Site Project: Landscape Bed Improvement
Wauchula, FL - Events of Monday, November 21 to Tuesday, November 29, 2016
One of the things we like about our new site in Wauchula is the landscaping. There are two pygmy date palms and a bottle brush shrub we can see right outside our door. However, the landscape bed in which those are planted needed a little work, The plastic edging around the bed had fallen over in many places and had become buried. The gravel mulch in the bed was full of sand, grass and leaves. Therefore, we came up with a plan to replace the edging and renew the gravel. We also decided to make the bed a little wider to make it easier to get the mower in under the trees to be able to mow closer to the edge.
Paul spent the weekend researching various options for edging. In the end, we decided to go with the same cast concrete edging we installed on our site at Blueberry Hill a couple of years ago because concrete edging is fairly durable. If a section or two gets run over by the tractor tires during mowing, they are easy to straighten again. If a section gets cracked or chipped, it is easy to replace. Most of the big box stores have shrunk their garden-related inventory in favor of Christmas decorations, poinsettias and Christmas trees, but Paul was able to find some of the edging in stock at the Home Depot in Sebring.
Paul went to the Ace Hardware in Wauchula on Monday to get some hardware cloth to use to make a screen to screen the sand and debris out of the existing gravel in the bed. Then on Tuesday, we headed to Home Depot in Sebring to pick up new edging. Paul started laying out the new bed outline and started installing the new edging when we got back on Tuesday, and he worked on it some more on Wednesday and Thursday morning.
After Paul got cleaned up, we headed to the Cracker Barrel in Bradenton in the early afternoon for Thanksgiving lupper like we have done many times in the past. Cracker Barrel has a very good Thanksgiving dinner that consists of turkey and ham, corn bread dressing, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce and your choice of an additional side for $12.99. Also included are your choice of a beverage and pumpkin pie for dessert. When we first started going to Cracker Barrel for Thanksgiving, the price of the meal was around $7. The price has gone up about a dollar a year, and this year the portion size looked to be a little smaller than we remembered, but we still got plenty to eat (like many people, we took the pie home with us for later), and even at $12.99 it is a good value.
As usual, the porch in front of the restaurant was full of people waiting for tables. The gift shop inside was crowded, too. We like to browse around the gift shop because they have lots of interesting Christmas stuff. Margery found a small Christmas tree that would have looked nice on our dining table.
We eventually decided against the tree, but ended up getting a cute Christmas outfit for Lydia. It has a red dress with a big snowflake on it and red and white candy cane-striped tights.
It took about 35 minutes for our name to be called for a table, which was slightly shorter than usual and a lot shorter than we expected given the number of people we saw hanging out on the porch when we first arrived.
We headed back to the rig after lupper for an evening of TV. Later, we enjoyed our pumpkin pie.
On Friday, Paul finished up installing the edging and started working on removing and screening the gravel. Margery joined him a little later and worked the screen to remove the sand then picked out the twigs and roots by hand before dumping the gravel into the wheelbarrow we borrowed from the co-op. Meanwhile, Paul climbed under the trees, shoveled up the gravel and put it onto the screen.
It took almost a week of working several hours a day to get all the gravel screened and cleaned up. Paul finally finished up late on Tuesday afternoon. Fortunately, even though we added about 25% to the area of the landscape bed, the existing gravel was deep enough that he was able to spread it a little thinner and still cover the new, larger area without having to buy any additional gravel.
With the job of cleaning up the big landscape bed out of the way, Paul is already planning other projects. On the other hand, a little relaxation time might be nice. Stay tuned to see what wins out.