Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cottage finally graded...

This  has been a long time coming. We, like most of the country, have broken all records for most rain in a month. Violent storms have beaten down not only this month, but for a few months.

It has been raining, and raining and raining. This means it has been impossible to get the final grading done, so it was impossible to plant grass, put in the underground gutter drainage and basically to finish the cottage up.

So, yesterday was the big day. We wanted to be out there so the little problems we wanted addressed, were done right. We headed out around 9:00 am  and you can see we finished at sunset. Bob was finishing up the underground gutter drainage as the sun set.

We wanted to get it done, so we could seed the whole yard surrounding the cottage at the same time.

We were surprised to see that we had a marvelous store of great top soil--Dale, the grader, knew where to look.  Look at that nice black dirt. When he finished he dug up an nice pile of it and set it aside, so I can make some awesome flower/vegetable beds.

Here he is spreading the dirt over the clay soil. You can see Bob's tractor-cut path going over to the nut grove behind the little dozer.

We were excited as he worked taking down the big pile of dirt that was next to the basement deck.

What took Bob [and I helped a bit] 2-3 days to shovel out in order to make the deck [not all day, but over a course of a few days] he spread out in a matter of minutes.

 While Dale's assistant continued to use the Bobcat, Dale worked on the driveway. I should have taken a before shot, but I didn't.

It was in REALLY bad shape after all the gulley-washing storms we have had this past month or so.

But, not only did he put down cement-like gravel, he widened the whole driveway so Bob can mow down the edges of it with the tractor. He also made a nice little juncture at the bottom so we can go down the hill and turn right to go to the road, or left to go to the barn.

Before this, we could not go to the barn from the house on the driveway because at the bottom of the hill, there was nothing but a small wall of rock on the left and it prevented us from making that turn.

When we came up from the barn, we could not go to the house unless we drove on a grassy path. I have a genetic defect which prevents me from backing up without hitting something--I think I must have gotten it from my mom, because my dad was an amazing backer-upper.  Because of the flaw, if I come from the barn and want to go to the house, I have to go out to the road and drive down to the neighbor's house and turn around there.

So you can see how much this grading job meant to me.

  After a rather long day, the back of the house was done and spread with our home-grown black topsoil.
 Here is the view from the right front.

And the left front, with Bob working on putting the gutter drainage underground. I plan to make a rain garden or something where the gutters drain out. Gail suggested a bog garden, so I will have to do some research to see what would be most practical. 

  I bought this awesome new whirly-type seeder. I remember my Dad having one and thought it would be much easier to use than one you hold and have to crank a million times.

I was right.

This went fast and was so easy and no tired hand. I put in rye, silver vetch and fescue. Between them all we should have some grass and some great roots to prevent erosion.

 Here Bob is getting the pipe ready to lay in the trench he dug.

The next photo shows him digging a bit more to get the slope right.

 After this, we cleaned up the tools and then we headed for home.  It felt good to get the seed in. Hopefully it will take root and not be caught in another violent storm and end up at the bottom of the hill.

It was a great day!

Take care,


  1. Wow! It looks great. What a day you had. I'm happy for you that it's done.
    Great pictures too. I hope you took some ibuprophen!

  2. Two Tylenol before bed did the trick.