The Gardening

As you may remember, we had some (did I say “some”) work done on our garden two years ago, which left the slopes left and right to the stairs in shambles. The effort I’d made towards terracing the left hand side (seen from the garden) was undone. Last year we spent spring with building a small plateau on the right hand side where we want to put up a lamp, a project that got mostly postponed due to the fact that our friend couldn’t come over to help us due to Covid restrictions. Also, getting the area ready to put up a pool took several weeks, so all in all the gardening season was mostly cancelled.

This year, we’re working on the left hand side which is my vegetable garden. Terracing the slope means working with those nice planting stones and I must say, by now I’m pretty good at it. This is how the project looks right now:

View of a garden slope with red planting stones in rows

©Giliell, all rights reserved

You can see several things here. Number one, our ground is pretty sandy. One year I tried to plant carrots and they simply didn’t manage to grow downwards. the good thing is that it keeps moisture in the depth really well (although the surface quickly resembles the Sahara). I’ll put a layer of gardening soil on top for the young plants. The lowest terrace will be planted with chillis. The second terrace, which you can only guess from this pic is between stone rows 3 and 4. That will be for sweet peppers. the rectangular stones at the side are for flowers. We need to put them there so the side with our to be demolished one day garage doesn’t slide into the veggie patches, as there is little growth there. Now for the bigger problem:

View of a garden and a house with stairs separating two slopes

©Giliell, all rights reserved

The garden is actually a two way slope, being much higher on the left hand side than the right hand side. the perspective of the image is a bit misleading. The terraces created so far are 2/3 of the depth, but only half of the height. After the next two rows of stones we’ll run into a problem: the terrain grows wider, the stairs turn to the right, creating a triangle that sits much lower than the left hand side, which is causing us a lot of headache. Our current idea is to keep the terraces six planting stones wide, and to create a drystone wall in that nasty triangle. If you have a better one, feel free to tell me. While it all looks pretty gloomy right now, it will be wonderful and a habitat for many little critters once we’re finished and the planting has begun. On the right you can see last year’s project. That side will remain “wild”, although I always throw flower seeds there because otherwise I#m ending up with a monoculture of goldenrod.

Speaking about critters: The wild bees are alternately very happy with us and very upset. Each time we move some earth they go “ohhhhhhh, loose earth, let’s go burrowing”, only for us to destroy it again. They still got the entire right hand side where whatever loose earth we put here stays put. Here’s an ashy mining bee for you:

©Giliell, all rights reserved

And, last, but not least, some of the residents to be. Sadly we’re having a really cold spell with solid frost overnight, which doesn’t allow to plant even the more robust plants outside, so my windowsills are being overgrown…

©Giliell, all rights reserved Butternut squash, already showing flower buds

©Giliell, all rights reserved Nasturtiums and sunflowers

©Giliell, all rights reserved Hokaido squash, Mexican Honey tomatoes, orange cocktail tomatoes, and on the left some sweet peppers

I also keep carrying some plants outside in the morning and inside at night. Hopefully we’ll have left the worst of the cold behind us, but it’s supposed to stay grey and cool throughout the next week.


  1. lumipuna says

    The weather is sunny and lovely here, although the air is thick with alder pollen. The young bees on my balcony have begun hatching. They briefly fly against the glass, and poop on the glass, and then find their way out.

  2. Jazzlet says

    You could try somethng like a Cornish hedge, a traditional dry stone wall has two sides of stone with the centre filled with rubble and the lot capped with stone. A Cornish hedge has two sides of stone, but the centre is packed with earth and can be capped with either turf or a normal hedge; this means you can grow things in the top of the wall and on the sides of the wall. In Cornwall they green up pretty quickly with all sorts of wild flowers and some escapees like fuchsias. They slope inwards rather more than a traditional wall would and so start with quite a wide base, you could perhaps do the Cornish style at the wide end of the triangle then blend it into a more traditional style for the point. One of the reasons for building a wall like this is it’s far easier to use irregular stone, even round cobbles can be used and still have a stable long lasting wall.

    The weather here has been good, though we are still having over night frosts when it’s not cloudy.

  3. says

    That is a lot of work done, good job!
    And those cucumbers and sunflowers are big already. Mine started barely poke their heads out of the soil. I had to heat the greenhouse with an oil lamp in the night, for we had a whole week of snow and frost. And then my back hurt something awful for two days so I had to lay in bed. Today was the first day after more than a week that I could finally do some work in the garden again and I have barely scratched the surface. I am curious about what I will manage to do. My father will be in hospital for a few more weeks so in addition to my bonsai and the decorative flower patch I have to take care of the vegetable patch too.

  4. avalus says

    Your garden looks really good so far. I really like these terraccings.

    This year I started pregrowing a little early and my tomatoes really itch to be released to my balcony.

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