Coals to Newcastle: Oysterville Version

Feb 24, 2015 | 1 comment

Erstwhile Garden Bed in the Swale

Erstwhile Garden Bed in the Swale

If you live in our neck of the woods (or you might say ‘on our part of the dunes’) you know that our Peninsula is one long sandspit that has built up over the last 5,000 years, give or take. The sand has washed down the Columbia River and has been swept northward by ocean currents, depositing itself and forming the more-or-less solid foundation for our lives.

Sand Delivery

Sand Delivery

Solid, but not immoveable. Not only do those dunes out on the shoreline of the Pacific grow and diminish, gather and drift, but the very ground we walk on, even over here on the bay side of the Peninsula, is not wholly stable. Over time, even our houses shift a bit so that nothing is quite level or plumb.

Our lawn, long ago sown on a rolled, flat surface, has been developing swales and hummocks for years. Someone once explained to me how the very earth beneath my feet is always in a state of flux and, though I can’t remember the why of it, the longer I live here, the more apparent the evidence has become. Every once in a while, we talk about starting over with the lawn but we always come to the same conclusion: too much expense for a temporary (in the great scheme of things) fix.

Dave and the Sand Pile

Dave and the Sand Pile

However, there has been one area of the garden that has been of particular concern. It is the slope (fast becoming a cliff) between my uncle Willard’s “Croquet Garden” and the rest of the yard. When Willard had it landscaped in the 1970s it turned out to be a foot or so higher than the adjacent lawn directly in front of the house. The ‘problem’ was solved by making a long garden bed between the two areas. Mowing has become a pain (to say nothing of hazardous) on the slope and the weeding in that long, long flowerbed has turned into my personal version of hell.

The Evening-Up Process

The Evening-Up Process

So… yesterday we had nine yards of brown sand (as opposed to beach sand) delivered and Garden Guru Dave spent all afternoon schlepping it from dump site to cliff site. The plan is to even up the two lawn levels with sand and topsoil, sow grass seed, eliminate those difficult garden beds, and have one large, safe mowing surface. We are not out of the woods (or in this case out of the crevasse) yet, but it’s already looking like it will be less treacherous for Nyel-the Mower-Guy. And, for me – one long weed infested garden bed less to worry about!

I did think a bit about how ridiculous it seems to bring more sand (never mind it’s brown sand, not beach sand) to Oysterville. But, when you come right down to it, the whole idea of living on a sand dune is bit drifty… so to speak.

1 Comment

  1. Stephanie Frieze

    Nice post and I look forward to seeing your evolving garden and yard!

    Reply

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