At the weekend we started on a project to plant some small shrubs along the boundary to grow into a hedge. There was a 1/2m gap where of hard earth between the pavement and the edge of the grass.
We used a fork and a twist cultivator/tiller (a long handled tool with spike on the end) to break up the compacted soil. Before too long we hit a large rock so we got out a spade and proceeded to dig it up. But it was a lot larger than we expected, as we dug we then started to find more stones and some of them were even larger than the first.
A couple of the rocks had a rounded top and many of were obviously dressed with chisel marks, so we knew these were man made. For biggest stone it was too heavy to lift by hand. So we used some offcuts from a tree felling to span the hole. A rope was fed underneath. Lifting each end in turn we slowly raised it out of the hole and then slid it onto the grass. When it was flipped over we could see that there was evidence of railings. Looking over the road the neighbours had a low wall with railings that matched the profile of our stones.
The smaller stones could be put into a wheel barrow but the largest we could barely lift. It is about 1m long and 30cm across at the widest point. So for that one we took some more of the branches and hacked off all the side shoots to form rollers. Then with the aid of a rope it was dragged, Egyptian style across the garden and gravel to the courtyard.
The plan is use the rocks on a sloping bare patch of earth to form a rockery. And now we have a whole load of rocks as a starter. We got about half of the shrubs planted and will need to find some soil from other parts of the garden to back fill where the rocks have been removed. So what started out as simple planting job turned into a epic garden adventure.