Little Walls

This past weekend was three days long for me, and I tackled a few projects -- some that I knew about previously (bamboo rhizome pruning), but one that I hadn't planned on.

The cactus beds have been a concern for me since I built their mounds of well-draining soil and watched our infrequent (this summer) rains chip away at their edges. This weekend I did something about it: built a little retaining wall.


I just wanted something that would stop the erosion and take away some of the slope from these planting mounds:

After a little thought I decided that a small dry-stacked wall would be best. Choosing the stones to match both my chimney...

...and the walkway...

...I got to work breaking the pieces that were too large. 

Using brute force (whacking them with a heavy sledge hammer), precision pounding (smaller hammer with chisel), and cutting (diamond blade in circular saw) I got enough pieces of the right size to build walls that are about 8" tall -- it's difficult to measure because of the slope.

I had to cut into the mounds a bit or there would have been no space to walk through here:

It's still a bit tighter than I really wanted, and will be especially treacherous once these spiny plants grow toward the wall edges.

These are about the worst photos possible due to the sunlight in the top half of each shot, but I wasn't going to be home later in the evening, and it seems that every time I was out here this weekend it was half-sunny in this area -- so this is what we're stuck with for now.

I'm sure I'll be taking more photos of this space soon, but at least now I don't have to worry so much about the soil getting washed down the hill.

Not bad for an unplanned project!

I'm actually thinking about making more of these little walls. I suppose I should wait and see how they do over a winter or two first.


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Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (October 15, 2013 at 1:04 PM)  

This looks great! I have a succulent bed where the soil constantly drifts into the driveway. Your post gave me the inspiration I needed to do something about it.

scottweberpdx  – (October 15, 2013 at 10:53 PM)  

I like them! I've actually been thinking about doing something similar in my side level out the area behind the plants so I can put in a gravel path.

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