Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hold your ground

"Summer" is officially here. It's when the north-easterly winds cease to bring cool air from the north. And "summer" ends around late May when the wet season officially begins.

While the succeeding days are still dry there is one project that must be completed before the arrival of the rainy season. There's an area along the dirt road that needs a retaining wall to hold the ground on one side and keep it from eroding into the road.

This path along the row of black bamboos need a retaining wall to prevent the soil from sliding.

My original plan was to use stones for the retaining wall. But as I found out while on a visit to the farm last February, it's impractical to use stones as they turn out to be very expensive. In our place, how stones are sold depend on the size. The big ones are sold by piece, smaller ones are sold in bulk and priced per square meter. Unfortunately, the stones we need do not fit in the "small" category so they are sold by piece and the price per piece is not cheap.

The area getting prepared for the installation of the wall.

Budget, the number one factor in any of our projects, prompted me to think of other options. Thus I decided to choose reinforced hollow (cinder) blocks instead. It may not be as good looking as natural stones but the price difference is very significant. Stone veneer could be used later on to cover the surface of the wall.

For height comparison, our garden helper working near the edge of the area that needs a retaining wall.

Since part of the area that needs a wall is over seven feet tall, Dad said that it would be better and safer to build a two-tiered wall, in a terraced-like form. This will stabilize the soil better and reduce the pressure exerted by the ground on the wall, minimizing any possibility of damage.

A two-tiered retaining wall will also create a planting area between the walls. And I already know which plants to put there. This will be a two part project, the lower and upper walls. The lower wall project has already been funded so now it's a go.
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