May 04, 2011

Front Yard Retaining Wall

You might remember that late last year we started a front yard landscaping project to add a paver walkway and retaining wall.  In it's hay-day, our front yard looked like this:

But after a hot summer and tripping over the front bushes countless times while holding bags of groceries, we decided to remove the bushes and add a paver walkway instead.  At this point the front yard looked like this:

Not as pretty.  So we dug up the bushes and put down a paver walkway (you can read about that here and here).  And the pavers looked beautiful!  We were thrilled with how the walkway part of the project turned out.



But, we still had that not-so-pretty planter area to the left.  The concrete edgers were kind of a snooze and the lack of plants didn't add any excitement either.


So once spring hit, we began to tackle this area and install a retaining wall. Rob had the honor of removing the old edgers and digging up the area.


Then he started installing new pavers from Home Depot (I can't find them on their website but they are the Windsor 4" x 12" retaining wall block).  Since our front yard slopes, Rob broke out the lever to see how deep to place the pavers to create an even level.


You can see here how some pavers were buried into the ground, while others weren't, to create a level wall in this photo:


Once the base was down, we added two more rows of pavers.  To help with the slope and also add some interest, we decided to do a two-tier retaining wall.



And we ended up with this:


Not bad, right?! We also added some top soil to fill in the retaining wall so we can plant some pretty flowers and shrubs.


We still have a lot of planting ahead of us, but all of the hardscaping is done and it looks pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.


Here's another look at how far we've come with a before/during/almost-after photo:

I'm really proud of the walkway and retaining wall so far and can't wait to add plants to finish the job.  Any suggestions for good heat-tolerant flowers and shrubs?

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