One pallet is strategically placed at the top of the hill while the other is located at the bottom. Each is dedicated to a different garden task. Yep, these are heavy. Unluckily for my oldest son (but lucky for my back) his university has switched to distance learning.
|Starting a footer for a small wall|
The pile of dirt under the shovel is from the trench to the left which will hold a small wall to shore up the downside portion of a path. The dirt is sitting on the actual footpath.
|A garden path slowly being defined by emerging upper and lower walls|
After placing a few rocks and moving the vantage point of the below shot further down the hill the difference in grade between the path and lower wall is more apparent.
|The lower "wall" is looser in structure to make room for planting|
A few days later the weather turned gray and we had a spot of rain.
One of the great aspects of a hillside garden is the ever changing perspectives. As I walk up and down the path, the rock work looks very different depending on the angle.
|From a lower path the walls merge into a single view|
With the changing perspectives it's as if we get 3x the garden for a single price. I know this looks like a lot of rock and it is... but I've been leaving planting pockets. Eventually this brutalist view will soften with the help of several Leucodendron.
|The path emerges|
Eventually the path will be covered in a layer of decomposed granite aka "gold fines". Of course the pandemic has shut down the world so the final skin will have to wait. I did have some extra drain rock that for now makes a handy mud and slip free surface.
|A single step transitions to what will become a landing|
Around this time I decide to use both pallets of rock in this area - which meant lugging those stones up the hill. Oh well.
|Creating more nooks and crannies for plants|
I looked around my backyard and decided to lug out a few plants that deserved a chance at a better life. The two aqua colored agave, if memory serves, are "Agave Durango" and are supposed to be frost tolerant down to 20F.
Notice how part of the hillside has been mowed? That was a chore but made it much easier to dig in the boulders.
|still work to do on the right side of the path|
Once the larger rocks and foundation plants are in place I'll eventually fill in the spaces with smaller materials.
|Agave valenciana (late afternoon)|
All the small rock ruble comes from the hillside. It's not the prettiest material but helps prevent erosion and eventually will be covered as the Agave grows.
|A story of two Agave valenciana|
Both these Agave valenciana started started in 4" pots from Annies. At some point I up-sized them to different pots and now the difference is dramatic.
Funny story. With so many more people at home these days I tend to have a lot more 30 second conversations with neighbors as they stroll by. I have to laugh at all the ways they describe what looks like a massive amount of rock whilst still trying to sound positive. "So this is how they built Stone Henge! Looks great!", or "Hey, it's Machu Picchu! Looking good!", or "Are you building a castle? Looks Great!", or "That's quite a fortification. Looks great!", or simply "Build That Wall!" and so on ...
Everything looks so different on a sunny morning. Colors really pop.
|Adenanthos sericeus - Coast Woollybush|
This Woollybush has been in the ground now for a few months. The deer seem to have no interest in it whatsoever.
|Leucadendron 'Jubilee Crown'|
|Leucadendron 'Wilsons Wonder'|
The Agave vilmoriniana 'Stained Glass' in the foreground was a transplant that had been living in a pot for 6+ months. It's roots were not doing well - I sure hope it makes it through the summer.
This is a good a stopping point as any... so until next time - remember your gardening 'roots' while stuck at home.
|Wall planting that's had time to mature|