The big pile of dirt in the front yard has been there for at least a year -- the results of digging out the trench for the gas line. We used some of it to fill back in the trench, but there was a lot left.
The retaining wall allows us to move that dirt back into the front yard and create a raised depth of dirt around the big tree. This took over a week of shoveling the dirt out of the pile, mixing it with leaves and grass, to increase its organic content, and distributing it inside the retaining wall.
The changes to the front yard were small, and almost not noticeable from day to day.
The same was true for the pile. To make it easier to see the changes in the pile, I cut thru the middle of the pile.
And then reduced first the front part to almost nothing.
And then the back pile
until there was nothing left.
This provided much of the dirt that was needed to fill behind the retaining wall (but not all that was needed). We will need to bring in a final layer of really good dirt when we finish with the excavation.
Next phase is to excavate down the area where the dirt pile was, and remove any rock that we find there.