summer vacation: the wall

when we moved into our beloved home three years ago, the back yard included a rubble pit in the back corner.  i am not sure what was there originally, if anything at all.  our neighbor’s yard once had a lovely brick outdoor barbecue pit.  perhaps ours did too, but some seventy-five years later, all that remained was a heap of stone, dust, and other debris.

that first summer we cleared away much of the stone that was an eyesore, putting it to use to edge the potager beds.

then last summer we had a privacy fence installed, giving the yard more of a closed feeling (that we wanted) and an area that lent itself more toward the creation of garden “rooms” (that we also wanted).  after much deliberation, we decided that messy back corner would be the perfect spot for what i call a double-decker flower bed. last fall we took the time to go ahead and outline the shape of the bed, line it with steel edging, and fill with mulch and a few shrubs and plants that needed a place to go.

most of these plants will stay in this bed, but will be moved around before all is said and done.  the idea is to get two adirondak chairs and a side table, position them at the curve and enjoy this view:

much better looking of course when we are not in the  middle of a drought.

the fence installed,  this was the year to launch the project and marco planned to take the fourth of july holiday week as a working vacation.  this also happened to be one of the hottest weeks of the summer.  marco’s job was to build the wall (and another project to be detailed in another post).  mine was to take pictures.

the first step was to clear away the rest of the rubble.  after the rubble was cleared, the ground was leveled out to make way for the stone.   it took about a day and a half of blood, sweat, and tears to accomplish this.

next step, laying the stone.

we wanted a natural look.  we didn’t want it to look like we had bought pre-fabricated materials at a big box store.   at the same time we wanted to be able to use a dry construction technique as much as possible.   in the end, we purchased a pallet of thick “flagstone” that would be stacked to the desired height.

i used to pride myself on my ability to gauge distance accurately by eye.  so i told marco 2′ would be just fine for our little wall.  when he got to the desired height (which i thought was 24″) i hollered out to stop.  we grabbed a yardstick and the finished height: 12″.   so much for my gift.

the sides are left open to allow a tiny path for easy access to plants in the back.  this opening will later be concealed by the plants or shrubs in the back.  while the actual planting won’t take place until next spring i have already sketched out a plan that will will include a variety of native plants, wildflowers mostly, that will attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds: butterfly weed, hyssop, rudbekia, and a really great tall grass, among many, many other things in a red, 0range, yellow, white, and blue color scheme.  because my favorite nursery has gone way, way up in price i decided to purchase seeds and grow my own transplants. being the seed and plant junkie that i am, the seeds have already been purchased and are on their way.

i’m really excited about how it is all coming together.

later on this week: the walk.


2 Comments to “summer vacation: the wall”

  1. I love it and can’t wait to see the finished project next spring!

  2. I love old stone like this. 🙂

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