To some it may look like chaos – two excavators working close to one another. But if you stand there for a while and watch, it begins to almost look choreographed. These machine operators know exactly what each other is doing because they’re experienced and have planned their strategy in advance. The steel rods with plastic caps on them were deliberately positioned as reference points. The rods are also marked with elevation points and serve as grade stakes to show where important heights should be.
This project required major earth moving and boulder placement work, along with smaller, more detailed excavation tasks. To the right you see the mini excavator, operated by landscape contractor Dave Kennedy, installing and backfilling PVC conduit. The larger excavator would have been too much for this task. Meanwhile, Dave had the big machine dump clean fill next to his trench for backfilling.
To divide this sloped property into usable spaces there are 4 distinct levels: entrance/reception area, lawn/play area, pool/cabana area, and at the lowest level the sportcourt. At left is the larger excavator working under the direction of Dave Kennedy to set the boulder outcroppings to retain the last major elevation change. Some of these boulders are 5′ to 6′ in diameter, but quite manageable for this machine. In fact, Dave sees to the precise placement of each boulder by guiding the excavator to make fractional adjustments. The challenge is to combine the engineered retainment function of the boulders with aesthetics. If you’re successful at both, the result is a beautiful slope of rockery and plants that retains the earth and lasts forever.