Gardening adventures,  Permaculture and Edible Forest Gardening Adventures

Garden Stairs

Just a brief update on the garden.  With the intermittant rains, and while awaiting bids on the rain catchment ponds, progress is still slow.  Yet many trees and plants have been set in the ground, rocks moved picturesquely into place, and lots of mulch spread.  My last garden update showed the first and second tier of the embankment leading down to the streambed with the palm-leaf covered retaining fences.  I mentioned how the second tier would lead around past a fill spot; that is what Francisco and Juan are working on now.  It is another gargantuan task, working on a slippery hillside with heavy rocks.  They are doing a fabulous job as usual. 

Top of the stairway

I wanted to be able to get down to an old bridge that spans the streambed, and then down to the streambed itself without having to use a rope and rappel down.  There had been a pathway down to there, but the flooding several years ago and this December’s heavy rains put short work to that.   

First Switchback

 The men have reinforced the retaining fence, blocked it with palm fronds again, built up and stabilized the hillside with rocks, and cut railroad ties for stairs.  

Second Switchback

They ran into miscellaneous debris thrown down the hillside by the previous owner, such as crumbled asphalt.  Since it was already in the dirt they left it and used it as part of the soil reinforcement. 

View from the bottom

 The area was heavily mulched with straw to protect from possible erosion from this rain we are supposed to have this weekend.   The stairs are almost complete, and pending the weather will probably be done tomorrow.   These photos don’t do the project justice. 

Why, you may ask, am I spending money on such a stairway?  Because the streambed, albeit small, runs year-round, and it was the selling point of the property for me.  Lined by willows and oaks draped with thick vines of wild cucumber and grape, it is a natural haven for birds, possum, raccoons, coyotes and so much else.  Sunlight dapples through the canopy, and all you can see from the bottom are plants and water.  When standing down there, I could be in a forest far away from traffic and houses.  It is my own private parkland; a piece of nature that I can protect and keep natural for the sake of its inhabitants.  This stairway isn’t invasive; in fact as I’ve said, it replaces one that was viable until recently, but utilized old rusty pipes and wire which was more dangerous to man and beast than useful.  Besides, the stairs are short enough that even a possum could climb them!  Ever hear of wildlife corridors?  I have a wildlife stairway!

Tomorrow evening I will be attending a retreat with members of  Ann Wade’s Fitness Fusion and Healing Yoga class.  We are going to an inn in Idyllwild until Sunday afternoon.  Since rain and snow are in the forecast, it should be an exciting time.   Since I’m not good in social settings, having always been an observer and loner, I thought I’d try it and see how it went.  I expect to have a wonderful time

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