Tom’s Garden

Growing by the Bay

Tag: pool

retaining wall

Retaining Wall

retaining wall

Here you see a retaining wall in process near the crabapple tree. Because my lot is on a steep (but, fortunately, south-facing) hillside, I need to terrace extensively. I learned from travels in Inca country in Peru that multiple small terraces are better than a few larger ones (this is one of my biggest). It’s also important to try to reduce the weight the wall is trying to hold back, so my fill is redwood chip mulch. Finally, it’s essential to allow water to run through the wall rather than trying to hold it all back, so I don’t make the stones too tight fitting. This wall is made from broken-up slabs that used to surround the swimming pool before we made it into a garden.

pool garden, year 2

pool garden, year two

pool garden, year 2

This year we decided to expand the garden that used to be a swimming pool. We broke up the decking that used to surround the pool.

removal of pool decking

We had to tear out the old drip system, and I’m redoing it now. We had to undo some of the plantings as well, since the paths and beds are no longer quite the same. Because the pool is about 70 percent bigger, we added a central bed. We edged the beds with bricks and made the central bed an oval shape. It amuses me to think of the result as a tiny Getty Center garden.

christensen center garden

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dirt

A pile of dirt

a pile of dirt

Yep, that’s what it is. Some guy was widening his driveway. I’m using the dirt to fill in my swimming pool, which will now be a garden. It will require about ten piles like this one.

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