That’s how we built this wall. Only those are stones, not bricks. And rather, that’s how our friend Mike built this wall.
As a frequent visitor to Camp Davis and self-described not-yet-so-handyman, Mike has decided that building this stone wall is going to be his contribution to remodeling the place. In his view it requires no carpentry or construction skills, just a little sustained determination, effort and sense of design. He might add 10 or 20 stones to the wall in a weekend. He might add one. And well, having purchased the place in October of 2009, working over the course of really just a handful of weekends since, Mike has built his wall – thereby separating the hillside from our gravel courtyard space.
There’s an important lesson in this. Had someone told me back then that it would take two years to build this wall, but at the end of those two years it would be as cool as this, I don’t know if I would have been game for the project. I mean, where’s the instant gratification in that? Can’t we just buy a wall? Taking the long-view on this has been great not just for the wall (as it’s had time to become part of the landscape, growing moss and vines, backfilling with dirt while no one is looking, appearing as if it’s been there for centuries), it’s been great for my outlook on future projects. By taking our time, no one gets over-worked, fun and leisure can still dominate the weekend, but eventually we got our wall.
And really, it’s not even done yet. Mike still adds stones just about every time he comes up. At this point it’s like the wall is alive. And for a place that we hope to have forever, in a pass-it-down through the generations kinda way, this is just perfect. Why rush?
We’ve adopted this approach with the rest of the landscaping, which, aside from a few items here and there, is really the least important of the cosmetic changes we need to worry about at Camp. Let’s plant a sapling this fall. Ten years from now that should be a beautiful tree. Let’s transplant a few plugs of the Ajuga here and there. In a couple of years the hillside will be blanketed in it. Do a little something, then let mother nature take its course. When you’ve got a house in the woods there isn’t much point in attempting the manicured lawn look. Over time, casual influence will go a long way.
A little nudge here and there should set the course. In the meantime, when you’re outside, who cares if you’re living around a work-in-progress.
[Also, greetings to anyone finding their way here via the SNS Link Party for your favorite outdoor projects. Hope you enjoy!]