It is crazy to look back at where we were this time last year with the yard landscaping. I was diligently working away at getting our garden bed walls filled with rocks and finished so that we would be able to plant in them this year. That dream became a reality and let me tell you, it is a sweet dream. Every time I go to the backyard to peruse the garden, I am gobsmacked with how beautiful the walls turned out and how much better they look filled with vegetables! I am looking forward to adding the wood caps to them at the end of this year, for the absolute final look.
We have been enjoying two weeks of vacation and feel that we have packed so much in, while still feeling so relaxed. We have been camping in our tent, bike riding, fishing and we just got back from our very first Yurt experience. Now that was amazing. The view from the deck was stunning. Built on a steep slope, the yurt sat nestled in the treetops, overlooking the lake and mountains. We couldn’t ask for a better, more relaxing time for our final week off. The dogs also enjoyed it, with lots of hiking and fun adventures to be had every day.
Just before we headed out to the Yurt, Excavator Kurt had time to do some more digging in the yard. His shoulder injury from a month or so ago is finally healed, so he wanted to get some earth moved. He managed to dig in the next wall on our “Tomato Tower” side of the yard. Although we will likely not grow tomatoes over there again, we still think of it as the “Tomato Tower” side as that is what it has been for the last 6 years. Anyways, he did some good moving and we are now well on our way to creating more walls on that side of the yard. I am hoping we can get them done still by the end of June, but we will see.
Learning from the experience on the other side of the yard, we are going to build as Kurt digs, providing a little more stability in the process. We found that some of the walls on the other side were difficult to work on because we had built them all at once and I filled in the wrong direction. This time, I am going to get the bottom wall built within the next week. We can then work on filling it, and as Kurt digs out the new levels, he can use the excess soil to help backfill behind the first wall. For now, he has been pushing it up the hillside, which has helped with some of the levelling he has had to do.
The good news about this side, is that it all is consistent soil and we are not finding any sand veins. On the side we finished last year, we went from nice hard packed soil to river rock, to gravel to sand. Although the sandy areas will be nice for some plants that need good water drainage, it was a little concerning building our walls in those areas because we needed the posts to be super sturdy to hold the wall and the soil behind it. We went nice and deep for the posts, finding that the sand did become more hard packed soil the deeper we went, and we used sono-tubes to help keep the cement uniform. The new side, with good sturdy soil, will provide good anchors for our posts. We will still be going fairly deep on this side, as well as leaning the walls a bit, as the slope is much steeper. Most of the beds will also be a bit more narrow than our other side as we don’t want 5′ high walls, so we will likely need to add a few more walls & beds in, creating a bit more terracing.
The new challenge to this side is the rounded nature of the hillside. The slope had some fill added to create a better platform for our shop, so it comes out into the yard a little more. Due to this, the path that we created cuts in closer to the cedars that surround the top of the shop slope, creating a narrowed section. The path wall will be extended to continue along as the very bottom wall of our new section. Above it we have a bed, which goes along the back of that wall. The only problem is that we wanted to build a path that will meet with the bottom of our stairs that will come down the middle of our yard from the arch, and then move to those new “Shop Beds”. We are now looking at adding an angled wall in from where the path wall currently stops and will go along the back of the new section Kurt just cut in. Then above that bed will be the path from the stairs. It means that we are going to have to figure out how to use a post as an anchor point for 2 walls. I believe we have it figured out, but we won’t really know until I start running posts and wire. It also unfortunately means that Kurt is going to have to adjust some of the path he just dug in.
I am looking forward to next year when I am sitting down to write a post and I look back to see what point we were at this year in that development. This time next year, these new beds will be filled with fruit bushes and plants, and I will likely be doing an update on how excited we are to be planting in that garden. But for now, it is time to get out and do some work in the yard.