Friday, November 1, 2013

Our DIY Retaining Wall Garden, Start to Finish

An added bonus from the wedding was getting a few nice shots of the house from the photographers. Now that we have decent "after" shots of the long toiled over retaining wall and kitchen garden, I'm posting the full process of building the retaining wall, garden, and fence.

Some of you may remember photos of the house from last summer that looked like this:

The deck wood was weathered and the space under the deck was awkward and non-functional. While the sloping grassy hillside next to the house had nothing wrong with it, per se, we thought it would be the perfect spot to plant a little kitchen garden. Little did we know what we were getting ourselves into when Josh started measuring and digging the plot for a "simple rock retaining wall."

Throughout an entire year we hauled rocks, stacked, became frustrated, then kept going.

 Along the way we painted the deck and added lattice to hide the foundation and create an enclosed area to store sand for winter, shovels, trash barrels, and general yard supplies.

Eventually we began to have something to show for our work.

Once the wall was done we filled in the back with dirt dug up from another part of the yard, then set to work painting the lattice and putting up a fence around the garden plot.

The top of the garden had completely grown over with weeds by this point, so we set to work turning the soil and pulling out the weeds. Next we measured and installed hemlock boards that we coated with with linseed oil (to protect against rot and moisture) to frame out the garden beds.

By this time it was late September, with the wedding a few weeks away and winter coming soon. There was no time to plant a real garden this year, so we mulched the beds with hay, spread wood chips on the walkways, and planted some mums and decorative kale just to have something there. And here's where we're at right now.

There is still work to do. The fence needs a gate and either an electric wire or rabbit wire backing to keep critters out, but that will wait until next spring when we plant our seeds. For now we are just happy with all that we have accomplished. It's a different feeling driving up to the house now. The vision we had when we first saw the place is starting to take shape. And it feels good that, for better or worse, we did it all on our own.


  1. Bravo to you both, it looks like an absolutely lovely and inviting home!

  2. This is incredible. You guys are more than welcome to come up to my place and make one here too!

  3. I'll bet you feel a wonderful sense of accomplishment. Enjoy! It's great that you're keeping this log of your progress, I love before and after photos!

    Carol Joy

  4. I am speechless. This can be an improbable blog and really partaking too. Great work! That is not likely much coming from an amateur blogger like me, however it's all I might assume after enjoying your posts. Nice grammar and vocabulary in contrast to different blogs. You actually know what you are talking about too. So much that you just made me want to learn more. Your blog has developed into a stepping stone for me, my fellow blogger. Thank you for the detailed journey.

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  5. i like this place one person making the ground beautiful really like and impressive.

  6. I must say that this one is the result of great creativity. Also useful, plus cost is also less for this.

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  7. the wall/fence all come together to determine the relative level of difficulty of hitting a HR in all MLB parks. fencing for privacy

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