Climbing Hydrangea and Cinder Block

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by Sabrina Yeudall, Feb 18, 2024.

  1. Sabrina Yeudall

    Sabrina Yeudall Member

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    I have a shady spot (some morning sun, increasing in the summer) with a four foot retaining wall made of cinder block topped by a six foot fence (sturdy fence with cemented posts). The retaining wall separates our lot from a higher lots as our neighrbourhood was developed on a hill.

    I would love to plant some climbing hydrangea to create a green wall, but I'm wondering if this could impact the integrity of the retaining wall over the long term due to the rootlets. I'd love some expert advice on this idea.
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Eventually quite large in size Hydrangea anomala petiolaris looks like roots when not in leaf. So, if you want an attractively furnished appearance throughout the year this is not the plant for the job. There are evergreen hydrangea species on the market but with these you take a chance on periodic cold damage. And they are not as effective in flower. Or as lush looking in leaf for that matter.
     
  3. Sabrina Yeudall

    Sabrina Yeudall Member

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    Hi Ron, thanks for this info. I'm aware that any green wall created would be seasonal - I am more concerned about whether it could harm a cinder block retaining wall in any way?

    I've come across a lot of commentary online about how it's fine for brick if the mortar is sound, but the cinder block does not have any mortar so I was curious if that made the rootlets problematic potentially?
     
  4. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    Hello - is it for certain « cinder block » or possibly (if more modern install) a product like Allan Block

    allan block steps back slightly with each height layer and is (if correctly installed) able to retain without a mortar - though it may have a Geo grid material on uphill side

    post a photo ?
     
  5. Sabrina Yeudall

    Sabrina Yeudall Member

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    It does step back a bit at each level, and moisture comes through. i see no sigh of any mortar.

    See photo:
     

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  6. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    Ah yes - to me at a distance - it looks like Allan Block - an expensive engineered product

    living on a slope - I know it’s many $$$$

    it looks nice

    I have sweet woodruff in spring early summer

    and not invasive

    I also have another few gentle plants that grow through without destroying the structure

    if you have adopted or inherited this garden with NO drawings (blueprints) - be careful digging behind the « bricks »
    — there might be geogrid which cannot be destroyed / damaged

    It’s integral to the engineer design in my understanding - and possible local city permit approval

    Please note: i have no license to say anything - it’s simply my experience having had a few Allan Block walls all designed built and stamped on my own properties for a lot of money :)
     

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