More work on Bocce Ball Court and Fruit Trees

A while back we spent another weekend working on the bocce ball court.  After Todd, my dad, and patch dug out the hole. Todd and my dad build the frame.  Now we needed to add the base rock and decomposed granite to fill the court in.  The base rock is larger pieces that go down on the bottom to help with drainage.  The decomposed granite is finer than base rock more of a small pebble size which goes on top of the base rock for a smoother playing surface.  Last we are thinking of maybe adding a very thin layer of oyster shell flour, which is traditional for a bocce court.  We are not sure yet though.

We ordered the materials and needed a way to get it to the house.  Luckily, Tony, my brother in law was able to lend us his dad’s work truck.  First, Todd and Tony went to the quarry and filled up the bed with base rock.  When they got back Todd’s brother Greg had stopped by with his dog, Gigi.  Naturally we put him to work! 🙂  Greg helped Todd, my dad and I unload the base rock into wheel barrows and dump them into the bocce court.


Greg unloading base rock.


Gigi exploring the backyard!











Next we needed to tamp the base rock down into a level layer.  For this we brought in the big guns, a motorized tamper that we rented from A Tool Shed.  I swear we have rented half that store.  Todd had fun   tamping and surfing the tamper as well.




Gerry with the tamper.











The next day Todd and Tony went back with the truck to get the decomposed granite at the quarry.  When they got back our friends Carlos and Maureen were there to help us along with my sister Emi.  We all unloaded the decomposed granite into wheelbarrows and dumped them into the court.  Then the tamper came out again to flatten and level the granite.


Decomposed Granite



Now the bocce court is just waiting for the benches to be added to the end, but that will come another day.


This past weekend we put in two fruit trees next to the driveway.  My dad who used to be a landscape contractor told us that the small planter between our driveway and our fence would be perfect for fruit trees because it got so much great sun.  I was confused about how such a small space would fit a fruit tree until I learned what espaliered meant.  An espaliered tree is a tree that has had the branched grafted to the trunk so that they grow off the trunk at 90 degree angles and have rows.  We got two espaliered tree one has 6 kinds of apples and the other has 4 kinds of pears.

First, we had to dig the holes for the posts because espaliered trees need to be trained onto wires so the branches continue to grow flat so they take up barely any space.  My mom and dad were over to help us once again, yay!  Once the giant holes were dug the posts went in were leveled with base rock and then fence post concrete was added.  All you need to set up fence post concrete is to soak it with water from the hose and let dry to harden.  This seemed simple enough, so of course we would need to do something to make the day more interesting.  How about hitting a water line and the hole you are digging filling up with water.  That was our 2 hour bump in the road! 🙂 Two hours of extra hole digging later Todd found that the pipe hit was no longer connected and the water was just residual water left in the pipe after it had been closed off.

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After fixing the pipe situation we planted the trees and watered them in.  We then set the rest of the posts and called it a day.  The next day Todd and my dad attached the wires to the posts and used plant tape to gently affix the branches to the wires.  This way to tree will continue to grow on a flat plane and stay out of the driveway.  Plus, we get 10 kinds of fruit from two trees!  I can’t wait to get some fruit in a few years!

– Laurel

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