Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Retaining Walls & Steep Banks

Retaining walls.....whew I need some big ones.  The back yard really slopes off.  It has a lot of trees with roots and rocks.  There were a bunch of brick stones that are used for retaining walls in front of the house, that the previous owner had put there.  Of course, I don't want them there, so I decided to move them to the back of the house.  Those things are HEAVY!  I would put 4 or 5 in the wheelbarrow at a time.

These are them. I would like another color, but these are what I have.
****OMG, I had forgotten how ugly those green shutters were (as purchased) check out the Before & After Vacation House.

OK, I have never built a retaining wall.....How hard can it be?  I got my shovel, a hoe, and a level.  Since, I can't do the whole yard.  I thought I would use them around a tree or two, in order to form a level area for flowers.

The ground is sloping, so if you just placed the block on the would be sloping too. Start your first block in the lowest area, which was below the tree.   If, I had started on the side on higher ground, things would not work out.  I had to level the dirt before placing the first block.  As, I went around the tree, I had to dig into the dirt more and more to get the block level, as I was going up hill.  Therefore, only the lower area, below the tree is done.

This was NOT a fast task....anyone can do it, it just took Patience....Then after you get your first one placed, move on to block two.  Now you have to make sure it is level from front to back AND level to the one next to it.    I am excited to add some good dirt and hostas on my next trip over.  And, do another tree.  Yep, more blocks to move from the front yard.

I need a picture of the side to show you.  But the last stone that you see on the top level on each side of the tree, 1/2 of it is resting on dirt.  If I wanted to go further around the tree, I would have to go 3-4  high on what I already have laid. I?

June 2013, I took another picture for you of the side.  Looks different from the above picture.  Plants and mulch and some rocks that I picked up to finish the circle.
Some of the rocks I have ran into.
Check back for an update on the retaining walls.  I have been busy here at home dividing hostas and grasses to take over on my next trip.  Why buy plants, when I can divide the ones that I have.  And speaking of grasses. We have a bank out in front that is steep between the front fence and road.  It is really hard to mow and a lot of it doesn't have anything growing.  I have some grass.  I call it Monkey Grass, but it may be something else.  It grows really good for me.  Matter of fact it wants to take over in some places, so I dug up two Kroger Paper sacks full up and took it to AR and planted it on that bank.  I hope it goes Crazy!

I mentioned Rocks.....We did some leveling with the tractor on one trip over and oh my, the rocks.....I started throwing them in a pile, next to trees....I don't want the lawnmower to hit them.  I guess that is why you see rock walls in peoples yards and gardens in the hills.  I made a rock garden with some grasses and Brown-eyed Susans.  Excuse the weeds, I sprayed them.