My original title for this post was going to be "$1.07 Won't Even Buy Me A Glass of Iced Tea".
A while back, I posted about how I was taking back some overgrown planting beds, reclaiming them from various mis-behaving plants so I could replant with something better. I also commented in that post that I was going to call a landscaper to get an estimate on helping with those overgrown beds and digging up a new planting bed in the back yard.
If you are keeping up with what's going on here at May Dreams Gardens, you know that I have already reclaimed one of the two beds on my own.
I'm half way through digging out the other bed, where the forsythia is, but still need to do quite a bit more to fully reclaim this space for other plants.
And I did call a landscaper to get an estimate for digging up the new bed.
When he got here, I used some orange marking paint and painted the outline of the new bed. I asked for a quote for them to remove the grass, dig up the area, add some compost and leave it basically ready to plant. He estimated that the new bed would be about 500 square feet. Then he went to his truck to do some ciphering and calculating while I waited around, puttering about, dreaming of what I would plant in that new bed.
Any guesses on the estimate for digging that new bed?
About $2 per square foot. Put that way, it doesn't seem like a lot, does it?
The total estimate was $998.93.
Which means out of One Thousand Dollars, I would have $1.07 left over, which isn't enough to buy me my daily Venti Unsweet Iced Green Tea, No Water, No Ice at the local Starbucks. (I don't, by the way, drink it like that. I take it to work and pour it over ice and then it lasts me all day.)
I'm making no judgments on if that is a fair price for digging up a new planting bed. I think it is probably the going rate. In his estimate, the landscaper included two applications of Round Up, rototilling the area four times, bringing in four cubic yards of compost, and tilling all that in again. I would assume at least two guys would do the work and it would take three trips, two trips for the Round Up, one trip for all the tilling.
I really didn't give it much thought once I saw the price. It's not the money as much as I know I can do that work myself, albeit at a much slower pace. I have to pay for enough things that I can't do myself, so it bothers me to pay someone to do something that I can do. After all, I was able to do the work on the retaining wall myself and I am halfway on my way to reclaiming the forysthia bed.
So I'm going to dig this new bed myself, too. As I work, I'll keep telling myself how much I am saving and how many plants I can buy with those savings.
It will take me awhile, but taking it a section at a time, I know I can do it. What's the big rush, anyway? I've been looking at that unplanted area for ten years already, so even if I takes me another year to gradually dig it up, that's okay. I think it is mostly a matter of just getting started. And if it is next spring and I still don't have that bed dug up like I want, I've got at least one nephew who might be willing to help for far less than the landscaping crew would charge.
There's too much rushing around these days anyway. Everyone wants everything right now. Instant gratification! Not me. I want to continue to enjoy the process of gardening as long as I can, hopefully for many more decades. And that process involves not just weeding and planting and deadheading, but digging, too.
One square foot at time, I'll get this new bed dug eventually!