While some people create killer web apps in their spare time, Ames and I prefer to make holes in the ground. There are a couple factors here that make hole digging in South Carolina difficult:

  1. Trees, or more accurately stumps. We have been trying to get a maintainable handle on the forrest that is our yard. As a result, we’ve got quite a few stumps around. They range in diameter from about 2 to over 18 inches. Today’s stump was a small one, but then there’s factor 2.
  2. Hard Soil. Back in Florida, the ground was nice and moist. You could actually use a shovel to dig into the ground. Not so here. In addition to shovels, you need a tool called a Mattock that has a pick or axe on one side, and a grub hoe on the other.
My Mattock and I.

Getting this one tiny tree stump out of the ground probably took us a couple hours. We started out thinking we could just dig it up, then moved to hacking at roots with the mattock, then more digging, then I got out the chainsaw…which started smoking, so we went back to digging and hacking again. Here, Ames is clearing out some of the dirt around the roots by hand so I might split them in twain.

Amy trying to find more roots for me to chop at.

Success!!! – Little did we know, we were far from “done” with this project.


Once we got the stump out we had to bring in some soil from another part of the yard to even out the slope from the house. The goal of all this digging and dirt moving: plant Hydrangeas. We finished leveling out the soil, made our holes, put down some potting soil and got the new plants watered in. They’re looking a little scraggly now, but with some TLC they’ll make it through the winter and create an amazing display in the Spring.

The newly planted Hydrangeas.

8 comments on “Stumped

maratz says:

In fact, I envy you! I’d better do some gardening than being stuck here at the desk, checking all those bugs and praying that my server will survive.

Houseworks rule!

Yea, and I envy you too Marko. Every web developer wants to come up with a great idea for a web app…not every web developer wants to spend their time digging holes in the ground though. 🙂

Excellent idea Ryan! I’m up for any solution to a problem that involves explosions. The Birdman recommended that I rent one of those big stump grinder things to get the rest of the stumps out of the yard. I personally think I’d rather go the redneck route:

  1. Get a 55 gallon drum and remove the top and bottom.
  2. Make a small hole near the bottom of the drum to allow air in.
  3. Place drum over stump, insert kindling, and light.
  4. Cook dinner over burning stump stove
  5. Repeat until all stumps in yard are gone, or until you’ve been issued a cease and desist order from the local fire department.
Brian says:

It seems those trees are pretty aggressive. At least you don’t hit water after 2 feet.

Ryan says:

I think I have a better solution for you: Fragmax.

maratz says:

‘the redneck route’ – that’s just hilarious : ))

So Marko, are there any “rednecks” in Croatia?

maratz says:

It’s “seljačina” [selyacheena] in Croatian, which is metaphor derived from “seljak” [selyack], which literally translated is a person who lives in a village (“selo” in Croatian), but its’ true meaning is a farmer (in occupational sense).

The redneck is so funny because it reminds me on a joke told by my English teacher, which went something like:

“A psychology teacher started the subject about a dreams of having a sex with a ghosts. He wondered if anyone from the classroom had some experience regarding the subject:
– Has anyone ever had a dream about having a sex with a ghost? – he asked.
A redneck student from behind raised his hand and said:
– Yea, Mr. Teacher, I had it!
– Oh, great! Come here and share it with the rest of us – teacher replied.
A little bit insecurely and shrugging all the way down, the redneck student approached the teacher’s table.
– So, you had a dream about having a sex with a ghost, young man? – the teacher asked…
The redneck looked at the teacher, eyes wide open, left in disbelief:
– Ghost?!! I thought you said goat!!!”

That’s funny. It’s really interesting that so many cultures have the same or equivalent stereotypes. When I had the chance to go to Italy, I made some friends who were trying to explain to me some of their stereotypes. So funny.

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