After spending well over an hour making an entry to my blog, Blogger said it could not process it….

Today’s (ambititious) project was redoing my mother-in-law’s rock garden in the back of her home. My father-in-law had this project created many years ago to add beauty and interest to their yard. In the picture below, you can see the part of the garden that did not need to be done.

This is the section of the garden that needed to be redone. With the torrential downpours we experienced this past summer, the water undercut upper areas of the plantings, sending lots of the soil downhill. With the continuous rains came more and more washouts. My mother-in-law spent a good deal of time shoveling and removing soil that washed down onto her patio. We told her we could fix the garden.

The first chore was to remove all of the brick chips that covered areas not covered by plants. This was a bigger chore than it sounds, as the soil that washed from above was all settled in pockets of landscape material, along with the brick chips.

We removed all of the chips, soil, and landscape material. We also took out the landscape timbers from the edge of the patio. What a mess! We had to use a garden rake to rake the brick chips out from the soil, separating them.

Tedious manual labor! We made such a mess of the patio, but we really needed to sort the soil and brick chips! Unfortunately, we didn’t have any screen to do this.

After we got the new landscape fabric cut and set in, I needed to go work at the top of the garden.

I had to replace a small sidewalk composed of 6-18″ square blocks with a brick basket weave pattern on them. This went rather easily…easily until it came to the sixth block. Gads! Up and down, up and down…I had to do the block over and over again. The sidewalk had prevoiusly been placed directly on the soil with no drainage. Hence, when the rains came, all of the rain undercut the sidewalk, washing all of the soil down the hill. We dug to a depth of 4″, placing 2″ of gravel down first. Hopefully, this will alleviate any erosion. When I finished placing those blocks, you cannot imagine my *delight*!

To keep the gravel from running out, we found a piece of landscape timber that measured exactly 36″! Wow, that was JUST what we needed! Mark was going to drill holes to stake the timber into the ground. Oops….we remembered the drill, but forgot the BITS! We found a piece of steel rod we could use. Mark hacksawed it, then formed a point in it and we drove it down into the ground.

The next step was to place the pink 8″x16″ block border next to the house. This required more cutting of the soil and shaping. Finally done! We replaced the landscape timbers below, then began replacing thebrick chips back in the garden between plants. Here is the completed project that took from about 12 noon until 6:30.

By the time the project was finished and all of the tools cleaned up and put away, the sun was moving far into the western sky and the air was getting rather nippy! We huddled into the family room, lighting the gas fireplace. The warmth of that fireplace felt so good after spending the better part of the day on my hands and knees, sitting on cool stone and sidewalks!