Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wall Flowers

As an engineering geologist I on occasion work on retaining wall designs. I am rather proud of my own retaining wall work. I used rocks from an old wall. The cut slope that the rocks front is a mix of soil and highly weathered weak siltstone and sandstone bedrock of the Chuckanut Formation at one end and a mix of bricks and soil and rocks at the other end. The cut slope was created when the City of Bellingham regraded the alley in the 1930s.
I had to rebuild part of the wall after I took it down as part of a sewer line replacement. The old garage could not be accessed due to the steepness of the new slope between the alley and the garage. So the "driveway" was no more than a wide path that was plant covered. When we dismantled our chimney about 10 years ago, the good bricks were mostly given away to friends that built patios with them. The broken bricks then were used to partially fill the driveway and I used the old wall rocks that lined the sides of the driveway to build the retaining wall. (Just a note - as much as I like fire places as a geologist I have a fear of brick chimneys)
Since then I have selectively pushed various drought tolerant plant seeds into the spaces between the rocks. The wall has put on a nice display in the alley this past spring.


Anonymous said...

absolutely gorgeous!

Arizona Batte's said...

This is exactly what I want to do with my stone retaining wall in my yard in Oregon. Did you really just put drought tolerant seeds in openings and wait for them to bloom? It looks great!