Tag Archives: rock wall

Old and New Rock Bank

I showed everyone what our new patio and rock bank looked like last week all finished up.  What I hadn’t gotten to yet was the how of the whole project.

This is our old bank just alongside our driveway to our previous home- our trailer.  It had a collection of plants, mostly sage and wild strawberries, and some trees, and some of our nicest rocks.  Living at a gravel pit has its benefits and we have some really beautiful and gigantic pieces of rock and petrified wood.

We knew when we moved across the yard to our new house that we wanted to take those rocks and move them closer to the house.  And so the heavy lifting began…

We can’t do anything without a cup of coffee, apparently.

At the new house we covered the steep bank in front (created as we had to put a lot of gravel and fill in order to stabilize the ground after we hit water during our first house build attempt) with landscape fabric and then started placing the rocks.

It was soooo much ground to cover!

But eventually we started to get it covered.  Planted a little tree in the corner.  And things started to take shape.

One wheelbarrow full at a time.

Here is the bank covered before we got the patio and the stairs finished.  Those were separate, and also mammoth, tasks.

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Rock Wall (or moving mountains)

I originally called this post moving mountains.  Because we, literally, moved mountains of stone to get it done.  It basically consumed the last month and a half of our lives and was the biggest project, second only to building our house, that we undertook, and happily, accomplished, together.  We.  Are.  So.  Glad.  It.  Is.  Done.

I don’t know if that was emphatic enough.

We moved into our house a year ago, at the end of September, and didn’t have any time to get any landscaping done.  It looked like this.

And like this.

Hard packed gravel with big boulders.  Rickety fake stairs.  And quite a steep bank was what we had to work with.

We started with laying down landscape fabric to stop weeds and stabilize the slope.

And then we started moving rocks.  See those hanging baskets?  The teeny, tiny ones hanging by the front door?  That was a lesson in scale, my friends.  I have new planter containers for my front door now.  I’ll show them to you later.

Back to moving rocks.  Cause that was what we did.  All summer long.  One wheelbarrow load at a time.

This was about all I could manage in one trip.  Let me tell you, that doesn’t translate into much space covered on that big bank.  But it did help to really clean up the site around the house that had been all torn up from the build.

Or, Shaun would use the dolly and then carry them up the slope.  Some of them were huge!!  I was constantly afraid he was going to get hurt.

We lined up the bottom of the bank with big rocks.  Some we had, and some we had my dad bring up from our gravel pit with the loader.  You can see the pile of them there.  We call it rip rap.  It isn’t fun to move by hand.  But the big ones gave us something for the rest of the smaller rocks to build up against.

These big flat ones were one big stone that we split last winter (we drilled holes, filled them with water and the rock split when the water froze!- so cool) and are going to use to flank our stairs going up to the patio.  We figure the dogs will sit on them…

Eventually, we got the bank covered and the paver stones for the patio down (I’ll do a separate post on that little project later).  The final step was to build some stairs.  Real stairs.  Again, I’ll post a separate tutorial on those, but, for now, I’ll show you the final, wonderful product.  Our patio, stone bank, and stairs FINISHED!!!

See that whiskey barrel on its side?  That’s part of my new, improved plan for planters by my front door.  Scale lesson learned.

The rocks look beautiful.

We even have some really big chunks of petrified wood.

Beautiful bank, patio, and stairs.  We are thrilled with the results of all of our hard work.  It definitely paid off!  The only sad part is that it is probably going to snow in a week or two and cover it all up!!

I am linking up to Sarah’s outdoor project party.  Hope to see you there and I can’t wait to see what everyone has been up to in their yards!!



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