(If you’d like to follow this project from the beginning you can start at Step 1 here)
Step 2 of Rear Garden Design Project.
On March 25, 2000 we began the excavation of the rear garden in order to add the back door entrance to the guest room addition to our home. When you first see a bobcat drive into your garden that you’ve been carefully planting and weeding over the course of 10 years it is really startling.
The bobcat continued for hours digging down and removing the soil surrounding the rear foundation of our home. The soil in the top foot or two was good quality planting material but as they dug deeper, the quality of soil deteriorated to contractors fill which was disappointing since I was using it to build up other parts of my garden.
There is something about power equipment that mesmerizes people. As time passed, the groups standing watch at this loud and violent-like event grew. The whirring and burring of the machinery echoed disconcertedly through the woods
The saws used to cut through the concrete squealed with high ear splitting intensity while spewing clouds of dust both in and out of our home.
We had our back door and new full size windows looking out on our garden brightening the rooms planned for our new guest quarters. Both the inside and outside spaces were forever changed and our home felt so much larger.
So where did the excavated soil disappear to? Whenever you are moving soil on landscape design projects you need to consider where the soil is coming from and also where is it going.
Part of my plan was to use the soil to create berms on the outside perimeter of the property close to the somewhat busy street running along the back of our home. The natural slope of the land scooped towards the street but the berms created an upswing and a visual and sound buffer useful for planting.
Unfortunately the better soil was at the bottom of the piles with the filler soil on top, reversing how it was excavated. I’ve been enhancing that soil for years now.