Plenty of Off -Season Activity

It has been a busy few months for me in the garden. I took my second training trip to Japan in October which filled me with joy and rejuvenation for my work. I think the trip’s invigorating qualities were necessary for a number of reasons. As soon as I got back, I literally hit the ground to begin my largest construction project at Shofuso since joining the staff. It was up to my seasonal assistant and me to do the site prep which took a full two weeks. This involved removing from the work area every stepping stone, accent stone, shrub, 200 sq ft of liriope, and 3 yards of clay soil by hand. After the site prep, materials needed to be moved into place. We required a crane to get the largest pieces of stone inside of our walls and a tripod to move some of them once inside. Doing a large construction project in an established garden comes with a multitude of logistical puzzles to figure out. It’s fun and frustrating all at the same time. Building a garden from the ground up now seems like it would be easy compared to this… I said seems.

January has been very kind to us this year. I am still able to work outside on the project when it’s not raining. It’s vastly important to get as much done as possible since everything needs to be in place and cleaned up for Shofuso’s opening day on April 1. Rain is forecast today which is the only reason that I’m able to write this blog post. I have to admit that these last few weeks working alone on this construction project have been demoralizing at times. It’s starting to get lonely and also just hard to do such intense work without someone there for (physical, emotional, psychological) support. If someone is standing next to you in a pit of mud, it makes the day a lot easier. Don’t you think? Most of the heavy lifting in the area is done now and it’s just a bunch of regrading, moving smaller stones, and clean up. The other heavy lifting still to do involves moving (by hand) LARGE PILES of LARGE stones that were moved out of the immediate construction area. A few more stepping stones and a couple of accent stones still need to be placed when our Garden Consultant comes back in March. Hopefully we’re not covered in snow at that point. Fingers crossed.

More updates to follow.