Summer Project- 2021: The Front Wall

Not gunna lie, this was a ton of work, but I absolutely love how it turned out.

A couple years ago we installed a tiered retaining wall on the north side of the property along our property line. It runs very close to our neighbors house, but the hill was a deathtrap to mow, and I knew it was only a matter of time before something happened.

We got the walls up- but everyone was complimenting our neighbors on their wall! No… it’s MY wall! We did the work! So, We need to find a way to show it’s part of my property because I’m vain like that!

It’s planted with hydrangeas now, but I can’t find a newer pic!

In front of our house and along the driveway was some beds. One was surrounded with a rock and mortar border. I never liked it. It just looked messy. I decided on a raised retaining wall around the front and side.

Each straight length would be about 20”. I wanted something to be a focal point, so a semi-circle in the corner would deliver that, and it would match the one we had on the end of the first wall.

It’s so old… And what a beast to get out!

First chore was removing the border. It had a 6” cement base, and was topped with rocks of varying sizes. I was sore that night! I needed help, and once we got the first chunks out, the rest fell pretty quick.

Measuring and digging the base was fun too… I dug about 6” below ground for the paver base. It created a solid foundation after getting tamped down. I cheated a bit, I did an initial tamp and then adjusted the base as I laid the blocks.  The first layer of blocks are buried half underground to help keep them from shifting.

Once that first layer is down, everything goes so much smoother. I used mason glue to help keep the blocks in place. It’s not fool-proof, but it helps.

The corner circle is one layer higher than the side walls. It gives it some definition and was the perfect size to plant a beautiful Japanese maple! We planted the shaded north side with all the hosta’s we needed to transplant while the fence was getting installed. It was a ton of work, but it turned out so great! I think many of the future landscaping will have similar borders- it just makes everything looks so clean!


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