Hiding that B***h of a Retaining Wall……

The patio update continues…..

This weekend, I planted four planter boxes in an attempt to soften/hide a prominent concrete retaining wall.  I initially thought that the large wooden planter box we built on top of the wall would hide the wall completely but after talking with multiple landscapers, they all agreed that unless we were going to plant a climbing vine, then it would be difficult to grow a trailing plant long enough (7 feet) to hide the wall.

So I decided to attack the wall from two ways — top and bottom.  On top, we have the wooden planter box with the red aptenia which is growing in nicely…..

In less than a week, the red aptenia has grown half an inch!  Fingers cross that by the end of the summer, I will see the beginnings of a a trailing planter box!

On the bottom, I decided to buy four metal planter boxes from CB2 at $19.99:

After drilling some drainage holes into the bottom of each box with my drill, it was time to plant.

I lined each box with gravel/rocks to assist with drainage and then added a variety of sun/part shade loving plants to each box keeping in mind that the plants needed to (1) be hardy enough to survive my black thumb and (2) be perennials with some interesting flowers or leaves.

The final result is better than  I anticipated….now I just hope they live!

I ended up using the following plants:

1) Cannomois Grandis (Virgata): A reed-like plant, it grows up to 10 feet tall in the wild and is identified by the pink shoots of its new growth.

2) Vinca Minor “Ralph Shugert”: A perennial with dark green foliage, variegated with white edges and blue flowers from Spring to Summer.  Robust and tough and loves part shade.

3) Mondo Grass:  Low-maintenenance ground cover that maintains its color and size.  Low-water needs and thrives in shade and sun.

I love how it looks from the dining room and think it will fill in nicely over the next few months…..

With the planter boxes in, I am sorta loving the retaining wall.  I just noticed (after 3 years) that the wall has raised ridges that almost seem decorative.  Well if anyone asks, I am going to lie and say it was planned…..but it’s our secret.

Next on the list is creating an outdoor vignette in a fairly barren patch of the patio, staging the furniture and lastly figuring out why some of the Irish moss is dying….

However, I see the finish line!  I am hoping that if the heavens line up, I MAY be able to pull this together by this weekend.  But realistically, I think that by mid-July I will be ready for the big reveal.

Any of you been working on your patios or outdoor spaces?  Drop me a line or leave a comment and share your progress.


6 thoughts on “Hiding that B***h of a Retaining Wall……

  1. Ha! I was going to suggest Bamboo but it looks like what you got is pretty similar. Bamboo grows super fast and high. If it doesn’t work out you can always do some moss grafitti on the wall though I am guessing it would be the total opposite of what you are wanting as it would draw people toward it rather than away. Either way it is pretty cool… check it here


  2. Totally gorgeous! It makes me wish I had a backyard! I could probably use those planter boxes on my porch though; I desperately need to replant my basil, it’s out of control!

  3. Thanks so much for not only posting your instructions, but also identifying where to buy the planters and naming the plants. You have saved me hours (days even) of work.

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