Landscape Hack: How to Grow Your Garden with Retaining Walls

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These days, you might find yourself staying at home for longer stretches of time. If you’re bored of the indoors, but sitting in your yard isn’t appealing either, your landscape might need freshening up.

A simple way to transform your yard is to grow your garden in new ways. You might think that’s too basic of a change, but what if you added depth to your garden by incorporating a retaining wall? Retaining walls can free up valuable gardening space at and above ground level. If you don’t already have a wall, retaining wall contractors can install one to create a tiered landscape for you to decorate.

Drape Plants Over the Wall

You can drape retaining walls with cascading plants, such as deer grass. Its long-arching plumes will drape over the wall in the summer, partially obscuring it for a peek-a-boo effect. 

If you want your plants to waterfall over the wall, consider plants with long stems, such as Silver Falls. It’s also hardy and can tolerate both full sun and partial shade. Golden Creepy Jenny tolerates similar sun levels and is a great choice if you’re charmed by gardens with a touch of wild growth, but don’t underestimate its ability to spread. You can mitigate its growth by maintaining dry soil around it.

Grow Plants Up the Wall

If you want plants to climb the retaining wall and soften its appearance, plant evergreen vines like Creeping Fig at the base of the wall. Keep in mind that climbing plants can cause rot in wooden walls by blocking out the sun during rainy seasons, so they are best for studier materials like brick and stone.

You can also direct your vine growth by anchoring a trellis to your brick or stone wall, or anchoring a freestanding trellis in front of the wall. If you’re uncertain about whether your wall can support an anchored trellis or if it needs repairs, contact retaining wall contractors for assistance.

Layer Plants On Top of the Wall

Turn your retaining wall into the foundation of a multi-layered garden by coordinating cascading or climbing plants with hedges, bushes, and flowers. You can top off a wall with a double hedge, growing the shorter hedge in the front. If you have room, you can grow flowers or cascading plants in front of the shorter hedge.

While plotting out your layered garden, consider the following:

  • Plant theme – Do you want your plants to have complementary or contrasting colors?
  • Seasons – Do you want an evergreen or seasonal garden? Fine Gardening recommends using evergreen plants as a focal point, and purposefully growing perennial and annual plants low.
  • Scale and Size – How do you want your plants to play against each other? Try not to outline your garden with taller plants, or you’ll obscure the plants within.

If you’re ready to grow your garden with a retaining wall, contact Mares & Dow Construction and Skylights today to discuss how to turn your dream into reality!

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