Week 5 already! I sort of see the light at the end of the tunnel. The retaining wall is really shaping up and it’s time to shop for plants! Keep reading and let me know what you like!
Welcome back to another week of the ORC! If you are new around here, you can catch up on previous weeks to see lots of before photos of the back yard and mood board etc.:
The retaining wall is really shaping up!
We had a snafu where where one pallet of blocks was half wrong (or half correct if you’re an optimist ha ha!) The mister called the store to tell them what happened. They were kind enough to waive a truck rental fee, so that the incorrect blocks could be returned in exchange for the correct blocks. The rental trucks have a weight limit and the blocks had to be brought in two trips. It was a Friday evening, close to closing time, so the second trip was done early Saturday morning before the crew came to work on the wall. One other little thing is that we need to buy one more step block due to a dropped one that cracked.
Aside from these instances, we are rolling on and getting close to planting! I was driving down our street the other day and a house I drive by all the time, jumped out at me. The front retaining wall was rebuilt over the winter and it looks similar to our new one. The planting has grown in nicely, so I snapped a photo for inspiration.
What I like about this combination is the evergreen, simple palette used. I like the different textures and heights used too. I went to one of my favorite local nurseries and showed the photo to a super helpful employee. She knew exactly what the two plants were and she showed me where to find them. I told her my goal was to plant evergreens that would provide year-round interest and some height to discourage people from getting too close to edge of the wall. Not only did she show me the exact varieties, but other options as well.
Combination #1 Fragrant Floral
All three combinations are the same except for the shrubs. I have Silene in our front rockery, and would like to use it here in this wall to tie in the two spaces. The only catch is the nursery didn’t have any in stock and they may be difficult to locate. The Kinnikinnick is new to me, but I like the way it grew in at my neighbor’s and there were plenty in stock. I also have Daphnes out front, and besides being evergreen, the small white flowers have a lovely fragrance.
Pros: Daphnes are fragrant and slow growing. The nursery has the highest quantity of them.
Cons: Unsure if this is the shape I want.
Combination #2 Most Expensive
The two ground covers are the same as in the first option. The shrub here is the most expensive of the three, but also the largest. The Paloma Blanca has leaves that turn white in spring, which provides nice interest.
Pros: The large size will look nice and full right away. The leaf color is very pretty.
Cons: The price. The nursery only had a few. I would need to try to order more, but wouldn’t be guaranteed- pandemic has affected availability from growers.
Combination #3 Original Idea
The Boxwood option is the least expensive of the three. At the outset of this project I really thought this was the way I wanted to go, but now I am not so sure.
Pros: Least expensive of the three. I have these growing in the front yard and like them.
Cons: Smallest of the three options. Nursery only had two and these would need to be ordered; stock not guaranteed (but common enough that I may find them at another nursery).
Which option would you choose? The mid range, fragrant first option? The pricey but full second option? Or the least expensive and smallest third option? Drop me a line in comments to let me know.
What remains on the list.
Each week I think of new things to add to the list! Wish us luck!
- Build low retaining wall in east portion of the yard, this is space closest to the back door where there is currently gravel.
Order pavers, caps for wall, blocks for wall
- Order pea gravel.
- Finish dismantling paver walkway and replanting Irish Moss.
- New grass.
Break up current patio slab.
- Build a border (rocks?) for patio space.
- Fill patio space with square concrete pavers and pea gravel.
- Shop for plants.
- Add plants along edges of retaining walls.
- Repair and stain current patio furniture (or source used/new depending on time and budget)
Remove small pavers and Irish Moss (to be replanted)