Monday, September 7, 2009

Family Tree

S: Our front lawn has been struggling to stay alive against the water restrictions and triple digit heat here in Austin. The only part that looks decent is the patch underneath our lone oak tree, which is shaded from the sun. So for Zach's birthday we decided to buy another tree for the front yard. My mom came to visit over Labor Day weekend and we went by Red Barn Garden Center to pick out a tree. Zach ended up choosing a Lacey Oak. We were able to save a lot of money because all of their shade trees were 50% off! We also picked up some plants for the front flower bed, lantanas and salvias. Getting the tree home was an adventure....
Z: An adventure like driving a car through a forest a forest through the city.

two of these things are just the same...

S: While Zach began digging the hole for the new tree, my mom and I worked on making a small bed with a limestone border around our existing tree.

Step 1: Lay out your stones to get the spacing right.

Step 2: Dig out grass and a deeper border for stones.

Step 3: Lay down paver base and compact.

Step 4: Lay down paver sand and compact. We used a rubber mallet and a small board to compact the layers.

Step 5: Place your stones and add more paver sand if necessary to even out the height.

Step 6: Add mulch around the tree

Thanks for all your help mom!!!

Z: Limestone dapples Austin top soil and eventually you hit solid limestone. This geological feature makes for great foundations and difficult digging. I needed to dig a hole for the lacey oak about 2.5 ft down and 3 feet across. Its pretty amazing how a basketball sized chunk of limestone will slow you down. After fruitlessly jabbing around with a shovel for a few minutes, I broke down and bought a pick axe. I had never wielded a pick axe before, but like its name implies, it's half weapon. A pick axe allows you to wage war with the earth. During the Battle of Lacey Oak, I defeated two great limestone warlords from the FrontLawn region and their battalion of lesser rocks. My armor proved essential during the fight, for on multiple occasions, as my pick axe struck the limestone warlord, he fired pieces of himself to blind me but luckily my safety glasses head visor deflected the flying chip attack. With the limestone conquered, I claimed the region by erecting the oak tree and lining the monument with cut limestone the bodies of my victims.


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