The paving crews are still arguing each other in court, so while that’s happening it was decided to turn our attention to the landscaping outside of Jayville’s village limits. You can usually get away with doing a lot more out in the rural areas.
The North Bend area was rocky and barren. Samples of the soil were taken and it was determined that it was good gravel ground. The farmers in the area were upset that their corn fields were taken over by the railroads, but the farmers were unable to get enough Benjamins together to compete with Mr. Vanderbilt. He has an entire corps of Benjamins.
Any good gardener knows that you must prepare the soil before you just throw some grass seed on it.
To show that no bad feelings existed, the landscaping crew purchased liquid manure from the surrounding farms to prep the soil. They even hired a few of the farmers for a few hours to turn the soil for them. After all, it was a big job and they wanted to get the grass in so that it could take hold before the dry season approaches.
You know the grass seed/fertilizer mixture that gets sprayed onto the grassy areas of a road after a construction crew has finished a project? That’s what they started to use here, but then they realized that it was going to take forever to cover all of the acreage with a little garden hose. They called in a few favors and secured one of the planes that are used for fighting fires. These planes usually drop a fire retardant on fires, but in this instance they were dropping grass seed and fertilizer.
A job that would have taken eight weeks only took four after the planes were called in. To be fair, it took the planes just a few hours to drop all of their mixture in the areas required. It took the next four weeks to clean up the areas where the mixture wasn’t supposed to go (tracks, parking lots, roads, etc).
This picture was taken during the third week of clean-up. Don’t worry. None of it went to waste. The landscaping crew made a deal with a few of the local highway departments. I haven’t been told what was exchanged, but the empty road salt buildings were soon filled with the grass seed mixture for temporary storage.
Resources were starting to get tight and there was still a lot of landscaping left to be done. One of the biggest challenges was the hill next to Dead Man’s Curve.
The villagers were crying about what an eyesore it was and how they didn’t want that ugly behemoth hulking over their beautiful new village. The local garden club about had a fit when they realized that the landscapers only intended to seed it and leave it at that. Mrs. Bixby, the President and Founder of the Jayville Gardener’s Club, met with the owner of the landscaping company. Much to her surprise and delight he gave her club complete control and responsibility over the hill’s landscape. The landscaping company seeded it, but everything else would be up to the JGC.
The club was all a twitter and began to draw up designs. They decided to start with something simple.
They tastefully placed a few rocks and shrubs.
Next they wanted to sprinkle some flowers on the hill, but the club was torn. What flowers do you plant? Do you go with some wildflowers like daisies and Queen Anne’s lace? Mrs. Crosby was aghast that club members would be so boring and ordinary. This was THEIR hill and they should make it spectacular! She had pictured ornamental trees with little beds of exotic plants. It was pointed out that the climate was not good for those kinds of plants, but what about some tasteful plots of petunias or pansies?
This debate is still continuing, so for now the hill just has rocks and shrubs on it.
***EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT! A RULING HAS BEEN MADE IN THE PAVING DISAGREEMENT! THE LAST CREW HAS BEEN GIVEN PERMISSION TO CARRY ON WITH THEIR WORK! NOBODY ARGUED FOR MORE GREEN SPACE BECAUSE THEY WERE TOO BUSY ARGUING OVER ORNAMENTAL TREES AND PETUNIAS!****
That was the headline that was splashed across the entire front of the Jayville Sentinel the morning that the paving crews showed up to finish up the Main Street area of town. To be fair, the editor of the paper wasn’t very good so technically those were the only words on the front of the paper that morning. The second page had an expose on Mrs. Crosby and an illicit deal she made with an ornamental tree dealer from the city. It was quite scandalous!
Not only did the paving crew have to finish the roads, but they also had to pour the footers and foundations for the buildings that would occupy Main Street. Luckily the owner was experienced in both asphalt and concrete.
The railroad company was very happy with the care that was taken to protect their track. After all, this track would run through the middle of town so that added an extra bit of trickery for the paving guys.
Everything came together and the foundation looked good.
The timing worked out perfectly so that just as the landscapers were rounding Dead Man’s Curve, the concrete had cured on Main Street. The village could now be landscaped as well. The road salt buildings were emptied and all of the rough landscaping was done.