Monday, July 17, 2017

More Retaining Walls

One of the most challenging aspects of my property is the hilly contour of the land. The property rises steeply off the road, flattens out where the house sits and then descends into a deep gully before rising steeply again to my garden which in turn, sits on the edge of a cliff! All of this has required a tremendous amount of time, energy and expense building retaining wall after retaining wall. I’m pleased to say that most of the work has now been done except for one last area which is in the gully itself, where I built the sleepout a few years ago.

Over the years since I have been at this property I have acquired a number of palm trees and other tropical plants which have now outgrown their pots and need to be planted in the ground. However, while the gully seemed to be the most appropriate place to plant them, the bank where I had the most space was simply too steep, hence the need for more retaining walls.

The space I refer to is in the lower right corner of this picture (left). If you look carefully, you may be able to see 2 big tree stumps which I would need to work around.

If you want to see what this area used to look like a few years ago when the trees were still there click here


I opted to build with timber as all the tree roots in the way made any other option seem too difficult and also rather impractical. Timber is also a cheaper option. Having said that, getting up and down to the actual worksite with ANY material was always going to be difficult. After climbing up and down with what seemed like dozens of buckets of concrete, the job seemed to take forever.


It seems I may have underestimated just how steep this bank was, because even after building the wall to 1.5m high (the maximum allowable without a permit), the slope was still too steep to create the effect I wanted, so I decided to carve a flat footing into the bank and create another small retaining wall using keystones, all the while trying to work around the huge tree stump that was in the way.

After finishing off the keystone wall and back-filling with garden mix that part of the garden was ready for planting...

This was the perfect spot for another one of my palms which had outgrown the place it was in, elsewhere in the garden. It was also a good spot for some of my bromeliads. I’m really pleased with how this area has turned out and is another step closer to the tropical oasis I’m trying to create.

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