okay, we built a mock-up of the rammed earth idea for our garden wall.
Basically you build a form, add some screened soil (see Easy 7 minute DIY soil screen) that has some bit of clay content and then you tamp down on the soil over and over again to pack in it real good and viola...
The woodgrain impression is from the old pallet wood planks we used as the sides for the formwork. We are going to take a steel brush to a portion of this mock-up just to see what that would look like. I'm pretty sure it will look just as nice but we will probably end up sticking with the woodgrain look.
Turns out the soil we dug up for the garden wall footings is perfect, we think. It felt like the right moisture content and stayed together when Erin squeezed a handful into a clump, just like the experts say. It compacted nicely in the formwork and I'm pretty sure it will weather well if we don't coat it with something. We could add portland cement as well but for our purposes we are going pure rammed EARTH, I can't wait to see how it weathers.
The picture above is right after the form was removed and below is 3 days later. You can see our gabion mock-up too but until the creek gravel dries this will have to suffice for what to look forward to. Just ignore the staples and thin boards, we are using those big gnarly staples you have to hammer in and the big rough dunnage pictured in moss garden enclosure.
The gabion will be the upper portion of the wall, remember the sketch from moss garden enclosure. The next question is do we paint the hardware cloth? I am leaning toward black or yellow but the galvanized look is really nice too. Not thrilled about the red so nix that and we are down to 3 choices. Erin wants to do a different color from 1 side of the wall to the other.
Call it an experiment like everything else we seem to do around here.