Garden Walls

A few weeks after all of the visitors left my summer garden, construction began. The house and deck got a new coat of stain, a job delayed from the spring because of wet weather. Then the garden walls came tumbling down. When we mhillsidespringoved here, terraces led down the hill supported by thick wooden ties. I was happy to have level spaces to plant but over the years, the wood rotted away, leaving only rusty metal spikes and crumbling wood on the hillside, as you can see in this
photo. It was too dangerous to even step in the beds! Fortunately, by June the plants had filled out and covered the bad bits during my garden tours this summer, but I was ready to have my vision of curving stacked stone walls put into place.


It broke my heart to dig up the hillside in early September so that work could begin – this was a favorite spot for birds and insect pollinators and the Rudbeckia were in full bloom. My friend and colleague Bill Lucki of Natural Garden Design agreed to tear out the rotting wood ties and replace them with stacked stone walls, so I set to work moving plants to make way for the construction project.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ten days after construction began, the walls were complete and ready for re-planting; Bill and Ron did a fabulous job!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Other parts of the garden continued to bloom and thrive during this process, and as I began to replant the hillside, it started to settle in and look as if it was always there.

While the weather holds, I continue to plant and dream of next year’s bloom among the handsome stone walls.

“To dream a garden and then to plant it is an act of independence and even defiance to the greater world.” ― Stanley Crawford

25 thoughts on “Garden Walls

  1. Pingback: Hope is the thing | composerinthegarden

  2. Pingback: At the Heart of Nature | composerinthegarden

  3. A wonderful addition to an already wonderful garden. Love the colors of the season (although I’m late). … On a side note, thanks for your eloquence today … and others responded to you (in thanks).

  4. What a project! And so gratifying, I imagine to see it come together, and to work with people who are collaborative. As someone said above, the design (and rocks) are perfect – height, curves, etc. Fits right in and so much better than the old ties. They did you a favor by rotting! 😉

    • Lynn, I was lucky to be able to work within the footprint and connect it to the rest of the garden design. As far as the favor from the old ties, I laughed out loud at your comment, but really, that is the fate of all wooden ties in the ground. They rot, they fall apart, and then they have to be removed. Stone will hopefully prove to be not only beautiful but long lasting.

  5. Hi Lynn… did this happen when I was away? I think so! anyway the rock walls are wonderful; I love the choice of rough stone that is hand laid; looks Irish to me. Totally fits the landscape, and I think that’s a lot harder than it looks after the fact. I mean, the curves; the height of the walls and so forth are harmonic and natural looking. I’ll get over to see it if I have not yet … I was just here 2 weeks between trips… Doug

    • Doug, you will appreciate it even more in person. They did an amazing job, real craftsmen with the stone. They followed my design, adjusting as needed to take advantage of the stability of the hillside, so it was a collaborative process which was great fun. The curves echo the circles in the lower garden – I’m delighted with the results!

  6. Hello,

    Gardening Know How is now accepting guest blog submissions for 2017.  We would be delighted if you participated!  Gardening Know How gives new and experienced gardeners the tools and resources they need to be successful and happy gardeners. We are currently looking to enrich our site with new and interesting content by giving bloggers an outlet for sharing their unique view and expertise on gardening with our readers.

    A guest blog equates to great exposure.  If you write a post for us, we will happily link back to your site and your guest blog will be promoted on all our social media. 

    For guidelines and all FAQ’s please visit

    Please spread the word!  Thanks and hope to hear from you soon!

    Have a great day!

    Shelley Pierce
    Manager, Social Marketing and Brand Communications

    Gardening Know How

  7. Lovely job of work on the walls, and you have lost no time in beautifying that area again.
    I am embroiled in a similar process, but as mine is totally DIY it isn’t going anything like as quickly or smoothly.

  8. That was quite the project! Phew!

    I am sure you will make it looks just beautiful for next year’s blooms.


    bobbie brooks


    • I’m hoping so, Tootlepedal – I just finished planting everything today except the spring bulbs. Everything I planted last month has settled in and looks healthy and vibrant – I look forward to the visual feast next year 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.