Thursday, June 2, 2011

Rock & Roll

Let's talk embankments.  Hills.  Mounds of dirt. You have any?  Some of you have seen mine. And I know some certain people wanted to see pictures of our rock hill we just made.  So here we go.

We live in the foothills of the mountains.  So we've got some serious hills of dirt in our yard.  It's also the high desert, so we don't have a whole lot of vegetation.  We have a lot of dirt. 

Our backyard is flat due to the septic system, but then it drops off to a steep hill.  I started work on that first about 3 years ago.  I'm still working on it.  I put in some plants and then we put in some rocks.  I'm still figuring out what lives here and what will survive with the least amount of water.  It's survival of the fittest at its best.  And apparently not many things are fit and strong.  And I don't water the back hill unless there's a new plant, so those plants have to fend for themselves.  Here's what it looked like last fall:

But I think we could use a before picture, just to show how far it's come.  Here it is from May of 2008:

Now...the front of our house also has a serious hill of dirt.  So serious that our driveway scares a lot of people.  And next to our steep driveway is a steep hill of dirt.  The kid love climbing on it and pushing the dirt down.  I think that's called kid erosion.  Plus, we just had natural erosion going on and that's not a good thing.

My dream would be to have an embankment slide down that hill with some lovely retaining walls.  I dream a lot of things I know can't happen.  Way too expensive!  But wouldn't a slide be awesome on this hill of dirt.  If anybody has a huge slide they want to give away, let me know!  I think it'd be fun for adults and kids.  I would totally use it!

But we had to deal with the erosion.  So we bought 12 tons of rock from a local quarry and had the rocks delivered in a dump truck.  To the tune of $500.  Still costly, but much cheaper than a retaining wall. 

The whole dump truck dumping thing was a highlight for the kids.  And the dog.  And then we were left with a big pile of mixed rock.

One Sunday after church Biker Boy and I rolled rocks down the hill and then put them back up the hill.  In the snow.  On May 1.  Let's just say that moving rocks was our exercise for the day.  And someone may or may not have complained about being sore the next day.

Biker Boy would work on the hill in little bits after the kids went to bed.  Here's what it looked like on May 6.

By May 14 we had it finished.  Two weeks....that's not bad.  We threw some dirt over the top of the rocks and hope if we get our monsoon rainy season this year, that the dirt gets pushed down between the rocks.  Biker Boy did a good job of putting the rocks in so we (that includes the kids) can climb up and down the rocks.  It's like a mini-slanted boulder rock wall thing.  I tried planting a few rogue feather grass plants between some of the rocks.  But my lack of watering them and our drought has not helped the poor things.  I think I'm going to have to wait for the rainy season to try and plant some more on the hill.  I'd love to see that rock hill covered in flowy feather grass plants....and a slide.  But that might just be a dream. 

It's not the prettiest hill, but it's a whole lot better to look at then a hill of dirt.  Plus the rocks should help keep the dirt in place.  Now if I could just find a super long slide that is pretty cheap. 

Embankment issues? Erosion?  Lots of rocks?  What's your landscaping story?

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