If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may remember me crowing about the fun I had with a mini excavator we rented back in 2017.
Well, pshaw. This time we got a SERIOUS machine (and I’m a lot better at operating it now, too):
It’s only a ‘midi’, but at 14,000 pounds it’s much bigger and more powerful than the mini. (Which was still a hell of a lot bigger and more powerful than my muscles.) Our ‘soil’ here is so full of rocks that the only way to dig by hand is with a pickaxe and hoe and a lot of elbow grease. Even the mini struggled to scrape out a small hole. But this excavator? Big beautiful bucketloads, woohoo! Those rocks don’t stand a chance.
This is our fourth year in our ‘new’ place, and while I’ve accomplished a lot of landscaping by hand, there were some projects that were just too big to manage. F’rinstance, here are before-and-after shots of the rhododendron garden. (The ‘before’ photo comes from the post I linked to above.) I did all the rock and soil fill by hand, and it took a couple of years to show progress:
But… here’s a project I just did with the excavator. That embankment is about 4 feet high and full of rocks; and it took me around 10 machine-hours to scrape up the fill, level the garden, and grade/contour afterward:
I’m getting a bunch of other long-postponed projects done with the machine, too. More landscaping and grading, some new flowerbeds, lifting deadfall trees off our beleaguered deer fence… the possibilities are endless!
Better still, even though my first project was a flowerbed only two feet away from the house, I haven’t caused any property damage. (Well, except for our wheelbarrow, which suffered a permanent curvature of its spine when I had a brain fart at the excavator controls. But the wheelbarrow still works, so I’m counting it as an ‘oops’, not actual property damage.)
There’s only one flaw in this seemingly-idyllic situation: I’m far too attached to this machine. The more I use it, the more I want it.
Yep, I’m power-trippin’. And when it’s all over and the machine goes away, my withdrawal symptoms will be truly ugly.
But that’s in the future. Meanwhile, I’ve got more flowerbeds to build!
Anybody else tackling major landscape projects this spring?