I don't think a garden is ever finished. Weeding aside, the possibilities (and pleasure) for planting, transplanting, and general rearranging (partially) explain Inta's West Chester retreat. What a treat! After about two minutes in her oasis I felt exhausted. Excitement overwhelmed me. So many ideas. Or maybe Inta's helper removing bamboo roots with an axe or sorts .. made me feel I too, should have tool in hand, on that beautiful afternoon, attacking the hillside and placing plants to keep the clients happy.
Looking at a site plan of this house you quickly see the house takes up less space than the gardens. Apparently the prior owner(s) worked the property in a similar fashion to Inta. However, this "Aunt Laura" hasn't lived there for at least twenty years. This was a really physically intense learning experience and I actually don't want it to end. To spare the extremely whiney details of the island garden I ignorantly tackled on impulse one day let's take note of some of the STUFF to work with in this mass of untamed growth. Please excuse any incorrect labeling
The slope, the remnants of old shrubs and trees, the rock, the compacted soil, not to mention the weeds and various plant life that needed to be removed proved exhausting. Before spending clients' money on plants in the future, I need to remember some of the extremely time consuming obstacles.
To be honest I should end with tree stumps because I need to go pull weeds somewhere.
Sure, I've built up a decent amount of muscle doing this work, but I don't think there is anyway to "train" for using a $^!#*** pickax/axe/mattock whatever it is called over and over again on a slope. Hammering into rock and removing dead stuff filled with maggot type things (which actually are a blessing because I probably wouldn't have been able to removed these roots without their help) is not awesome.