|from upper-deck day 1|
The "basketball court" is really just a 12'X12' concrete slab with an old basketball goal at the side of the house.
The opposite side of the court is a large arbor-type structure with benches, electrical outlets and a tiny, run-down shed.
My mission: Clean it up so hubby, daughter and guests can shoot hoops without being smacked in the face by wild raspberries and stabbed in the eye by sword fern.
Get the wisteria and ivy removed (from the arbor and cedar tree).
Expose the rock retaining wall.
Time: 4 hours
Weather: absolutely beautiful 70-75 degrees F. Sunny, light breeze.
|The "arbor" from the goal|
|the discovered stairs|
I understand now how civilizations can become buried. This place has only been neglected for a year, three at most.
I am exhausted! I have not worked like this in a long time!
Lessons: wear a dust mask (I used a hankie)
save up for a wheelbarrow, huge lopper, truck, get some rose gloves.
Time: 4 hours
Weather : 60-65 degrees F. Cloudy with rare "peekaboo sun". Variable breeze. Scattered, drizzles.
Progress: Tacked the fern and juniper corner. started pruning the juniper, became angry and tore it out.
Tacked the fern with raspberry growing through. got frustrated and bundled it up to pull it out another day.
Removed about 3 cubic feet of soil and compost from the corner. Left the rest for another day.
decided to try removing the ivy and wisteria from the cedar tree.Difficult, yet satisfying to see it start to clear up.
Then, I couldn't reach the bases of the vines on top of the hill. So, I forged a trail through the (now, 3 foot tall) grasses in the pump-house field to make my way up and behind the tree and arbor. Up there, I discovered what looks to be a cold frame made from the old windows of the house. And I found that there was about a 4'x10' section of pave stones layed out around the frame. I have not fully uncovered this yet. I hacked away at the vines and there seems to be no end in sight.
Lessons: save up for a chainsaw
Time: 1 hour
Weather: 73 degrees, mostly sunny
|looking down court start of day 3|
Lessons: goggles would be nice too.
Weather: the usual 70's with peek-a-boo sun and occasional sprinkles
|looking down court - notice HUGE pile behind pumphouse|
|rusty, non-insulated switch|
|the switch and outlet in arbor|
|rusty, non-insulated outlet|
|the electrical box is now free!|
|a view from the top of stairs looking down court|
I treated the plants with glyphosate a few times - that stuff is tough! Now it is a matter of getting the rest cleaned up, repeat chemical treatments and keeping an eye on any pop ups, and getting rid of the now 12' x 8' x 8' pile of debris. The cedar tree will be taken down by a professional soon since it is growing out of the wall and leaning precariously toward the house and electric lines.
|looking up court - still more to go|
Lessons: "Osteo Bi-Flex" supplements are now my friends. Been taking them for a little over a week. I have considerably less pain and swelling in my knuckles and can move them in the morning. Still not completely back to normal or without aches or stiffness yet. But, it has been working for me so I can hold a cup of coffee again and work.
BIGGIE = Always turn off the power source and double check lines are not live before working around possibly live wires. Be careful when digging - sometimes folks DIY plumbing and electricity and, you never know their competence level. Underground Utilities Locators can't find everything.
Now on to the next project...