walling in the beds

So. We live on a hillside with a steep grade. When it rains or snows, the soil travels downhill. My planting beds slowly migrate into the paths, which I am constantly digging out. How to solve this dilemma? Some sort of retaining solution, der.

In some places, the drop from bed to path is well over a foot, so off-the-shelf retainment has been impossible to find — believe me, I’ve considered everything from concrete curbing to galvanized roofing materials to gabions. Large rocks just looked busy and let soil through the gaps. We finally gave in and decided we’d have to make our own. And when I say “we,” I mean our landscaping friends from Land Design Associates.

In the September Dwell (The Hidden Fortress), there’s a house that uses 4″ x 6″, Japanese-style wood pilings like so…

from september 2011 Dwell: the hidden fortress

from september 2011 Dwell: the hidden fortress


They’re staggered, wabi-sabi style. Imperfect, much like our topography…

september 2011 Dwell: the hidden fortress

september 2011 Dwell: the hidden fortress

september 2011 Dwell: the hidden fortress

september 2011 Dwell: the hidden fortress

You see that look frequently in bamboo edging…
bamboo edging | lovewood.com

bamboo edging | lovewood.com

Bamboo isn’t beefy enough to actually hold back the hillside, so we’ve decided to riff off of the hidden fortress and use wood pilings. The boys showed up yesterday with a truckload of 5″ x 5″ white cedar fence posts…
cedar fence posts

They started by digging trenches to accommodate the pilings…
trench dug

Then they cut the posts into random lengths and pounded them into place. One wall done!
one wall done

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2 Responses to “walling in the beds”

  1. jc says:

    did NONE of your soil retaining ground covers take root? Looks so unplanted….

  2. Brook says:

    this shot is along a section where i’ve moved stuff out — things like the tiger eye sumac that needs to be contained. will all go in the ground again shortly. the meadow area just below this is crammed full of plants and they’re doing an admirable job of holding the slope. perhaps a picture is in order?

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