Several weeks ago, after the snow had melted I noticed a water leak at the well head. See the rust coated soil? There was a steady, but thankfully very light constant trickle but obviously it must be repaired. The company that works on wells sent out a nice man who shook his head and said “This is going to be expensive!” My first question was “How much of the garden am I going to lose?” His response was another shake of the head, “Well, we’ll bring out our mini, but it will go from here to here,” he said as he paced off an area that was approximately one-third of the Deck Garden, “and then we’ll need space to pile the dirt. The fittings are going to be pricey because you have inch and a quarter copper. No one uses inch and a quarter copper anymore. And the price of fittings has tripled since last fall, if I can even find the ones we need. It may take a while. I’ll get back to you.”
I fussed and stewed and tried to face the inevitable. I probably should have started digging and potting then, but the weather was lousy and there were other higher priority tasks. Who knew when he would locate the needed fittings? And the crocuses were so beautiful; the daffodils were budding, but many of the other plants had not pushed through the soil to enable me to locate them. So, I procrastinated.
This morning I was enjoying my second cup of tea and making out the job list for the day. Other than being very windy, it was finally going to be warm and the soil had thawed, the forecast was decent (above freezing!) There were three days of tasks on the list that I hoped to accomplish in one day. And then David meandered in and said, “Oh, the well guys will be here in 30 minutes to start digging.” “What!?!” I screeched, spilling my tea across the clipboard. “I thought he said he’d give me a couple of days warning!” I cried, pulling on my boots and grabbing a hat as I ran out the door. I grabbed a couple of plastic tablecloths and a shovel and began to dig. And dig.
The truck and trailer with what definitely to me did not look like a “mini” machine pulled into the driveway. I didn’t have time to get another tablecloth, so I frantically just dug and piled plants to the side.
Finally, as the machine came rumbling across the lawn, I had to stop. I was out of breath, my back and knees were beginning to plead for mercy. I stood at the sidewalk and snapped this photo, hoping I’d judged the area correctly, and asking the plants that still remained for forgiveness. Daylilies, phlox, irises, shasta daisies, and lots of plants that had not yet emerged went under the tracks but I just couldn’t save them all.
I couldn’t watch. Escaping to the potager, I planted peas and shallots, asters and lisianthus and tried to ignore the sounds of destruction. A bit later, the men called me to come back up to turn off the power to the pump so I snapped this photo, which shows the beginning of the real digging after they’d located the wiring. When the hole was big enough, I swore they were burying an elephant.
I retreated to the potager for the duration. Only when they had reloaded the “mini” and vacated entirely did I venture up to survey the scene.
Here’s the results. The leak is repaired. The soil has been returned to “level” sort of, but I know it is highly compacted now. I think some of the squished plants will recover, but I doubt that some that are now buried will return. However, I can now begin replanting. It will be interesting to see what colors come up where, because I did not have time to label anything I dug and it’s high unlikely they will end up in their original location, except for the rose bushes and hyacinths, and the eremurus. I wonder if the tritoma will be tough enough to return, and if all those bulbs will resent being dug. Time will tell!