Friday, July 28, 2017

Phase One Perhaps

The more I look at this photo the more I think this is just a good start instead of a end. Unfortunately this was a spur of the moment type project and I hadn't really thought things out. Things such as that the retaining wall bricks would be delivered during the hottest time of the year here. We hadn't had any measurable rain since way back in May so the ground is pretty much like concrete only not as smooth or pleasant to walk on. As such, it required watering the night before to make the next six inches soft enough to dynamite out of the way. It was pretty brutal but I persevered and finished the retaining wall around the lilac bushes.

In the process of clearing away the old pile of pavers that someone before me hap-hazzardly tried to create a much smaller version of what I did, I realized that I have quite a few of them. I was going to restack them as sort of wing walls on either side of the culvert pipe which is hidden behind that pile of stones and make it look more organized instead of a dump for unwanted stones. However, there is enough of them, I may try to put in a little bed around my mailbox or someplace similar. The soil in the yard on the other end of the culvert that runs under my driveway however is washing out, back when we used to get rain, and I think I want to stop that by putting in some sort of concrete cone around it to funnel water in and leave the soil behind. I want to do that first before any retaining wall project nearby.

However the more I look at the photo above, the more ideas come to me. I can easily imagine another retaining wall further down the slope that rises up to the same level as the base of the one I just completed with a four to five foot wide flat bench inbetween to plant some things. I envisioned using some of the larger stones all around to fashion some sort of channel and waterfall for the rain runoff if we ever get anymore of it. I envision an oasis of sorts when more frequent rains are falling. I have learned my lesson though and don't think I will start another wall just yet. I think I will at least wait until more seasonable weather arrives later this fall or longer if we don't get some more rain.


Kelly said...

This looks nice - and I'll go ahead and add "so far", since I can tell from the post that you WILL do more. ;) I like that idea of another wall lower with a bed for plants between.

I hate that you still haven't gotten any rain. Every time I hear them say Iowa on the news, I hope you're included in that. Haven't other parts of the state gotten a lot?

Ed said...

Kelly - There is a swath about 100 miles wide from NE Iowa to SE Iowa that hasn't got much/any while other parts of the state, mainly the SW and NE corners have gotten floods of rain. Right now we are 10 inches short for the year and the 5th driest season on record, the next driest being in the early 1930's. We are heading into the driest part of the year and if we get only the average rainfall from here on out, we have a better than average shot of setting the all time record. I've never seen it so dry in all my life and there is no rain in the 10 day forecast.

Pumpkin Delight (Kimberly) said...

This looks nice all finished. The idea of an oasis sounds relaxing too!

Vince said...

Mmm. Without putting ideas in your head or trying to remove them. But slopes soak money like very few things, except perhaps concrete. What you might do to is make some gabions and scoop out a shallow footing then pound some re-bar into the ground to give a anchor. Also using them to break water flow is better than a concrete spill. Remember that dam California earlier. And you should be able to get the fill for pennies a ton. All you'd have to do is find a spot to store it for it might take a while to use.

Ed said...

Pumpkin Delight - I am a simple man but would really like a screened in porch and a nice relaxing patio where we can sit and have some fires fall evenings.

Vince - I've flirted with the idea of concrete a time or two but have steered away from it because I think there is just as much work involved plus I would have to have a pumper to get the concrete down there and that would be super expensive. With the retaining wall pavers, I can do the entire thing myself and I can store the materials for a long period of time. I will still probably pour some small concrete pads to funnel the water out and over each drop to prevent erosion like the dam you mentioned.