More Garden Walls, More Landscape Walls: Using Rocks

We get into some fairly challenging situations in landscape construction. Everyone sees and appreciates the finished products – after all, landscaping is an ultimate “eye candy”. I used to call it the “Ultimate Cosmetic”. I was probably wrong, but it still is one gargantuan cosmetic, for real. I guess those things we see from Space itself are “ultimates”, like copper mines and the Great Wall. Did I say “wall”?

Some projects offer huge dilemmas. This one pictured above for example. We were told to use only “existing rocks” for the walls. While that was fine…..I mean look at that grade and imagine any rock deliveries coming in from the other side of this house…….uphill! No thanks. So, the real problem here was this: those rocks composed a real wreck of an existing wall, and the other two thirds were cemented in place as an amazingly homely barbecue! A big one, too. Could we have done a better job?  I always thought so, to be perfectly honest. It truly bothered me that the budget did not incorporate at least a few choice rocks for anchors and for a better appearance. But we had what we had.  The truth is, the plants later cascaded over those walls and provided little more than “peeks” at the construction itself.  This was also by design, but the “purist” in me was never truly happy with that set up, to be candid.

The truth is, we used every last rock on that wall. We took absolutely zero of them away. Picture us chipping away at the cement embedded on what would have been an adequate face for a wall rock and you have a reasonable picture of what was involved. And “face” matters. You want a face to be backwards sloped (its “batter”) at about 2-5% and nothing looks worse than a wall with a bunch of protrusions in weird spots.

This next one was taken during construction of a “garden grotto”, also using “found rocks” we dug up and encountered on site. It is in Reno, Nevada, a great source for rocks, beyond doubt. But it’s not like one was hand-picking selections for delivery. It became a literal “ore” as we excavated and picked and chose. Anyway, here are two views of that wall, one during construction and the other, later one, after completion, maybe the same day it was done:

Here are some other looks near by the latter two examples, one taken during construction and the final one taken from the street, looking the other way. Like I said, Nevada has them some rocks!

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