I’m thinking of giving up my gym membership and becoming a mason.
At least I would if I had a gym membership.
Now I know why masons not only charge a lot, but have killer biceps.
You probably already guessed what this post is about.
The stone retaining wall is finished!
Can I get an AMEN!??
Here’s what we had to work with when we started. An undefined area that was overrun with invasive day lilies.
After working for almost a day, this is how far we had gotten…
But like most things, it got easier as we went along. We learned it’s best to work in spurts, maybe a couple of hours at a time and not to overdue it. We lost three days due to rain, but on Wednesday we pretty much finished placing the stones and just did some adjusting on Thursday and Friday. All toll, it probably took about 3 days.
We also put some stones around a rose of sharon tree on Friday. Compared to the wall, that went super quick, but we weren’t nearly as fussy with it. Nevertheless, I think it came out pretty good. We still have some tweaking to do, but we were in a time crunch.
I was anxious to get some plants so I went out Friday morning and did just that. I picked up some fox gloves, spider wort, one passionate rainbow wand flower, honeysuckle to cover the ugly utility pipes, and mallow.
I also got two flats of alyssum and used them as edging and a few in some open areas between the stones.
I got two large hanging baskets of purple petunias and placed one on each end of the wall. I kept them in their baskets and just removed the plastic hanging piece.
You’ll notice the front is just dirt. Yup, we still have tons to do!
There’s no question this was an ambitious project, but one that I’m glad we undertook. I wish I could give you some tried and true advice about how to do this, but frankly, we pretty much winged it. There’s lots of information all over the internet on how to build a dry stack wall (which, btw, is harder than a mason wall, but not as messy). All the tutorials tell you to lay gravel as a base, and although we did lay a little bit, we ended up not really using much at all, so I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s not 100% necessary. As for tools, a tamper is handy, but other than that your hands are your best and most useful tools.
Now on to the next project…
In other news…
As bad as the front of our yard is, the back makes it look like Shangri-la. Next up on the day list is a firepit. But that’s not as simple as it sounds. There’s lots of very large rocks that need to be removed before we can attempt that. One of the reasons Fisherman and I decided to do the rock wall ourselves is it is very difficult to find qualified, responsible people here, but removing the rocks ourselves just doesn’t seem feasible. So we shall see how that works out.
I am sitting on the porch as I type this, observing a bird building a nest in one of the hanging planters on the porch. I’m looking forward to being able to see things as they progress. There are a couple of more nests throughout our property but they’re not in spots that are as easy to see as this one!