Our garden is on a rather steep slope on the mountainside. The slope has been made more dramatic in the past by the removal of soil for filling foundations walls before pouring a slab or for leveling out a garden behind a retaining wall. While the village was still relatively uninhabited nearly thirty years ago, people happily helped themselves to tons of soil from "empty" land.
As a result, when we built our house, we had to shore up embankments created by these excavations, in order to stabilise the soil for a garden. Being broke at the time, the quickest and cheapest method was to use cement blocks, fill them with soil and build retaining structures throughout the garden.
Over the years, these blocks have done a fantastic job of holding back the soil but they are so ugly, I have grown to hate them. I could not imagine how I would ever escape them. To remove them would be an intense activity and then, to replace them with pretty retaining walls, would be prohibitively expensive.
However, a house was built recently on the mountainside behind us and the owners had to dispose of many truckloads of soil. They offered us any amount we would like and we did our best to make the most of this windfall. Their front end-loader deposited a mini Mt. Everest of soil and rock on our front lawn. I would have liked to take more in other areas of the garden but existing trees and fence prevented access.
During this winter, we have moved the soil gradually and at last I have come up with an idea to camouflage a great number of the cement blocks.
I cannot wait to start digging in compost and planting out under the Wild Olive tree.