I don’t believe it. Today I heard birds singing for the first time this year. It’s happened before – warm March – then in April winter returned with a fury. That year we had no lilacs. If the same thing happens this year, I’ll have no elderberries. I can live without lilacs but I need elderberries. As long as the warmth doesn’t last too long and the elderberries don’t blossom, we’ll be OK. Otherwise, we’ll try throwing a sheet over the tree to protect it.
This summer’s projects will include creating terraced beds down the steep slope. I will depend on the rocks found on the property and mortar. I want the walls to be sturdy meaning at least 2 rocks deep – maybe more – starting about 3 or 4 feet high. Next, back-fill with the soil from the hill. Make it nice and flat – hopefully 6 to 8 feet deep. Another rock wall etc. I suspect the further up the hill I go, the narrower the flat part. Why? Because the top of the hill starts with a gentle slope, then gets steep, then gets gentle again. So, my guess is the terraces will not be a uniform width.
Some people shake their heads wondering why a woman my age would do this. Well, why not? I like pushing my body to the limit. All those years of weight training need to be paying off.
The other reason is, this has to be done by hand. I’ve called several contractors to get estimates. Most of them just say yes, then never call back. Others want to bring in heavy machinery. Well, you can’t. How do we get the heavy machinery down there? We’d have to go through our neighbours’ land. If we did that, they’d have to cut down trees that separate our properties. I don’t want any trees cut! So what’s left is manual labour. Then I might as well tackle the job myself.
First, all the snow has to melt – then it has to dry up a bit so I can start leveling the first row using a pick-ax and shovel. This is an artistic endeavour. If I do this myself, I will have bragging rights.
I have lots of other projects in mind too. I just have to keep remembering that Rome was not built in a day.