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Laying Wood Chip Paths--Bitter-Sweet Satisfaction

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West - Friesland
Posts: 9542
Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:40 am   Post subject: Laying Wood Chip Paths--Bitter-Sweet Satisfaction

Last week wednesday my partner and I got up early and headed out to the city council's dumping site for wood chips. I was armed with twenty 70 liter plastic bags and a sand spade.
The dumping place was actually a huge, paved parking lot that is not fully used. As we biked in and headed all the way to the back, I saw the large, yellow mountains of chips there straight ahead and the the right...about 100 meters away. One of the heaps was steaming a little already.

There were "finely chipped chips" and rougher (bigger) chips--that's what I was after, thinking that they would not compost so quickly).

My partner and I went there after calling the council top ask where we could find some. The way it works is that you call up the council, ask them about chips, they ask what part of the city you live in and they tell you the nearest depot.
Once that I confirmed that there were indeed chips there I called my b-i-l and he and his bride came over to help.
They supplied the auto. We could shove nine bags in at one time. He and I ferried them over to the lottie and deposited them and then returned for the next lot.
It took us two trips to get all the bags to the lottie.

It is the time of year when the council prunes bushes in all the city's medians, sidewalk edgings and parks. The rain had stopped finally, and it was time to strike while the iron was hot. I do not need wood chips every year, but every 2-3 years I have to dig out the paths in the lotties that are not paved with stone.
The old well-composted chips are simply shovelled out and flicked left and tight into the flower plots left and right of the paths.

Some of the chip paths have been dug and lined with root-cloth before having the chips spread on them already...but not all. The unlined ones would get lined today.

The eighteen bags of chips were unloaded and sat waiting until saturday. Doesn't the garden look bad.

It was relatively easy work getting the old chips off the paths that had been lined with root cloth.

The path that ran through the arch had to be dug out.

Work underway, you can see how it's developing.

The next stage, laying and trimming the root cloth.

The finished path...all chipped-in.

Whew! The work took all day and there were no visitors that day to give me an excuse to stop now and then.
...But what a satisfying day's work that was though. Now I am good and stiff, I'll tell you.
The satisfaction was great, but the smell of the chips and the sight of them...I just couldn't help but be reminded of this recent scene:

I was a little troubled by the thought that these chips could have been the remains of the lovely sycamores that once lined our street. The satisfaction was sort of bitter-sweet

Last edited by Sjoerd on Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Posts: 6614
Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:13 am   

That looks like a lot of work. I hope you won't be too sore and stiff for long. I guess if the piles of chips were very big there might have been some of your trees in there. It would make you feel sad to think of it. Are they going to plant different trees or just leave the spaces bare?
Your paths look great though!

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Zone 8-9 Washington
Posts: 627
Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:16 am   

That looks so nice and ready to see some real greenery sprouting up everywhere. Well done and very beautiful. I will have to see if there is the same opportunity for me to get chips from the city.

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Forum Moderator

Posts: 23357
Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:20 am   

Well that certainly is a job well done and worth the two trips with the chippings. Once everything begins to grow again your garden is going to be even more lovely than before. Very Happy

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Knoxville, Tennessee
Posts: 1344
Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:42 am   

A job well done. My back is hurting just reading your post. The lotties look so much better with their freshly mulched wood chips. I just finished a blog on cleaning out the woodchips from our stump removal. I enjoyed seeing your photo's of your lotties. I have visited your website but these photos give a different perspective.

If, in fact, those are "chips off your old block" Wink , you have some satisfaction that they have been put to good use, even though it is bittersweet.

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Washington State
Posts: 1428
Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:27 am   

The "before" shots immediately made me think of Mary Lennox and her Secret Garden (have you ever read that) Turned out beautiful. I love "hardscaping", it never wilts or gets blight so at least it leaves some reward for the effort Smile

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Regular Plants Contributor

Western Norway
Posts: 10569
Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:56 am   

Oh, lovely! Very Happy I'd rather have been out there helping you shovel dirt and bark chips than up here shoveling snow!

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annapolis md
Posts: 3675
Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:43 am   

As soon as you said you were getting wood chips from the city, I thought about the beautiful sycamore trees... Well, I like thinking of them along your paths where they continue to be appreciated... They look gorgeous! I am sorry Sjoerd but I am trying to imagine you and your dear one carrying all those bags on your bikes. I kind of want to giggle but it sounds like a feat that really deserves my admiration!

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Regular Plants Contributor

Southern Ontario zone 5a
Posts: 13551
Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:56 am   

I also wondered how you got 20 of those bags to the lottie with just a bicycle? All your hard work paid off ... the paths look fabulous and you won't have to worry about weeding it. Well done Sjoerd!

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Plants Moderator
Regular Plants Contributor

North Texas, Zone 8a
Posts: 15401
Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:19 pm   

Nice looking path, good work you two. I can't wait to see it winding thru all those gorgeous blooms that grow in your garden.

I see some mounds of green around the arch, spring is beginning to show it's finery in your garden too.

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West - Friesland
Posts: 9542
Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:42 am   

Thank you for your posting, DOOLEY. Yes, it did make a wee bit sad.Loosing those trees in our street really did irritate me quite a bit.
I'm glad you liked the looks of those paths. I just wish they'd stay looking so nicely, but they are too soon gray-brown as the natural composting will begin shortly.

Thank you FISH--I sure hope that you will be able to get chips from the city or county council there. Buying bagged chips at garden centers is ludicrous. Fingers crossed for you.
I'll tell you one two, actually: Using the root cloth does help with keeping the weeds down significantly...and...the chips do not rot as quickly on the root cloth because they stay totally dry for long periods during sunny weather.

Thanks EILEEN--I am hoping that it will indeed become lovely again. I have started planting flower seeds already.

Heh heh heh...Thank you, GAIL--MNy back is a bit stiff in fact. I tried not to over do it--but you know how it is when you start somnething, you just keep going and going until the job is done.
I read your blog entry about your chipped stumps.
I have not shown many fotos of my lotties in the winter time. It all looks pretty desolate and messy, doesn't it?
I found your "chips off the old block", crack clever. I like that sort of smart stuff. Smile

Hi CP--Yes, I know that story. I can see why you made the comparison due to the present sorry state of the garden grounds. Hopefully I can have all that cleaned-up in a few weeks.

DROOPY--you would have been morew than welcome to be there. In fact, if you want to come the next time they have to be done....plerase do, I shall sit around and supervise the work, periodically serving tea and bikkies if the work is being done satisfactorily.

DAISY--I am so glad that you mentioned that transportation quandry. I knew something was not right when I did a read-over before posting but I did not discover what it was. I am pleading late night tirdness. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Really though, I think when I was touching it up I deleted a paragraph, because it isn't there. I have since re-inserted the info, telling how I had chartered my b-i-l and his auto to make the trips back and forth. I bought him lunch afterwards. I was quite thankful.
Of course the bags could have been transported by bike, but it would have taken several trips.

NETTY--Thanks for your nice comments. yes, biking so many bags would have really been a lot of work...extra work.
I like the chip paths better than the stone ones, but the stone ones are charming too, in their own way.

TONI--I can't wait either. hahaha. There are little green 'blobs' here and there--some are weeds, some are forget-me-nots and others are Digitalis.
I haver to keep going back and looking at old pics to remind me that there will be green eventually. I do expect that I will have lost some things this winter though.

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Posts: 9512
Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:03 am   

I love your paths .You really worked hard .Kevin ,Linda and myselfWorked some on my beds and planted 2 rose bushes.A Pink (Yankee Doodle) and a yellow (Eclipse).I am already sore so I'm sure you are.

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Malacca, Malaysia.
Posts: 2718
Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:34 am   

Well done!!! I am sure it will really be beautiful in Spring Smile ..... real soon!! Laughing

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West - Friesland
Posts: 9542
Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:01 pm   

Hi GLENDA-- Thanks for your posting. it sounds like you've been quite busy there as well.
My stiffness is wearing off now.

KKNg--Thanks. I am hoping that spring will soon arrive as well. Smile
BTW--did you know that Malacca and Hoorn (where I live) are sister cities?

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eastern washington
Posts: 1995
Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:24 pm   

gfreiherr wrote:
....If, in fact, those are "chips off your old block" Wink ......

bwahahahaha! good one!

sjoerd, i was with daisy, thinking the same thing, connecting the wood chips and the tree cutting. i'm pleased to hear that the wood chips are available for use by the public...even so, i hopt they plant new trees for you...

sjoerd, i enjoyed the pics of your progress. looks really nice.

i wonder how the root webbing and wood chips would work in a greenhouse???

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