Some projects just get away from you. We started the garden haphazardly, forced to pull up the brick pathway to make room for the new wrap around steps on our front porch. Then we decided to pull out the grass. From there I suggested, hey, if we are doing the front yard, why not take the opportunity to put in the retaining walls on the side yard and do both projects at once? Mama mia! Story in pictures below.
Putting these pictures side by side makes me realize what a drastic change we made. Sometimes I get a pang for how lush and flowery the previous yard was, filled with grass, roses and greenery. However, even over the course of a year we couldn’t keep the grass looking awesome, or the roses, and once the house was remodeled it felt like the two spaces no longer jived.
The side yard project turned out even better than we had expected, though we have to wait until next summer to get a full run out of it. Nick planted wheat in the middle box and I put herbs and a few veggies in to the others. To make up for the loss of the roses I planted a wild “tea” garden on the upper wall, and next year I believe we will have towering stalks of flowers hanging over the table.
Absolutely the single hardest decision and potential mistake we made was the choice of gravel. We didn’t want something that would track inside the house, which made me say no to DG. In choosing this smaller gold gravel I thought we found the perfect compromise, until it was put in, and at three inches deep was like walking on shifting sand. Total disaster, and I spent the next few weekends moving it, bucket by bucket, pulling up the weed fabric (which made it feel more shifty) and spreading it as thinly as possible. It’s fine now but I don’t think we would do it again. Also there are a few spots where moles or gophers are tunneling underneath, mixing the rock with dirt. The battle that will never end I suppose.
The only thing we overlooked was a spot to put a sauna. After reading a book called The Finnish Way we are both hankering for a warm, wood lined room we can sweat it out in. But hey, gotta have something to work on next year!