Two up and down

To the West of the raised flat level of the Japanesque garden is a rockery slope which runs along the whole length. At first sight on viewing the property back in Autumn 2020, it was overgrown with years of recalcitrant weeds but I was not too disheartened given that the site’s ready-made changes of levels would help me to create a garden that’s visually more interesting.

After moving in, one of the first jobs of Autumn 2021 was to tackle the rockery given that it was an ideal time for clearing and digging. Only then did it become clear that the slope was actually a weed covered rubble incline, with tenacious roots and further in, a constant upturning of brick detritus and very large stones. (see Rocking Up)

cutting a swathe through the middle!

Approximately 5 feet at its widest part and narrowing to almost half that at the southern end, I decided to cut an access path through the middle to create an upper and lower terraced garden.

top terrace 2022

That was all there was time for with so much other landscaping that needed attention so by early summer 2022 I temporarily planked up the top terrace while the lower half became a brick repository from all the excavations. Thus it was possible to just plant a few vegetables, if only to keep a revival of the weeds at bay as well as prevent further soil erosion.

Besides all the ‘found’ bricks, many ‘outcropped’ stones were uncovered in various parts of the garden, and with these a cascade and rockery were built at the Northern end of the slope, with stone steps up between the terraces.

Outcropped stones are rugged, irregular pieces, 5 to 12 inches thick, with a weathered edge or a broken quarry face for waterfalls, landscaping accents or banking up earthen slopes.

walling the top terrace garden

Even after all this construction, there was a significant amount of large stones left for use. A few being allocated as Japanese style décor for the garden above, but with the remainder, I’d planned to extend the rockery by constructing a dry stone wall for the top terrace.

Most of the stones were evidently local ironstone -sandstone with iron deposits – and thus extra heavy but with a strong son-in-law to place them to hand, I was able to eye up the pieces and allocate their placement, with some shared shifting from builder buddy.

Turning my attention to the lower terrace, the brick depository was moved elsewhere (some having been used as foundations for the dry stone terraced wall). Two gravel boards were purchased and the excess lengths from both made for a third (joined and glued). These were screwed to marker posts and despite already being treated, were painted with a dark brown wood preserver for continuity with the bottom panels of the Teahouse.

Both terrace gardens will be the preserve of vegetables (rodents and caterpillar permitting). I’m just waiting for warmer, dryer weather to begin seed sowing.

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