As of last Wednesday the earthworks are done. It took 8 working days for one person driving the excavator, with a bit of help from his team and us.
We dug the 3 ponds and 2 swales from the our design. Their locations and sizes had to change somewhat based on the terrain.
As an unplanned bonus, we made 3 large Hügelkultur mounds from the smashed eucalyptus roots. We also used the large pile of smashed pine roots we got from our neighbors' construction site to fill the steep embankment left from when the house was built.
The garden is hard to recognize now. It'll take a lot of work to stabilize the soil. While the earthworks were needed, I hope that we won't be making such dramatic changes to it again.