Project 101 – Day 3

                You may recall that my Project 101 was moving a patch of daylilies from a side porch location to a hillside location. The daylilies are ready – the hillside is not.  The hill is about nine feet tall and about 12 feet down the slope and was sculptured about ten years ago when the subdivision was first laid out. It consists of compacted clay and medium to small rocks that could emerge anywhere and in some areas – everywhere!

A start with the first day lily volunteers.

                On day one I excavated the top of the hill and started a concrete landscape block retainer system that wasn’t too difficult. I backfilled the block and planted the first dozen daylilies and they have readily adapted to their new home. This “splash” kept the goal in mind and made the work a touch easier. I then expanded the “wall” two more sections on each side alternating straight lines with curves.

The expansion to the sides.

                On the second day, I made sure the blocks in place were level side to side and front to back. I had to tear down one wall and adjust the bottom row before progressing too far. Each foundation block was anchored in place by driving a 3 foot ½ inch rebar at least two and a half feet into the ground. The landscape block has a lip on the back to facilitate structural integrity. I then placed a 6 X 6 12 foot post on its side at the top to serve as a grass, water, and walk stop. It too was anchored with rebar at each end to keep it from tumbling down the hill. I will paint it dark brown as my last step in the construction.

                Four wheelbarrows full of black topsoil were spread evenly from wood post to the top of the concrete wall and the photo below shows the near-final top with only daylilies and mulch to go.

Adding the grass stop at top and topsoil.

                I then began phase two of the retaining wall and found the ground very resistant to any incursion. I now have a new measure of respect for the Mt. Rushmore sculptors! I chipped away very slowly and it took over 90 minutes to carve a level foundation platform for the first group of block on the middle level. And level it is! I made sure that each foundation block had a firm footing and I again secured them with a sledgehammer pounding of rebar reinforcing that could be heard a football field away!

Starting the middle wall.

                The final effect should be stunning and will solve my hill bank erosion problem. On day three, I will continue to expand my middle wall to the right and to the left.

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