Saturday, February 25, 2012

Landscaping Lessons!

A few weeks ago I mentioned some of the landscaping madness going on at our house. It is still very much a work in progress but I thought I would share a couple of the lessons we have learnt recently.
The first lesson is: If a truck comes to deliver a large load of soil, it really isn't worth it to push them to drive through a small set of gates in order to dump the soil closer to your intended project.
This was unfortunately a lesson we had to learn the hard way. I have to say, I was dubious from the start but I am married to an optimist! There was literally 5cm to spare on each side of the truck but it had made it through.
All was going well until the large load was emptied, somehow causing the truck to no longer fit through the gates! I think it had something to do with the shift in weight after the truck was empty.
This marked the beginning of a very complex process to remove the truck and keep the fence and gate intact. The truck driver and Taff worked closely together and all was looking good...until the very last moment when we heard a crack. The truck had taken out the fence! This wouldn't usually be the end of the world but this fence is one of our pool boundary fences so we needed to address it immediately.
Thus began the search for a fence builder...and fast. This then led to landscaping lesson number 2: Do not try save money by choosing the cheapest quote you can find, you get what you pay for. The builders we went with were only a couple of hundred dollars cheaper than professional fence places and in hindsight, this is only a small amount in the bigger scheme of things.
The first day they were onsite was looking good, until after several hours of work they (and we!) discovered that the gates had been built wrong. The fence is on a slope and they hadn't taken this into account, instead building a completely straight bottomed gate, leaving a nice little gap for young children to crawl under and get into the pool area.
To their credit, they came back and finished the job and rebuilt the gates but Taff spent the last two hours "supervising" their work and asking them to redo things! Not one for confrontation, I chose to hide inside at this point. :)
So finally the new fence and gate were finished and after a couple of days of uncertainty, we actually quite like it now and think they did a reasonable job in the end. There is still much work to do to get it looking finished but we have plans to sand it and paint it further down the track. Still, it is functional and 100 times better than the old brown fence. In the end it was a good thing the truck smashed the fence as it accelerated a project that had been a very low priority prior to that. I am also sure this won't be the last lesson we learn in landscaping! :)

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