Sunday, September 14, 2008

in which I do hard physical labor

Who knew that removing a shrub would be so freaking hard? There was a large shrub next to the front door that I didn't like so I've spent most of the summer hacking away at it. Just a bit at a time so that it didn't become too onerous. 

Well, it was hacked away and only the stump and root ball remained. Last week, Oscar and I drove out to Calendula Nursery and got a replacement plant (yellow twig dogwood-yes, I know they need to be pruned) and today I did my best to get that damn stump out of the ground. 

Shovel and spading fork did a good job up to a point, but I finally gave up and walked over to my neighbor (who happens to be a master gardener) and asked for her advice. She lent me a digging rod, which turned out to be a very heavy, 6 foot long steel pole to use as a lever. Still no success. I had to expose more roots. I excavated around the roots with a trowel and pretended I was some urban archeologist unearthing a fabulous find instead of a frustrated neophyte gardener nearly weeping with exhaustion. Sometimes the lies we tell ourselves do help us get through the day. 

I took a break and Oscar took up the digging rod and pushed and prodded for several minutes, working up quite the sweat because did I mention that the rod was really heavy? Finally, there was that satisfying loud thunk which signified that some major root had been broken and the stump actually started to move. A few more minutes of levering and some more excavation and the giant root ball broke free. Yay!

I don't know exactly how much that root ball weighed but I'm guessing at least 45 lbs. Probably more. I don't have any trouble lifting a large bag (40lbs) of dog food over my shoulder but I could barely lift this thing into the yard waste bin. 

Oscar says, Finally!

Kate wants to know if it's edible. 

1 comment:

CarpeDyem said...

Crumbs! Definitely hard work, makes me feel tired reading about it!