Last fall, I started working on a new project. I live on the side of Beacon Hill in Seattle and my front yard slopes down, both south to north and west to east. That means that rain water always flows towards the house. I decided that it would be better to level off the land and in so doing create garden beds where I could plant flowers and vegetables.
To that, I brought home load after load of bricks, and with my level and shovel in hand, I began to build walls. The bricks are loose, but I staggered them in a way that they stayed standing. When all of the walls are finished, I will have four large garden beds.
During the winter, I noticed some of the bricks were shifting and the walls had begun to sag. I assumed it was because the dirt underneath was settling. Also bricks have been bumped, children have moved them, people have even sat or stood on them! The structures still functioned well as garden beds but didn’t look as nice as they did originally.
Two weeks ago, I started to work on the project again. I continued building new walls but also rebuilt some of the old ones. (Since the bricks are loose I can do that as often as I need to.) Before long, I discovered that settling land and human actions were not the only reason for the sagging walls.
Moles had been burrowing under the brick walls and the area was full of their tunnels! That, of course, had caused the walls to become uneven. I knew I wasn’t going to kill the moles, so what would I do? Continue reading “Attitude is the Key”