Monday, July 20, 2009

Barn Maintenance Removing Climbing Eounymus

A project of trimming Climbing Euonymus from the front of the Jarvis House barn turned out to be a week long marathon.
The front of the barn has a raised loose stone ledge that provides a very nice area for planting. The barn was moved and re-erected early in the 1980's. At that time Climbing Euonymus was planted around the foundation. Over time, other plants such as Iris, Day Lilies, Cone Flowers, Winter Jasmine, Bleeding Heart, and Astilbe were added. With all of the rain that the North East had this spring, the Euonymus grew out of control. It climbed up the facing boards of the barn, and attached itself as high as four feet.As the Euonymus was removed, and that took three days, a drain pipe from a corner gutter was uncovered. Trying to unplug the pipe, which was filled with a tangle of roots, it became dislodged. A forceful stream of water wouldn't clear the pipe.A mole nest was discovered under the triangular stone on the corner of the rock wall. Care had to be given not to disturb the nest, but fortunately the pipe was originally placed in a ditch to the right of the nest.A new PVC pipe and elbow were needed. The pipes, 4 inches in diameter, at the Orange Home store came in 2 foot or 10 foot lengths. The first problem was how to cut the pipe in half.At first a saws all was tried, but the saw moved in the wrong direction. Then a skill saw was pulled out which worked really well. Five foot marks were made with a dark black marker on the white pipe, and the saw followed the marks all around until the cut was complete.A specific two part glue is needed in order to join the elbow to the length of pipe. The purple can holds a cleaner and surfacer, the gold can holds the glue. A rubber hammer, then a ball peen hammer were used to tap the elbow onto the pipe.When you start something, think of the end. The diameter of the elbow connection was larger than the downspout end. In order not to allow anything, soil, roots leaves, etc. from dropping into the pipe, a loose cover was needed. A new use for re-cycling a bleach bottle came to mind, and the bottom was cut down and fitted to the down spout end. A perfect shield. To make a dry well, a large black plastic flower pot, formerly holding a young tree, was notched to accommodate the 4 inch pipe. The pot actually stabilized the pipe. Using old garden tools, especially the row maker, a huge hole large enough to fit and drop the black pot into was made.The pot was filled in with large stones from the excavation of the hole, and topped off with pea gravel.After raking the pea gravel, the ditch and new drain pipe were backfilled with the soil that came from digging the hole.Although looking quite severe, eliminating the Euonymus from the base of the barn, reduced the possibility of board rot and the work necessary to keep this rampant grower in check. Think of the fun of re-designing the rock garden so that the new plants will not negatively impact the wood siding on a historic old barn.


Lily Hydrangea said...

Wow! that is quite a job.
I can't wait to see the new rock garden.

Elizabeth said...

A project indeed!!
All I do is arrive, waft about saying how pretty iy all is and then vanish

maintaining a big place is WORK!

Willow said...

What a chore! A job well done. I look forward to seeing what the new garden will look like.