I finally took care of a major problem in the garden a couple weeks ago: This.

It’s hard to tell from the photo, which flattens everything, but that’s the 45 degree hill where Backfill Hill slopes down towards the swamp. Because it is south-facing, and poor soil, I thought it would be an excellent place for my 4-vine (now 7-vine, hooray!) vineyard.

I wasn’t completely wrong; the residual hill seems to have helped my vines stay alive during a couple colder than normal winters, but that’s about where it ends. Not even to go into the fact that there is a difference between “poor” and “utterly execrable” soil, my main problem with the slope was keeping it mowed. It was way too steep to mow with the mower; too slippery and treacherous to mow with the weed whacker. Any footholds carved into the surface washed away with the next hard rain.

So when my pool contractor offered me the use of some wall block, free for the taking, I jumped at the chance. I picked them up the next day and had them dumped by that afternoon. I bet the neighbors were tearing their hair.

“First she cuts down all the trees, then puts up a daggone 8′ fence, then chickens there, then a pile of blocks… she’s ruining our view!”

Sorry, neighbors. At least they weren’t there for long. I got the trench dug and the first course laid that night – the huge, 80-pound block. I worked until it was too dark to see, and hobbled myself back inside to a warm soaking bath.

And when I started work the next day, I realized it was sloped and I’d have to redig and reset all those stones.

At least I got a good workout.

By 4pm on Monday I had finished the first and second course.

When the camera flattens it, it doesn’t look as nice as it does in person, but I think it’s still an improvement.


Now I can mow up to the wall with the mower, and now I have a pathway to stand on while using the weed whacker on the top half. I broadcast red Shirley Poppies in all the naked, disturbed soil; I’m pretty sure most of them have washed down now, but maybe it’ll make a pretty display anyway.

It’s stood up to the past two weeks of continuous, torrential rain with no shifting or complaints or anything… I think I did it right. :)

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