Garden walls

Help to define planting, sitting areas

By Rick Cozza, The Italian Gardener

Walls! If we lived in Walla Walla, Wash., talking about walls (or possibly wallabies) would probably be a daily occurrence. I’ve never been there, so I don’t know for sure. But this past week I have been thinking a lot about walls, having put several into proposals for new customers’ yards. I’m not talking about massive retaining walls like along the interstate or next to a hillside. I mean just a simple, low wall that helps to better define a planting bed or a special sitting area, for example.

A low wall helps to define a planting area.
A low wall helps to define a
planting area.

Before the low wall was put in, the rain would wash rivers of soil down onto the sidewalk, requiring the owner to sweep and clean after every rain. No longer. And doesn’t it help to define and enhance the bed as well? Likewise, before the low wall along the driveway, visitors would walk over the edge of the bed going around the corner, the mulch would wash onto the pavement, and the area just looked unfinished. Just a few small wall blocks from one of the ‘home stores’ dresses up the area and gives it a finished look. Think so?

The border keeps mulch and soil in the garden.
The border keeps mulch and
soil in the garden.

It can make grasscutting easier as well, since the grass no longer grows into the bed, and who needs grass in your bed?

Stacked stone separates gravel and mulch.
Stacked stone separates gravel
and mulch.

Simple stacked stone keeps the gravel and the mulch apart, and wonderfully defines the bed.

A simple, tall pot creates a focal point
A simple, tall pot creates a focal point

And in the last photo, the effect would not be the same without the low wall. Also note the effect of the simple tall pot. It creates a focal point for the bed and brings the eye up from the low wall, but that is a story for another issue. Whether you live in Walla Walla or Toledo, the effect is the same. Nice!