Level Up Achieved

Convenient timing for this post. Not only our 100th post, but also a major levelling-up in our backyard oasis.

Rocks have been a major theme in our landscaping adventure, especially in the last year. We have gone from building rock walls to finishing gardens with rocks and planters to make for easier maintenance. I love the contrast between rocks and plants. Add some wood in there and it is a perfect trifecta in my opinion. This opinion is obvious in the way that we have been designing and building our personal oasis. And it keeps getting better as we go.

We have reached a new level in our adventure. I debated using the term milestone, but it doesn’t have the same nuance that I wanted to imbue. So although I don’t play video games, it was what came to mind none-the-less. It also seemed very fitting based on the topic of this post…Our level-up, you ask, is completing the rock gabione walls on the left side of the yard! Get it? We leveled-up, by creating a bunch of “levels” in our yard? Haha, I am corny…I know.

Upon completing the last wiring of the final cage, I was overtaken with excitement and exhilaration….and maybe a little exhaustion. Too keep from looking like an absolute lunatic to my neighbours, I walked calmly up to the house, went inside and yelled a very loud “WAHOO!!” and danced around to get all my super excited and stoked energy under control so that I could look normal while picking some of our veggies.

I don’t have a video of me dancing in excitement, so here is a video of Basil “helping” with the wall…kind of opposite to how I felt.

It was hard note to yell “WAHOO” again once I went back outside and saw all the glorious walls that we have completed. I was giddy. It is such a huge accomplishment. One that I had hoped we would achieve this year, but had expected to not actually happen until next year. Our momentum in getting things done in the yard has certainly increased in the last year, and it still surprises me sometimes just how much we accomplish with each new year. Please remember, we have no experience with landscaping and are literally learning and adapting as we go, so it can often be quite slow as we figure out ways to make our dreams take shape.

My calm selfie that I took to send to K to show him the walls were done!

K is back at work, and while I am working from home, I have a flexible schedule, so I have been putting in my hours and then spending the rest of the day working on completing the walls in the back yard. We completed the wiring of the walls on May 30th. For the month of June, I have been hauling rocks up and down the hill on my own, slowly filling each section of our 3 new walls. K helped when he could, but with terrible weather this entire month, most evenings were not suitable for working on the walls after he got home from work.

Although it looks like I have been wrestling with knives…which isn’t a complete leap since I have been wrestling with the wire and they have razor sharp edges from where we cut it…and my back has taken to seizing from the smallest bit of strain, I couldn’t be happier. When K dug the terraces last year, it was a level-up. The yard was taking shape and I could actually see what I had always imagined in my head. Now with the rock walls complete, it is gorgeous and everything I had hoped it would be. I’m gushing a bit, but it is hard to explain after years of working and not “seeing” the ideas of our dream yard take shape, it is exhilarating to finally see some final product.

We still have more work to do before we will be ready to plant in them, but we WILL get it done by the fall so that those beds are ready for spring 2021. We may even put garlic in to one of the beds this fall, just to say we were able to plant in them in 2020. K is going to work on back-filling the areas behind the walls. We are also going to switch to building another type of wall, capstone walls. That is how we are going to cap the ends of our beds. As you can see from the pictures, right now it is just dirt walls/slopes that lead into the beds. We are going to build capstone walls to properly finish the beds. We gained a little experience with those walls last year when we extended our upper garden edging down to our first gabione wall.

What this will mean for next year is that we can get rid of our raised beds and level out the very bottom of our yard for a gazebo, pond, new berry bed (strawberries, blackberries & raspberries). Our gazebo will have a nice propane fire pit, outdoor couches and chairs for relaxing and lots of hanging baskets. We will have a larger area for growing vegetables, meaning we can further diversify what we are growing. And we will finally be able to plant some fruit trees along the back. We still have a few years of work until the landscaping is “complete”, but this year will be a game-changer for how we garden and utilize the space next year. AHH! It’s so exciting!

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