That’s how it felt last Wednesday morning, as the sewer repair crew arrived with their much-larger-than-expected excavator. (Though the excavator’s color did nicely echo the orange of the Mexican Sunflowers.)
The sewer line they had come to repair lies partly under the path to the front and partly under the Driveway Border, which is the very first border I installed after moving into our house. I felt like a parent whose beloved child was being wheeled into the operating room. And the doctor was going to operate with a gigantic orange excavator.
The crew had to dig a trench that was just 3 by about 8 feet. Only thing is, it had to go about 7 feet deep, so it generated a LOT of dirt.
The Front Garden is blessed with exceptionally deep topsoil, but go 18-24 inches down and you’ll find the subsoil is dense with clay. This surprised me for some reason, though it really shouldn’t have.
Here’s the trench. The light isn’t great, but you can kind of see here how deep the darker topsoil goes.
The sewer guys were not gardeners (one asked me if the daffodil bulbs he had uncovered were radishes, so maybe they weren’t cooks either), but they deserve credit for doing their best to minimize damage to the border. Before they came I had dug out the Nepeta, Culver’s Root, and some of the Wild Bergamot that looked to be in the way. We did have one serious loss: a mature Wild Blue Indigo. I’ll plant a replacement, not necessarily in the same place.
When they were done they filled the trench. It rained that night, and the next day the path to the front door was a gushy, gooey river of clay. As a temporary expedient, I threw down some plywood boards to make it passable.
Week after next another crew is coming to redo our driveway and front path, both of which are seriously falling to pieces. Once they are done I can start to repair the damage. There will be lots of new bulbs and some new perennials to plant, along with putting some other plants back where they had been.
So on the day after the eve of destruction it turned out things could have been a lot worse. Of course, we’ve still got a ways to go.