yard & garden, part 2: building the wall

10.03 - 03.04 all we are is just another brick in the wall

click to see full photo galleryWhen last you left us, we had a big pile of dirt, an even bigger hole, and the start of an impressive retaining wall. But time and money being what they are, which is to say, in short supply, the project was on hold until we could swing them both. Well, after our much-needed vacation, we came back energized and ready to get the thing done. So we ordered the blocks we needed for the rest of the project. Four pallets of bricks, 112 per pallet, 448 bricks total. Each and every one carried up by Sal and stacked by me. At 35 pounds apiece, that's nigh on 8 tons of bricks up the stairs and around the house.

Crazy? Why yes, yes we are.

We gave ourselves a week to recover from the Great Stacking Event, then started relatively early on a crisp Saturday morning to build the main retaining wall of our patio area. Since we already had the first few courses down, placing and packing the following layers was much easier than the first layers had been. It was still a long project -- the wall is five feet tall at its highest point -- but we managed to finish it just before the sun set that day.

Came out pretty damn well, if we do say so ourselves. Of course, we still have the upper terrace to build (back along the fence), but it's only going to be three or four courses high and won't have the frustrating curves of the lower wall. Oh, the original design had several, but we learned our lesson with the first wall: straight lines are your friends.

click to see full photo gallery