The days are getting hotter here and so progress is slowing down just a bit on this project. We have been working on it in the mornings until 9-10 am and then more on Fridays and Saturdays. Even though we are moving slowly, we are still getting loads done.
We have enlisted the help of our nephew, Zack, to help with the heavy lifting and rock sorting. Zack really does not like rocks at this point. His job is vital, though, as we have literally tons of rocks to sort out of the dirt we scooped out of the water garden area. Let me explain why…
We live on a 40 acre tract of land, which we share with Scott’s parents and his sister’s family (Zack is her son). On this property, there is a rather good sized pond that was excavated years ago for the cattle that used to be kept on the property long before we located here. The excavators of that “watering hole” moved all the dirt and rock to form a very large hill and that is where our house was built, on top of that rock hill. So, any time we want to dig a hole on our part of the property, we hit ROCKS. We used to complain about this all the time, however, with this project, we are now very happy to have such an abundance of free rock at our disposal. Zack is still not convinced…
The end of the water garden the farthest from the house is the lowest point and we decided to build a retaining wall for that end. We have started that process and it is going very well.
The wall is being built from cinder blocks and concrete. Scott is laying the blocks, leveling them, and then we are filling them in alternate holes with dirt or concrete. It is very solid.
I built a rock sorting box from a 1 x 4 and some chicken wire. I cut the 8′ board into four pieces, glued and screwed them together in a frame and then stapled chicken wire across the bottom, making a very large sifter. Here I am sifting the rocks out of the dirt behind the retaining wall in progress. I am leaving the dirt there and moving the rocks to store in the round wire bins you see in the background. I made those from chicken wire an strips of molding that we had as scrap. The rocks will stay in these until we are ready to line the bottom of the pond with them. Here is a close up of the rocks we have sorted so far.
As if these rocks were not already a blessing for this project, Scott was driving down our county road and noticed that the county had been digging a trench for a fire hydrant installation. They broke and dug up sandstone and it is all just sitting by the side of the road free for the taking. We went to get some of it and will continue to collect more of it as time goes by. This rock is going to be so useful in the waterscaping of the garden. I can’t believe how fabulous it is.
Here is a shot of the water garden from the retaining wall, looking toward the house and a photo of Scott by the stick at the other end where we were determining where the “top” of the water garden would be once the wall was built at the other end. The top white mark on the stick is the top of the water garden (just above the water level). We installed two more shade sails, too, so that helps with working in the Alabama summer heat.
That is about I have to report this week. Every time we work out there we get closer and closer to seeing the final result. It is a very exciting and, so far, rewarding adventure.
Until next time…