A while later, I heard the sound of water gurgling. We have a small fountain on our patio, but it had turned off for the night and besides, this sounded distinctly different. I mentioned it to DH and he went outside to take a look. Here's the scene now: it was pitch dark, about 10:30 or so, the sprinklers had gone off, and the whole area around the new little tree was filled with water from the pipe that the clandestine gardeners had broken while digging the hole for the tree. Uh oh. There was a problem now. This would definitely be noticed in the morning.
The wind kept blowing as the conspirators (now including us) assessed the problem. The pipe needed to be fixed! One person went to the hardware store (which was closed) for repair supplies, while madame Pres. searched the gardener's shed for sprinkler parts. We were in luck! Pipes and glue were available. I was watching the scurrying from the safety of my patio when I saw a gust of wind blow the poor little tree down. Timber! Sitting in a big puddle of water had made it unsteady. It was moved and the repair work commenced.
So here we were in the dark with a trouble light, a flashlight, a shovel and hose, saw and plumbing supplies. Fortunately, we live in a corner where no one else is in residence, so we continued along on our merry way with no interference. With a little luck and ingenuity the pipe was repaired, the hole was filled in, and the little tree was set back into place. The surrounding area didn't look great, but it didn't look horrible either.
The next morning the little tree was still standing.
Later that day, it looked a little worse for wear.
Be strong, little lime tree, be strong!