Irrigation and dry wells and flooding and Oh My!

This season’s rains have drowned some plants, most small and easily replaceable, but some – see the sad, brown Pine in the background – not so easy.

The solution seems to be to dig some dry wells (8 of them!), and have the water collect in them to release slowly rather than flooding.

We actually did have some dry wells done when we were first grading the site, but in this year’s amazing rains they were inadequate.  Also, while they worked well to remove excess water from large areas, what we have now is some more localized flooding.

And (sigh)we also discovered that some of the irrigation heads were wrongly identified.  So we needed to re-do the irrigation plan, accurately locate every head and correctly name its zone.  That way, in the future, when I need to irrigate a particular area, with new plantings, say, or water-loving plants, I won’t be watering the wrong things.

So…some rented survey equipment, a brief class in using it, and a couple of days of “Run Zone One”  “Mark each head on the plan.”  “Run Zone Two.”  “Mark each head on the plan.”  Etc.

Surveyers 20150815_095345The Master Surveyor had help from his long-nosed furry Trainee Surveyor, and now every head, every valve – and incidentally, every tree and shrub – is now in the right place on the plans.

Anticipation & Endless Preparations. What I Really Want to do is Make a Garden

I’ve always loved the state of anticipation.  Planning and preparing for a vacation.  Hearing the orchestra tuning up before a concert or ballet.  The moment a plane begins to speed up just before lift-off.  Waiting for a movie to start (yes, really).  Thinking about the new puppy I’m getting (yes, really). 

 But this is almost too much.  It’s all anticipation – and no garden. 

 So far some of the paths are in.  And as I walk along the path through the future woodland I can imagine myself surrounded by the shade of the trees and shrubs I have planned.  The path through the perennial border takes me (in my imagination) through the bountiful, colorful  lushness of a flowering border.

 This week I’m having deer fence and rodent barriers installed.  It’s a big job, enclosing about 4.5 acres to keep out deer and a lot of other critters.   I know it has to be done.  I’m putting in dozens of trees and shrubs, hundreds of perennials and groundcovers.  And having them eaten by deer, or damaged by beavers or dug up by groundhogs would be a disaster. 

 And there are still so many other things I need to have done before I can have a single plant put in the ground.  Finish grading.   Irrigation.  Weed removal and prevention.  Soil preparation. 

 I do enjoy it all. Everything about making a garden is exciting for me;  I’ve actually been known to curl up in bed with a good book on grading and drainage. 

 But I can hardly wait till fall, when the first trees and shrubs can go into their (my) new home.