”
One sleep-deprived bloodshot eye reluctantly snapped open, followed by a deep sense of digging foreboding, for I now knew exactly what was in-store for me again today…yes, more digging in the now only semi-softened Hell-Strip in the Patch.
Oh who am I kidding? I jumped out of bed with a smile on my face whistling for some reason the theme tune from “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, (perhaps in memory of some hard summer pick-axing I had performed in the same area last year before giving up)?
After a typically British breakfast of clogged arteries champions, and yet another mild (not had one of these since my Scotland trip) cardiac twinges, I felt fighting fit and ready for some Hell-Strip action.
“Yeah, Baby, Yeah!”
Here it is in all it’s compacted, weedy and irritatingly mounded glory.
I had a distinct sense of Déjà vu as I started nibbling away in the first corner. This side of the hell strip was a lot different in character then the one I gnawed out last weekend, this side was stodgy, heavy, black and clay-like. The clay would keep sticking to my shovel, which is heavy at the best of times, being of an all steel construction (anything else I snap in seconds, sometimes before I even leave the store), and my boots?..By the time I had finished this little triangle I was an inch taller! I slowly realized this was not going to be an afternoon job like the previous side of the hell strip.
“What a piece of work is a hell-strip, how un-noble in the weedy season,
how lacking in aesthetic faculties, in form and moving,
how dull and unadmirable in compaction, how like an … etc.etc.
My day laborers naturally joined me on the construction site armed with a bowl of milk to attract a neighborhood cat…that took about five minutes. I welcomed the distraction. And the digging and hacking continued.
The opuntia tree received a bit of an early pruning to allow me better access around it to my wheelbarrow. This is one of the few sago palms that escaped relatively “un-browned” through our freezing temperatures this year. I think the opuntia acted like an umbrella protecting it.
If you are wondering what the mad color scheme is on our front door? Well…
“Did he say the Blue Fairy Joe”?
“I don’t think so David.”
I think she wanted a wish that was a little more errr “magical?’
And the mounds continued to grow and grow. There is another very peculiar law of physics that exist when digging out the earth in a hell-strip. As soon as it is lifted out of the strip, it apparently instantly doubles in mass. In no time at all, I found I was quickly running out of areas to put it, the solution? Some creative moundage around my front garden…perfect! What started out as a “clean out the hell-strip” project had quickily morphed into full-on reconstructive surgery on my entire front of house…needless to say, my grinning at this point was beginning to take on “Here’s Johnny” (The Shining) proportions. Everyone ran into the house.
And the digging and hacking intensified.
I excavated this…
And dug out this…
This retainer wall has always disturbed me, with it’s straight lines mirroring the sidewalk, oh no, this had no place in my fluid master plan.
“Ach, ESP! That wall was the only thing keeping the English oot! I canna believe ye wud knock doon the”…
Oh shut your pie-hole William.
The base of this mound is going to have an arc of moss boulders to replace the demolished straight wall, and the mounds will be covered in a good layer of decomposed granite before planting. The curves, even at this stage, create much more visual movement to the once static scene…if it will only stop looking less like a construction site!
Now, where did I leave the Aleve from last weekend?
In the Patch this week…
Blossom on a Meyer Lemon making the back-deck smell like spring.
Loquats forging ahead…
…and these strange holes have formed on my pine-cone cactus…are those eyes in there? Brrrr… (back violently spasms followed my a series of small, almost comical, right knee movements).
Nessy emerging from the murky depths of my feeder pond for it’s annual scrubbing.
Inspirational “Concept” of the week:
In the designers words…
“Books are always considered as static objects in people’s mind, transferring through words, pictures and imagination they produce. To break this traditional impression, I embed some industrial design elements in this prose florilegium which name is “book on life”. People can plant whatever they like in the left side of the book, they should care for it and watch it grow. During this process readers do not only learn the meaning of life but they create life themselves. 8 small LED lights are fixed on the bottom of the plants, in the evening the book can be turned on to become a lamp with the unique light reflect from the leaves”.
Designer: Eric Zhang
Stay Tuned for:
All material © 2009 for eastsidepatch. Unauthorized
intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by late (and extremely unpleasant)
14th century planet Earth techniques.