Anyway, I started thinking about doing this during the winter afternoons when we wanted to sit outside in the warm sun. The only place we could do so was in the graveled back half of our yard, beyond the Thunderdome--I mean the railroad ties. Someone Other Than Me decided that large chunks of pink granite would look great back there. Might look great but it's a bitch to walk through. The wrought iron patio chairs don't sit well in it, and of course it scratches and scrapes everything it touches.
|Where we started with the planter...|
(And before you ask, no. No, I don't have my husband or son "helping" me on this project. Working solo will keep me out of jail for homicide. It seems to be working--so far...)
I forgot how heavy retaining wall bricks are. I also discovered why nothing would grow there, ever. See that giant saguaro behind the wall? Saguaros don't sink roots like a tree; they spread them out in a circle around them in a twenty-five to thirty foot radius to absorb as much surface water as possible. This one had hit the jackpot when I built that planter.
A web of saguaro roots slowed me down as soon as I removed the first layer of brick. I'd see a skinny strand less than a quarter of an inch thick and think I could just yank it out of the dirt. Oh. Mah. Gawd. Looks are truly deceiving when it comes to those things. They have the tensile strength of steel. There wasn't one foot of free earth in that entire planter. No wonder nothing grew--that saguaro sucked up every bit of water and had wrapped its greedy tendrils around the water line to boot! Now before you think I've killed the cactus, remember: those roots circle outward. The entire desert area beyond the wall is full of root strands to sustain it. It's cool.
Anyway, the reason I'm sharing this is how physical drudgery frees the creative side of the brain. I've been writing in my head while shoveling dirt. I have a short story to finish by the end of the month and the time spent working outside has allowed me to explore different scenarios without sitting at the computer. Plus it's incredible exercise without going to a gym. Just ask my shoulders and lat muscles.
|The foundation as of June 10.|
And don't worry. I have more Dirty Projects in mind for the front yard, too.