Stacks and Stacks

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As a summer of so many projects comes to an end, we had just one more to complete. Or at least that is what I keep telling K. I swore that his parents fence was going to be the last big project, and I stand by my assertion. Technically that was our last big project. But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t have one more project (note I did not say big) to do in our yard before the snow flies.

We completed the walls on the left side of our yard this year. That was huge. Especially considering that prior to this year we were averaging 1 wall a year and this year we completed 3 new walls. We are thisclose (no space between the words for emphasis) to getting rid of our temporary raised beds and have a permanent home for our garden. A LARGE permanent home for our garden. At least 4x the area that we have been growing our garden in to date. But it isn’t quite there.

We need the walls to cap the ends so that we can add a foot or so of top soil. Without those walls, we can’t add the soil and we can’t grow our garden. So I convinced K to do one more project with me. I wanted to cap the left side of the beds. Unfortunately the right side will have to wait until spring because we still need to take out the tree trunk and may need to extend the walls further, but getting at least the left walls done means we can add topsoil to almost the entire bed. Even if we don’t get the right side done in early spring, at least we can put soil on most of the bed starting from the left.

We decided to use stack-stone for our end caps. The reason we did this instead of more rock walls is because we already have to extend some stack-stone from the top of our yard into the back portion, so we thought to add some extra pieces in stack-stone would tie it all together.

Stack-stone wall wrapping from the top yard to our first rock wall.

We chose what is called “Autumn” stack stone. It is a charcoal stone with veins of orange. The colours matched a lot of the rock that is in our walls so we figured it would go nicely together. We scheduled a delivery from one of the building supply stores because we needed 140 bricks and We didn’t think k’s truck could handle that. When it showed up, I was surprised at how much orange was in the brick. It is more than veins of orange, more like large chunks of orange blended in. I was still confident that it would look great in the yard with our other walls and K agreed.

With Thanksgiving happening, the pallet of bricks sat in the driveway for a week before we had time to move it to the back. Living on a busy main road, we were a little worried that some may go walking, but luckily none did. Last weekend K and I moved them to the back yard so that they were ready for us to work on. We first had some yard work to complete, so we spend last weekend taking piles of compost to the compost facility and tidying up the yard before our final harvest.

Yesterday we finally had time and the weather to get it done. It always surprises me at hot quickly these walls come together. The most finicky part is the initial level of bricks. Once that is in place and level, the rest just stack up. We stepped them up since they run along the path on the left side and go from one wall to the next above it. The wall will work to keep our path in place, but also retain our garden soil. The walls themselves look a little large, but two layers will likely be under soil by the time all is said and done.

We had originally planned to put a little wall at the end of our path but have decided to hold off for now. We may just slope the path running down the left side of our yard into the path running between walls. We still aren’t sure if we are going to pave that path along the fence or build stairs. If we build stairs then we will add a small wall to the path between the beds.

We will also be building a wall from the bottom wall to frame in the path that runs along the fence until it blends into the yard. We can’t finish that wall until we have removed the temporary raised beds and levelled the bottom of the yard. We are going to wait to do that until after we have built our new fence along the back in the spring. So many domino steps now. We have to start completing projects in order for it all to come together.

Our spring and summer next year is going to be another doozy. Our backyard neighbour has already agreed that as soon as the ground thaws, we will build our fence, which means K and I will also build the fence along our left property line, leaving us with brand new fence for our entire yard. We still need to talk to our neighbours on the left, but we are sure they will be on board since our current fence gives no privacy and is falling apart.

The momentum has my mind going and eager to continue. K reminds me to take a step back and enjoy what we have accomplished so far. I’ll give him until January and then I have some projects in the house. Until then I have a few small ones like painting our living room and kitchen that I may get done before the end of the year. That and building projects in the shop will keep me busy. I’m determined to build us a king size bed frame this winter. It never ends!

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