Archive | hardscaping RSS feed for this section

Building a short rock wall

31 Oct

So finally getting around to moving a bunch of rocks around, and building a short retaining wall for the main bed in the back…


The boards toward the back mark where I am going with this. I’ll place the rocks in an arc in the inside edge, more or less, of where they are, meeting up with some steps up to the top of the berm kinda out of site in the photo here.

The three flue tiles will be for special things that need special soil and more drainage, maybe some dwarf alpines or something.

The rocks are a mix of stuff we have had and collected- basic landscaping basalts, glacial erratic field stone, plus things like opal from the George diatom mine, big chunks of petrified wood, agate and that kind of stuff. All together it makes for an interesting rock wall.

I plan on backfilling between these rocks and the dirt behind with a sandy, really well drained mix for some of the more xeric stuff I keep collecting. Hmm, wonder if the native balsamroots would work here…

Maybe I will add some more pics later once I get the sand and soil mix filled in behind these. I need to do that soon though, as I have plants that need to go in the ground here.


So the main bed in the back is finished and the initial plants are tucked in-



As I indicated above, I filled in with a mix of sand and composted bark, at a rough ratio of 2 parts sand to one or so of composted bark. This is for the stuff I keep getting that needs really good drainage, plus a few natives that also like that;

Viola adunca
Anaphalis margaritacea
Artemesia sucksdorfii
Sedum spathulifolium
Eriophyllum lanatum


Lepichinia hastata
Liatris spicata (‘Kobold’?)
Coreopsis auriculata nana
Stachys coccinea

Around the other side the rocks curve around in a sweeping big “S” shape, and the main part was planted this last spring. Here I have two salvias- S elegans, the pineapple sage


And Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’


And of course a couple of Fuchsia starts, which a couple are only just now starting to bloom well, with the cold weather just around the corner.


For now though, most of the bed is still relatively empty, waiting for next spring to get things going. These are mostly back filled with a mix of composting leaves and bark, etc. almost pure organic matter. So, over time these will have to be continually mulched heavily to keep them from slumping too much below the rocks etc.

I’m kinda gettin excited for planting next spring… Lots of cool possibilities, and if I can get the stuff inside to pull through the winter, I hopefully can propagate enough cool stuff to fill these beds.

Oh, and one thing I planted in the back sweep? A beautiful white form of the semi native Iris douglasiana. It was given to me years ago, but I lost my clump, while the neighbor had a pics struggling under a Jap maple infested with yellow archangel (Lamiastrum galeobdonicum). So, I snitched em back, lol. Hopefully they will take off here again.