Glad you are visiting!! Come back anytime.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New project

Finally a new landscaping project has opened up... timing is a bit off... full sun project... the heat has turned on for the summer. But, you can't control all the variables all the time.


I am going to try to take pictures of steps along the way. I end up using my camera phone since it is on my hip most of the day. A regular camera gets really messed up on a landscaping crew. Plus, my job is not photography...

I was notified yesterday that the two beds in the enormous ramp outside of building 2 were cleared to become flowerbeds as the contractors had finished the installation of the ramp and that area had been "cleared". In the VA government, every project that is contracted out is supposed to be cleared by the contracting office before it is returning for upkeep by VA staff.

The ramp takes up an enormous space in front of Bldg 2 to accommodate the gradual slope necessary for a wheelchair ramp that matches a flight of stairs. As you can see that the buildings are brick so the ramp is brick to blend into the environment. These two areas that are stuck in the middle of the ramp are becoming flower beds because the walls around them are too high to lift a lawnmower to mow the grass. Yes, a weed wacker would fit in there, but flowerbeds look better. In the pictures, you can see the one on the right that the weeds that have grown in the soil that the contractor put in the area have grown rather tall. I hadn't notice them a couple of weeks ago when we were doing the Chapel and the buildings next door. Rain has a habit of making weeds grow super sized in June.

So, we weeded.

Weeding is a means to conduct vocational therapy. Today we were working on issues of following instructions and doing a quality job are two vocational work issues. The following is one of the scenarios that played out today:

Me: "No, you may NOT use a cultivating hoe on this bed. I saw you yesterday in another flowerbed and you were scraping the weeds out and leaving the roots. Put on knee pads and get a trowel and lets pull these weeds out by the root."

Patient response: "But it's going to take too long."

Me: "What other burning issues do you have to solve or do today?"

Patient: "None."

Me: "Great. So, let's do a quality job, so we won't be back next week in the heat with 2 ft weeds."

After we weeded the two areas (the square footage is quite huge...will measure tomorrow), we went and pulled compost from one of our bins. It is truly black gold...full of rich worm castings and worms!! It was pretty labor intensive because the compost bins are so close together a backhoe can't get in there to scoop out the compost. So it got manually put into the hydraulic dumper on our Cushman (our mini work truck...3 cylinder) and manually removed from the Cushman because a backhoe can't get in close enough to dump.

Tomorrow, I hope to put compost on the bed to the right. We got both sides weeded on Wednesday and compost put on the left hand bed. We stopped early for a celebration. One of the veterans from Horticulture had completed 4 months and he was returning for his certificate and chocolate cake.



  1. And I complain about weeding my little garden!

    Great job you all did. It will look beautiful when it's all done.

  2. It helps that I have a crew of 4-6 guys or else most of the work that is done, would not get done.