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The wall (“we don’t need no education”)

November 25, 2008

Now that winter’s appeared, there’s a lot of time for things like looking back at summer. It was a long one, it turned out, and busy. It began with overly ambitious notion to turn the whole front yard into a garden, a plan quickly reduced to just one new bed and a “little” retaining wall that took all summer and most of the good fall weather to finish. Not without good reasons.

A week after getting back from the waking dream that was Kenya, I started a new job that consumed many hours during the week as well as at night, in anxiety nightmares. Many a sunny summer weekend was spent on the porch with the laptop, trying to work and not think about planting I was not doing. Can’t say being in the garden is good space for me to be work-productive with so much outdoor work undone.

Bud likes the hammock, too.

Bud likes the hammock, too.

There were 5 or 6 weeks of bronchitis in which not much was accomplished, at work or at home, except for coughing. I passed many hours incapacitated in the hammock, hacking.
There was, through everything, the (mostly) Beagle, who changed our lives inconceivably. Walking him (or rather, him learning to walk with us), building him a safe outdoor space (two iterations, soon to be a post of their own), trips to the vet/the trails/Petsmart/dog park, obedience training, invisible fence training, and lots of lolling and playing took the place of country bike rides, non-dog photography, and cultivating much of a garden.

Then there was the wall–dreamed of, thought about, mulled over, rocks hauled and hauled and hauled in compact car trunks, and a structure finally built in the service of the garden but most definitely instead of gardening, itself. Without the wall to keep the slope and new soil from sliding into the ditch, I could not consider the bed done or plant it fully (bulbs!). It took forever.

Kind of like the new job and bringing a Beagle home instead of cats, I had no idea what I was getting into. Here’s the short story in pictures of what is done enough for now, done enough to hold lots of new plants and bulbs and done enough for my honey to suggest I think about a side job in stone masonry (which does sound kind of cool). Click a picture to get the details and a bigger photo (click it again to see even bigger). (I wish WordPress galleries worked as a slideshow. We’re working on our media options over here.)

Special thanks to my honey for good-natured stone-hauling trips, and to neighbor Mike, whose help and trailer on a Sunday afternoon have supplied us with more stone than we hope to ever use.

p.s. I smashed my fingers only twice; just one really bruised.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. November 25, 2008 8:35 pm

    Remember: The goal is not to be done. Then there’s nothing left to do. You don’t want that.

    What’s that ditch look like during the spring thaw? Does it run fast and full? I hope not. Your wall looks sturdy to me. But water can do crazy things.

    Not that you should worry. Worst case scenario: More to do next season.

    Hope you have a good holiday.

  2. November 26, 2008 10:02 am

    Ha! Excellent advice. Not that I seem to be running out of things to do…
    Um, but I don’t actually know what the ditch looks like during spring thaw. If it looks anything like it did in the heavy rains a couple weekends ago, we should be ok. The end rock is shaped with a curve, and it’s aimed to shoot water back toward the ditch, not along the wall. We shall see in a few months.

    Have a wonderful holiday on Ellis Hollow!

  3. December 10, 2008 9:28 am

    It looks like you (maybe not the beagle) accomplished a ton to me. Applause applause! (I think we’re living parallel lives – new dogs with beaglishness, front yard gardens half finished and exhausting jobs. – I look forward to seeing if we both built the same kind of dogfence. Pam at Digging provided my inspiration…)

  4. December 12, 2008 12:25 pm

    Beautiful website, Lynn! I’ll have to spend some time here looking around.

    And thanks for leaving a comment on the Bike Garden. I was hoping some people would weigh in on other sides of the question.

  5. December 12, 2008 3:52 pm

    After hearing about this wall, it was nice to see it take shape.

  6. April 13, 2009 9:31 am

    It’s looking good! Building rock wall is definitely an art form (and a bicep building workout). I’ve got one up front like you that I also need to finish this spring (before spring is over), but alas I keep moving on to more “exciting” gardening projects, like another rock wall around my cherry tree.

    Can’t wait to see what it looks like all done.


  1. a lazy Sunday of wall building « Sin City to Slaterville

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