I have lived in my house for twelve years and during that time I had a love/hate relationship with my 30-foot tall Chinese Elm Tree. Love, for the summertime shade it provided during 100 degree heat. Hate, for the millions of horrible little leaves it would drop every single fall and throughout winter. This past December, however, ended my roller-coaster relationship all together – it fell during a severe windstorm.
On a cold December morning I woke up early, went into the living room, and turned up the blinds like I always do. I could not believe my eyes. This gargantuan tree had fallen over during the night without me, my husband, or my son hearing it. The tree had fallen square on our lawn and missed my son’s room by a couple of feet. It really was a miracle that there was hardly any damage. I say hardly, because the damage that was done was mostly underground, and we hadn’t a clue anything was wrong at that point.
About a week later, when the main trunk was removed, we realized what damage had occurred. Our sprinkler system was history. This tree that had been decades old had wound thick roots all around the PVC pipes and ripped them to oblivion when it fell. In addition, all of our brick work had been destroyed and the shade we relied on so much in the summertime was gone, meaning we’d have to find some other way to help our home stay cool.
We are in the first phase of our unplanned landscaping project – installing a new sprinkler system. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been to OSH or Home Depot to buy PVC pipe fittings and sprinkler heads. Did you know that there are different ratings for PVC fittings? Schedule 40 PVC pipe fittings, schedule 80 PVC pipe fittings….it kinda gave me a headache to try and sort out what we needed. Thank God my husband did all of that. We’d have a new rock garden if it wasn’t for him.
With our pipes buried and sprinkler heads adjusted, we are finally about ready have sod planted. It will be so nice to have real grass to walk on instead of dirt – and fewer muddy footprints tracked through our living room. In the next stage, we’re looking at getting brick work done so we’ll have some sort of sitting area available to us again, but we’re not sure how that will fit into our budget. Maybe we can do it ourselves and save a few bucks. The one item we really want to get, even if it means not having brick work, is a metal pergola. Even though it is only Spring, our house can heat up rapidly. We will probably go with one we found online and call up a few friends to lend a hand installing it.
Even though our landscaping project was unplanned, it has given us the opportunity to remake our yard into something new – which is an exciting prospect!