Suggestions to cover retaining wall

Discussion in 'Garden Design and Plant Suggestions' started by lavalos, Mar 30, 2008.

  1. lavalos

    lavalos Active Member

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    Hello: I need your help to select plants to cover a bad looking retaining wall in my backyard, right in front of the patio (See attached picture). Their is no soil in front of most of the wall, so I was thinking on using plants that could grow above and hung down. The wall is about 3 1/2 feet high and I live in a hardiness zone 5.

    Even though we don't use the patio in winter, my first thought was about an evergreen: Searching the web I found that Blue Rug Juniper provides with good coverage, but I have no idea if it can grow hunging down. If evergreens were not a good choice, a perennial plant would be my second choice.

    Please give me your thoughts and suggestions about either an evergreen or perennial that I could use.

    Thanks
     

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  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Yes the junipers will drape down over the wall quite nicely - if the soil etc. suits them (good drainage for these).
     
  3. plantenthusiast

    plantenthusiast Active Member

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  4. lavalos

    lavalos Active Member

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    But the Dryas wouldn't drape down as I want, would they?
     
  5. plantenthusiast

    plantenthusiast Active Member

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    Lavalos,

    It tends to have a creeping habit. If you planted in by the wall, it would probably overtake much of it, although it might do better from below. They can be used as a ground cover or in rock gardens. It is an alpine plant, that thrives in well drained soil. Check out the photo at the link below:

    http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/124580/

    Good luck in your search,

    -Plantenthusiast
     
  6. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Something I'm noticing quite often around here is the use of Bergenia as a hanging plant. It looks great once a patch grows over the wall edge.

    Many plants look fabulous with room to drape - I have hauled tons of rock to create the opportunity for plants to do so on my flat property! In the woody evergreen department there is indeed juniper, but also cotoneaster and several others.

    One thing is that whatever you plant will grow enough to hide the wall at about the time that the wall rots out entirely and fails. If you don't like it, why not just replace it, and do your planting were you want to have plants rather than where they screen what should be a feature?
     
  7. lavalos

    lavalos Active Member

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    That is a very good point, KarinL. I would really like to have a better retaining wall, but not sure of making that investment. You scared me with the idea of rottening. I thought this wall last long.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2008
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Yes, the timbers already look old and will probably rot out some day. One thing I notice since this was brought up is that they are interrupting a comparatively gentle slope, the ideal situation from the standpoint of achieving the "restful landscape picture" (Grant, GARDEN DESIGN ILLUSTRATED, Timber Press) would be to take the wall out and restore the natural contour anyway.
     
  9. lavalos

    lavalos Active Member

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    Notice that behind the wall there is a mound that creates a "valley" so that any water coming from the top of the hill will be diverted from the house. I believe that's the reason for the wall. The neighbors also have these retaining walls and mounds.
     
  10. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    That is an excellent reason to have a wall! I think that valley would be called a swale, an excellent feature.

    You could create a lovely garden bed there; it does not just need to be a row of draping plants, although the draping plants will be a nice feature of such a bed. Many plants are much more enjoyable when brought up to be seen closer to eye level, and some, such as hellebores, are best seen that way.

    The list of plants that will drape is very extensive. Best is probably to go see what your local nurseries have in stock, and start with that.

    Whether that is the best place for a garden bed in the context of the whole property I don't know, mind you, but it would be a nice bed in and of itself, and would give the wall some companionship.
     

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