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Ideas for planting a retaining wall

Posted by hoghaven_duluthmn 3/4 (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 24, 10 at 20:14

I have an ugly old cement block retaining wall. Some of the mortar has fallen away and alyssum seed started in the pockets and looked kinda nice. I am thinking perhaps I could actually make an attempt to plant something in the cracks. Any ideas? I wonder if any perennials would survive since there would be no winter protection? I am also thinking of putting some evergreens in the 4-foot wide bed at the top. Do you think any evergreens would survive in a spot like this?

One more question -- am I crazy to think of doing a cement stain to this wall (going to a tan/brown from a lovely natural cement gray)? How crazy is that? Probably not quite as crazy as trying to knock the thing down and hauling it out. Maybe. Any thoughts appreciated!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Ideas for planting a retaining wall

How about doing a search at the alpine or rock garden forum? They probably know about that type of location. Something like sedums, sempervivums. Some arborvitae are sensitive to winter burn. Is it protected from the winter wind?

RE: Ideas for planting a retaining wall

Well, I spent a good deal of time down at Sherwin Williams today, and I am going to try stain the old cement. Going to just try a few sedums and hen-n-chicks with some alyssums, and I think that will be enough. I am getting so excited about getting rid of the ugly gray cement color, that I am think of taking a few days off just to get it done!

RE: Ideas for planting a retaining wall

One perennial that I've had luck overwintering in a container on my deck is Artemisia silver brocade, also known as wormwood. I cut it back in the late fall, I don't water it, the only moisture it gets is either rain or snow, and every spring it comes right back. It drapes beautifully and might be very attractive on your retaining wall.

RE: Ideas for planting a retaining wall

Artemisia is a very good idea. An even better idea since I already have some that could probably use dividing!

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