The west rock wall will be sloping down to our driveway when it is all done. Landscaping-wise, it starts off looking somewhat unremarkable with the first rows laid. The base has the largest boulders that the tractor can move. What is unexpected is that the rocks are placed with their longest sides laid flat for increased stability. The rise in height is slower this way, but the goal is to put enough strength and weight in the structure to withstand nature.
See the large flat stone at the end on the right? This was pulled into place with a chain across the hill. There are intentional gaps in the wall allowing for drainage. Remember, no one wins a war against nature. Water always wins, so it is important to invite it to a place you want it to go. With this view, you can see how the land has natural rock outcroppings stepping up the hill. A lower 10-foot rise where we are building the rock walls and another 10-foot rise behind next to the house, that we have made into a rock garden.
This process took all summer long to complete two walls last year. It was not a job that was hired out to a landscaper as we sat drinking tea on the deck and watched. You don’t have to be rich, just be willing to go out every day and get dirty and sweaty. Nose to the grind-stone. We can do almost anything if we have the where-with-all to put the effort out and the stick-to-it to finish it.
Before we can fill for the lawn landscaping we have to try to level out the existing area. You know, push the high spots into the low spots and discover where there are rocks. We have a plethora of boulders at the Woelk’s in Elk. They vary in size from human pickup-able to nothing short of dynamite can move me.
There are two majestic firs in the middle that have a large mound of dirt between them. We have to leave this dirt so our main water line remains at least 5 feet below grade or we will have broken water pipes in the winter. The building code calls for 4 feet of cover but we have learned the hard way over the years to go the extra foot. Fixing a water line in freezing conditions is not a fun way to spend a day.
Peter discovers a dynamite daring boulder on the south side of our house. It is bigger than our Kubota and will simply remain right there. Our landscape will incorporate that into the rock garden above. Besides, it is probably part of that rock garden anyhow.
Walking back up to the house after a hard day of work, my husband has finished leveling and making a flat base course area for building the rock retaining walls below.
Pete discovered a playground rock, during rock wall adventures in the landscaping project. Sometimes run into a really large boulder that asks to be made into a piece of solid playground equipment. That is what happened this week. This giant had to be moved so we could cut a dead tree down which is where we are going to build a rock wall in front of our house. Etc Etc Etc.
How many tires are actually on the ground as Pete moves it around with the Kubota? As we move this heavy rock, notice the squished front tires when the rock is being pushed. Do you think it just maybe a little beyond this piece of equipment’s capacity? Sure hope this little tractor is up to the test.
Roll, roll, roll. Push, then tilt.
This granite guy has a flat top just perfect for climbing on, and two stairs on one side with a single stair on the other, it’s perfect for the lawn area. It is truly a climbing piece of playground equipment. The grandkids have already tried all the surfaces out for us.