Okanagan Architectural Bloopers 4: The Thing About Gravity

Gravity is a weak force, but it’s awfully persistent. It gives us hills, with bits that are up and bits that were up and are now down.

Okanagan Falls

So, that’s nice. Oh, one other thing: gravity is also big.

And That’s Just a Little of It in Vernon

Houses, though, are big, but not as big as that. Here’s a new one, just finishing up the landscaping. No more following the porcupine trail through there for me!

The Rise, Vernon

Now, rocks are nice. They’re heavy, right, and when they’re stacked up, they’re like bricks and hold lighter stuff from getting caught by gravity and being dragged away. Like at the neighbour’s, just 40 metres away, on the other side of the ravine:


And you sure don’t want that, so rocks it is. And weird white steps. One might want to stand on the rocks, after all.

Here’s the Rule: 4′ retaining wall, or up to 20′ with an engineer. Let’s hope they hired an engineer, as that’s close to four feet, I think.

But, wait, what’s this?

Here’s the whole thing from the other side. So, as you can see, the rocks, the heavy rocks that are supposed to hold stuff up, because they’re heavy, right, have been layered like icing on the clay of the front yard that was a hill, and now what? Why, no problem, there is a pounding machine that should do the job of making that clay as hard as clay! As for that stuff, here’s some of the same just down the hill. Note the yellow stone. It moved a metre downhill in 3 years. Nice.

So, with that in mind, let’s look again:

I dunno. Maybe the sagebrush butting up up against the bottom stones will hold the whole thing up! That has to be it. Personally, I’d be worried that a couple tons of rock on top of wet slippery clay is going to, like, you know, exceed the load-bearing capacity of a sagebrush, and that’s why I’m not a landscaping contractor. I’d be the guy asking: why is some $50,000 (or more?) for the appearance of stability somehow better than $50,000 for actual stability without the pretty rocks? Pretty rocks, it is. I guess these people want a mountain, even if they have to make it. One thing’s for sure: where art is involved, and this is surely art, eternal mysteries are never far!

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