Sunday, 26 July 2015

The Finale of the Yukka Story

Hooray you cry. Well nothing like the hooray that I have cried. For those who have been following the 'yukka saga' ( you can read it here and here) I am pleased to say that there is a happy ending (after many many dollars and much angst to get there). So let's start at the beginning and end - well - at the end!
Early days in the life of a yukka or more - I loved their structure - then
We went from a marvellous back garden with a lovely old brick fence to a war zone. Those yukkas grew, and grew, and grew (they left Jack and the Beanstalk for dead) until the lovely old wall was pushed at such an angle that it had to be removed before it killed someone. 
So down it came in one fell swoop - giving new meaning to crashing like a ton of bricks
The roots had played havoc with the dear old fence and the small retaining wall which sat precariously at a 45 degree angle. 
The photo doesn't do justice to the horror of a real life viewing. A 'temporary' fence for security and the chainsaw massacre of the yukkas
My neighbour had agreed to 'make good' the removal of the yukkas - and the fence - but I'm afraid this is a neighbour who 'promises the world' with never an intention to deliver. My pleading went on deaf ears, unanswered. I was dealing with someone who has a double degree in avoidance and responsibility. In hindsight it was never going to happen. So after a wait of 6+ months (I am a slow learner!) I took the bull by the horns and did something about it myself - at enormous expense!

But first those damn yukkas had to be killed. Just putting the chainsw through them only encouraged them to sprout more shoots. So it was out with the electric drill to cover them with holes into which went the poison. And I was delighted to see that it worked!  A friend had mentioned that he thought I should plant the yukka remains - and their babies - at my new country weekender and was stunned by my hysterical reply. "I've  poisoned them, and I never want to see them - or another yukka again!" I retorted. Suffice to say any further suggestions were thwarted by my angst!
Sorry baby yukkas - you're on the way out!
Once I'd killed them, those dead yukkas had to be removed for eternity. Easy peasy you think. Well just look at the mess. But before you do I want you to imagine the nightmare. Every one of them had to be cut up (the chainsaw had trouble slicing through their fibrous insides which were full of water). Then everything had to be transported through my home and out to the street. Of course the week we chose to get rid of them just happened to be the coldest in more than a decade - so with front and back doors open - my home was like an ice-box. But I was prepared to put up with anything to see the last of them.
Step one - remove the 45 degree angle retaining wall

Step two - remove the offending stumps - taking care not to impact on the brick retaining wall - or I would have had the neighbours soil slide into my backyard (his land is 1 metre above mine!)

Step three - load up the wheelbarrow, then totter it through my home and out to the trailer
And then we had to start again. New fence - damn the neighbour - but this one was on my land. I was going to be in control of my garden - and fence - from now on!
My new fence with a yukka free garden bed - whoo hoo
The new fence with the neighbour's temporary fence peeping over the top
Now for many of you what comes next will sound horrifying. I have planted - wait for it - brace yourself - bamboo! But I hasten to add that it is the NON INVASIVE bamboo. With 3-storey townhouses to be built on my boundary (by the infamous neighbour) I want something that will hide them from me. And they will grow to a height of  up to 6 metres - fast! But they can be pruned to look like this. 
Pleached bamboo - choose your height, bend the branch, snip, let it go and it will spring back up - that's it!
Well I'm exhausted. I bet you are too! Next time I'll tell you about removing the olives from the front of my home. Another great planting choice. But I think that's enough for you this post!

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