Wednesday, April 23

The Bank

Since Sunday, I've been busy working down the bank of our front yard. Probably logged close to 20 hours, but who's counting since I'm doing it for myself? Here is what it looked like right after the trees were pulled out by our kind neighbors:
And now, after hauling out the household trash left by previous owners, and rearranging the rocks I could move on my own and attempting the beginnings of hardscaping by moving earth by hand, this is how it's looking. (The full greens of spring help a lot, I know!)This was the trash I've hauled out. Lots of cinderblocks, as well as a wheelborrow full of household trash like broken dishes/jars, plant pots, oil pan, aluminum tray, garden "art", plastic toys, plastic bags, etc.I had no idea what I was going to do with this space when I started clearing it. The "clean slate" was overwhelming. But while raking out the leaves and pulling out gobs of poison ivy vines (I'm covered with it now.) and grape vines and honeysuckle vines and innumerable other vines, several little natural flowerbed areas started to appear. So with the glut of rocks lying around everywhere, I started to edge them, and came up with this:

That white-ish post is the base of a birdbath, also unearthed in the bank. I'll be finding a bowl to put on it, and hope to make the birds happy.

I now have three flowerbed areas, and have planted some of my own plants in with the woodland flowers. Some I garnered from my local park's spring sale, some I bought through catalogues and local nurseries. This morning I strew out a few seeds as well.

Future plans include a different way to reach the bottom than the precarious leaning metal stairs that are currently there. I also hope to get a couple loads of topsoil to drop down various places in the bank where there seems no hope for anything else. A flat-ish area is begging for a picnic table, so I plan to grade it so it's perfectly flat, and then lay stone or brick in it. Also I hope to cover the pathways with mulch. The bank itself needs planting with something, but I haven't decided what yet.

The whole thing can seem rather daunting, yet it has been such a welcome place to work. While the open yard can already feel hot (at the end of April???!!!), the cool of the woods is wonderful here. The mental and physical exertion that this provides has proven to give some wonderful sleep at night, too, let me tell you!

And the kids? -- They are in hog heaven down here!! Be it catching caterpillars and worms (LOADS of them), digging in the dirt, or just sitting on a rock, they are the happiest cats in town. Nothing could please me more, which helps in my drive to continue with this project.