It was last May when the gabion project got underway and now a year later one of the finishing touches has been achieved. The wall itself was completed some time ago - the above photo shows but a section. The gabion wall was built after the land it is sited on had been cleared and raised. Originally the area sloped down rather alarmingly towards a small stream and was uncultivated. Now we have a clearly defined boundary and have reclaimed some land. The wall is is bigger than I envisaged and has looked rather grey and bleak during the winter. We had decided though to plant up the top with something green. Eventually the decision was made to go for sedums but we have been waiting for spring to order the sedums and then plant them. Preparation for planting began last Wednesday, when 'trays' of chicken wire lined with weed membrane were constructed to sit on top of the walls. Early on Friday morning 4 tons of top soil arrived, followed later on by a delivery of a special planting mix together with 99 sedums. As with all the best laid plans of mice and men, I had arranged to meet a friend for lunch and then had food shopping to do, so had to leave him to toil on his own. The above photo shows what the wall was looking like when I left the house. This is what I came home to :
Special planting mixture and 99 sedums all in place! It will take a while for it all to knit together and form a carpet, which will hopefully cloak not only the top of the wall but which will also then start to tumble down over the edge. However just that little bit of green has made a huge difference. Discussion on the rest of the area goes on and has proved to be rather a contentious issue. Himself seeing it as a car parking space whilst I see it as a planting place. After all there is only one driver in the household and we do have a garage. The debate goes on but in the meantime I have gained some extra planting space at the base of part of the wall. This has involved removing some of our sad mossy excuse for a lawn but no tears here.
In the evening himself sat down to a well deserved pint then he started to worry. "What if a bird takes a fancy to the sedum for nesting material and flies off with it in its beak?" he asked. I was not able to reassure him that there was no likelihood of this. Then the wind started to rise with a vengeance and as the night wore on he envisaged the sedums flying off into the stratosphere. My idea of hairpins to keep them in place was scorned so I suggested that perhaps he should mount an overnight vigil. Needless to say he did not and needless to say that when we did a sedum count come morning all 99 were present and correct.