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**Here’s a post from a few months ago that somehow went un-posted. It was our big spring project and is somewhat relevant to our big fall project – which my husband will explain later this week. 

When we first moved in to our farm there were was this dead space behind the bedroom wall outside. It wasn’t really grass and it had a rocky base to it. Almost as if someone laid down gravel and never finished a project here and let the weeds and grass grow through it. On top of the lack of grass, it also had a huge 6′ high x 25’long concrete retaining wall that was cracked and falling over. wallOur home inspector quickly pointed out that that wall needed to be fixed soon to prevent damage to the house as it was poured as part of the foundation to the bedroom. And this was just the start… Like everything we do, we start with one problem or idea and turn it into a much much much larger project. So why wouldn’t we turn tearing down this concrete wall into something more extreme!20150523_083530

We started with getting the concrete removed properly by some concrete guys. Great, now what do we do with the giant landslide of a hill that washes down to the side of our house? Well, you build another wall. We decided if we were going to build another retaining wall we would do it with brick not concrete since that clearly didn’t work/last the first time around.

We gave it a go on our own and after renting a bobcat for the day ended up with a base and cleaned up wall – but too many other more manageable projects needed our attention. We decided to hire out for the wall and then finish the patio ourselves later. Which we did (one whole summer) after the wall was up. Since the space was surrounded by 3 walls, we were concerned with drainage and decided to go with some turf grass block pavers. These would allow water to drain down rather than sit on top of the patio.

Once the pavers were laid, we then filled them with dirt. Lots of dirt! (And not enough dirt, we’ll be adding more this fall and re-laying grass seed). Threw some shady mix grass seed down and waited for it to fill in.

Alright! Now we have a nice retaining wall and a nice new patio. Now what? My husband’s family history of landscaping came flying out and trips to garden centers and nurseries started. He started by utilizing those handy old silo stones that we have in an abundance of and started building out some garden beds. He started by making the awkward hosta that survived all the construction stand out by adding silo stones, white decorative rock and a few succulents.

We then added some decorative grasses, boxwood and small rhododendron with some mulch to the top of the retaining wall making yet another garden bed.

Next came a small lattice partition to “enclose” the space. Not that you can see anyone or anything from our home but to make it more secluded and to not have to stare out to the dog kennel.

And to top it off…more silo stones and yet another garden bed! We planted some annuals and some clematis in hopes that the clematis will grow up the lattice and really fill it in. So far we are still waiting on that clematis to work its magic.

We also added three Arborvitae behind the hosta to help enclose the space. We also have numerous hanging baskets and a few new knickknacks that have been added since these pictures were taken as well as some patio furniture. We absolutely love this space. I didn’t think our farm could be any more peaceful than it is but just sitting in the back without noises of squawking chickens and baby goats calling to their moms is a really nice and unexpected change of pace.

I am also very very grateful for my husband as he did most of the heavy labor all by himself as well as using his creativity and landscaping history to make this space for us. He must have wheelbarrow-ed 100 silo stones up the hill to the back of the house in one weekend!!

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