Now that the Zone 9 and Zone 10 irrigation has been fixed (last blog posting), we can start to work on this corner of the front yard.
A long time ago, when we dug up this area before, for the French drain, we removed the small border that separated the yard from the beds. Now we need to replace that border and continue it to the edge of the yard. Continuing the border will make this corner by the gas meter an extension of the bed in the front of the house. We will then extend the River of Rocks from the back yard out to the new border.
So the first job is to dig the trench for the extended border.
Then we pour cement into the trench to create a base and mortar stones in to create the border. We want the stones to be rough-cut, to match the "rustic" nature of the existing border. This ended up being more difficult than we remember -- all the stones we found were "sawed" and so smooth on two (opposite) sides. Eventually we found some cast-offs, but instead of our normal 4x4, they were 8x4, and being cast-offs, somewhat irregular in shape. (Texas Wholesale Stone, $32.72)
But we adjusted the cement base to compensate for the irregular shape of the stones and mortared them in to create a smooth extension of the existing stone border, but twice as deep. (4 bags of Quikrete plus a bag of mortar from Home Depot, $20.35)
With the border in place, we then purchased a cubic yard of dirt (Whittlesey Landscape Supplies, $40.95) and put it in the newly defined bed, to fill in and smooth out.