Buried Treasure

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Just when I was wondering what I would post about next...! 
 I have been planning to show you what we've been doing on the property this summer, but there are so many works in progress it was difficult to know where to start.  Sometimes I feel like Dan and I have gardening A.D.D.   We start one big project in the yard, and then... accidentally find some plantings to purchase for another bed so switch our attention to that bed, , then... we decide we need to try to access the water in an old "dug" well for irrigation purposes so we work on that project, then...  I decide I don't like a plant in a particular spot and need to transplant it somewhere else, then... I just finished the design of my vegetable and herb garden (which is my birthday present this year and is located off the kitchen mud room steps and will be enclosed by a picket fence and the gate will have antique granite gate posts- please remember that little detail for later!), so we start that area only to then go back out front again, and work another area!  See, Gardening A.D.D.!
I'm so grateful that Dan loves to work in the yard too.  Calling what we do "gardening", while it sounds lovely really has no bearing on the blood, sweat and tears "yard work" that we really put in.  On days when we are able to be in the yard we will work from morning to night fall!  Coming from Texas, where to call yourself a gardener you have to be hardy stock, we are known to transplant/plant and work in the yard no matter the heat or conditions.  In Dallas we planted the edge of our driveway with liriope one year and it was 104 degrees that day!  And they lived!

So, here's what happened...  it all started because I wanted a hole dug in a specific spot for a new hydrangea bush.
I purchased two Blushing Bride Endless Summer Hydrangeas to add to the two I had already planted in a wooded area we opened up this year that is at the entrance to our property.   I placed the pots where I wanted them to be planted and Dan went to dig the holes.  New Hampshire isn't "the granite state" for no good reason.... very rarely can you dig a hole and not have to use an iron pry bar to wedge some huge stone out of the hole.  Hole number one, no problem.  Hole number two, different story.  A large stone was on one side of the hole.  The pry bar wouldn't budge it, so Dan got Big Blue and using the fork attachment tried to pry out the embedded stone.  No go.  After making a big hole and a bigger mess even Big Blue couldn't budge the stone and I was informed I would need to reposition the pot.  That was not welcomed news since for design/layout the perfect spot was that hole.  It was the end of a long yard day and we were both hot, tired and a wee-bit cranky:), so I told Dan to just fill the hole back up and I would find a new placement the next day.

The next day, once again at the end of the day, after planting a bed of (13) junipers to anchor a perennial bed that hides the power station for our underground utilities and the electric meter ...  we go back to the hydrangea bed to address the hole placement.   Since the embedded stone was only in part of the desired hole space, I asked Dan to show me (i.e. re-dig:) the hole so I could look at it with the rock and decide if it was at all possible to place my hydrangea there with the rock since it was the one spot where I really wanted it for the perfect layout!   I'm a pain, but he's used to it!




As Dan hand-digs around the embedded stone I'm using the iron pry bar to find the end of the stone so he can determine just how big it is and what we're dealing with.




As I plunge the bar into the ground I realize the edge of the stone is straight.... not round like a natural stone should be. Whaaat?? I move the bar several inches and plunge again.... again I hit a straight side, and again. Dan shovels the top and we see that what he is shoveling is also straight. The realization hits us at the same moment and our heads snap up and we look at each other with saucer-shaped eyes like two five-year-olds on Christmas morning. No words, but the saucer-eye message that we were both thinking was:
OMG... could this be a buried granite post??!!!   NO WAY.




We laugh and I think how disappointed we're probably going to be, but what if?! What if the house-angels are at work here.... remember me wanting antique granite gate posts for my vegetable garden?! (In case you are wondering, antique posts have a different patina from freshly cut new granite posts which are easily found here at any stone yard. New posts are machine sawn whereas antique posts were hand-split and chipped to form the desired size and shape.) I really, really wanted the stone to come from our property and we actually do have "one" stone post in our stone pile from the barn renovation, but I needed two.)
And, I'll be damned if it doesn't appear to be a buried cut-granite post!!








In trying to find the end of the piece Dan keeps moving Big Blue over several feet at a time.  Time and time again you can hear the sound of the scoop lightly hitting and scraping a flat stone top. 







Turns out, it wasn't a cut granite post after all....




IT WAS GRANITE CURBING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   

Somehow buried (and what we wouldn't give to know how in the world that happened) over the 150 years since it was probably initially placed. What I haven't' mentioned yet, was while I had been wishing for some granite gate posts for my new vegetable garden I had also told Dan one night as we were walking the property with a glass of wine admiring our progress from that day in the yard, was that when we win the lottery:), I want to put in a cobblestone curb from the beehives to the fork in the drive!  
Those "house angels" must have some really good hearing!
While it might seem odd that our simple farmhouse would have such grand curbing along the driveway, there is a reason for this: our house was originally part of the grand estate next door which is one of the largest, oldest and loveliest in our little town. Our farmhouse was probably the over-seers house as our house faces the estate next door and not the road (a feature I have always loved in houses btw!) Our next-door neighbor also has stone beehives at his entrance, and our antique maples share a continuous line making it is obvious that at one time our drive and his drive was one huge circular drive!

This serendipitous discovery falls under the life lesson "be careful what you wish for"!  Two days have gone by and my hydrangeas still aren't planted as we try to figure out what to do!  It's a good "problem" to have, don't get me wrong, but 50 feet (might be more) is a lot of granite edging.  Dan has made numerous holes along the other side of the drive and it doesn't appear to be buried there (why? was it there to begin with? and where did it go?)  So, today we'll probably attempt to start digging it out!  I'll let you know how it all turns out!
Oh, and in the days since I DID find a second post buried in a pile of lumber!  Again... be careful what you wish for!!!


And, speaking of buried things on the property... 
We were told by our sweet neighbor and friend, Mr. B.,(who passed away last year at 93) that there are two cars buried on our property- a Pierce-Arrow and a Cadillac.   As it was told to us- during the Great Depression is was in poor taste to drive fancy cars so often people would just bury them :O 
We have yet to find them, but it's a fun legend none the less!

Another thing that we have buried all over the property are stones of all sizes!  The first summer we lived here and as Dan learned to mow the front and back fields he spent half his time stopping to dig up stones that would catch Big Blue's mowing blade.  One day while out mowing he spied the small surface of a stone barely peeking through the grass.  It's important to note here, that this little  stone wasn't hitting the mower blade and wasn't causing anybody any trouble, but Dan got a bee in his bonnet and decided it needed to come out!!   He started to dig and pry the stone and by the time he realized that it wasn't a regular stone, but a huge stone he was committed and was then hell-bent on getting it out!   Men!!
Hours went by and the hole around the stone got huge trying to dig around it to get it out from the ground.  I had lost interest and gone inside, so I missed Dan and Big Blue barely dragging the huge stone with a chain (as it was too heavy, about 1,500 lbs., for Big Blue to pick up) across the field to get it out of the way.  It ended up in a front bed along the road which this year I am planting with a natural woodland look.  The huge stone with its perfectly straight top makes a wonderful natural bench and cornerstone to the area!
Dan learned his lesson and unless it's in the way, he now leaves stones where they are!
This view is the narrow side, the length is about twice this size!


Time to get back out to the salt mine rock quarry!