Monday, September 3, 2018

Laboring away: the full weekend of backbreaking work

Chris surveying the carnage
Chris, Matt and I decided to work on a special project on Saturday: fixing up the Aloe nobilis hedge on the lower path.

We set about removing all the Aloes there, sadly reduced in number due to the forces of gravity pulling them into the drainage ditch.  We also removed all the weeds, including wayward Chasmanthe and Romneya coulteri (Matilija Poppy) that have seeded or crept in.

It took about 2 hours to do that, and also cut back all the succulents and other plants leaning into the drainage ditch. Lots of cuttings made. Lots of mess in the drainage ditch.

Rebar pounding...
As we worked we were treated to the sights and sounds of wildlife on the huge floral buffet, also known as the Agave americana flower, at the entry way. This 30' tall attraction is quite a sight. Bees! Hummingbirds! And even two Cherry Headed Conures - the famous wild parrots of Telegraph Hill - flew in and busied themselves with the nectar dripping off the flower. Pretty cool: If anyone gets a good photo of them send it to me, please!

On Sunday, Matt and I returned. We pulled wood chips away from the boards on the edge, and dug into the dirt to make space for new boards we will add on the lower side. We pounded in about 40 two foot long pieces of rebar to hold the old boards in place, adding a few new ones and straightening the whole line.

Dusty shoveling...
Let's just say that was exhausting... and took about 4 hours.

We also cleaned up the steps so as to be ready for new plantings, put 3 trash bags of trash on the street for 311 to remove, moved several Agave "Green Giant" and planned new plantings in areas where plants just look too darn tired to be worth keeping.

After that, we had to go to Flora Grubb to treat ourselves by buying plants.

DONE!
On Sunday we finished the job, installing about 50 board feet of pressure treated lumber to the lower edge of the path, pounding in about 40 three foot long lengths of rebar, replacing ALL the extremely dusty dirt and ALL the Aloes, then watering the whole thing in thanks to the use of Gary's hose  Another 4 hours, and we are just shattered.

I would say there is another 15' of length remaining, where a huge Agave made it too hard to complete, but we will finish that another time.

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