About a month ago, I mentioned that we were starting to landscape our front yard because it’s on a major slope that has seen a lot of erosion. We’ve made some progress on the first tier of the yard and I thought I’d update y’all. Pictures have been posted along the way on my Instagram but I only want to do larger updates on the blog.
Big lesson we learned from this project: Starting at the top and working our way down is actually a really tough way to do this. We thought it would be easier, because starting at the bottom and working up would involve a lot of projected height calculations that may turn out to be all wrong. But it turns out that while this doesn’t involve a lot of guesswork, it does mean that we had to start building into the next tier in order to prevent the first one from eroding before we get to Tier 2. Ah well. Another thing we now know: Either there was never a lot of topsoil in our yard – we’re literally digging through mostly rocks and bricks and debris stuck in tough hard-packed dirt – or most of it has eroded away. There was maybe an inch of actual soil.
On the bright side, that means we all got to learn how to use a pickaxe! That was fun. Also it means that we could sift through all the “dirt” we dug up to find larger rocks for backfill on the walls, and gravel for underlayment on the paths. What was left over was mostly semi-organic sand that we could mix with soil to use as a base for plants that will eventually populate Tier 1.
The design and prettifying with plants and such isn’t done yet of course. But the structure is complete. It’ll look better once there are no longer beds of soil just sitting around, and once we put some potted plants and fun stuff on the little flagstone patio outcrop area. We’re waiting on the local water agency to come out and give us all the coupons/discounts etc since we’re xeriscaping, and then we can buy the plants (we already have them picked out). The plants and stacked stone walls are going to be awesome together, and the pathway feels like a cobbled street, and I love that we have a little patio area to play with. Plus the semi-expansion of the driveway (see below) is nice since our driveway is way too narrow. That will still need to be completed during Tier 2.
Speaking of Tier 2, Jason has already started making plans for that level, but it might take awhile before that’s fully complete. It’s getting a lot hotter around here, plus Jason has a huge work project that will take a lot of his time for the next three months. But at least we should get the plants in next week or so. Then the yard will look pretty, even if it also looks unfinished. I’m looking forward to the day when every person who walks by doesn’t stop and survey the project, ha!