Stump Update, And A Hedges Progress
I had dug out around the stump to the roots and cut the two biggest roots I could reach, discovering that a few inches beyond the cuts, the root was crumbled.
Still, the stump was far too large and heavy for me. I could do nothing further myself.
Our mow-blow guy agreed to cut out as much of the stump as he safely could and haul the chunks off, since I thought the stump was still too well anchored to remove completely. However the first thing he did was to rock the stump a bit, and it popped loose immediately. The roots were completely rotted. The whole stump can come out.
He cut off the top half of the stump and hauled it away and he's going to get the rest of it removed this week. Yay! After after all that I sat under the nearby pergola and stared at a Metrosideros excelsa that's growing a lot bigger and a lot faster than I thought it would ever do. One stump out of the garden, but another lurks in the future--hopefully not my future.
Now to the hedge. Planted from one gallon pots at the end of August, 2012:
End of April, 2013:
Some of the hedge branches are now over five feet (1.5 M) tall. I trimmed off every flower cluster that appeared this spring to force energy into growth instead of bloom. I tipped each plant back as well, to encourage branching and dense foliage. I think it's done well in nine months. It gets two minutes of drip irrigation three times per week. Plain green shrubs ain't so bad.