Garden Project 1: Retaining Wall Repair


Every Spring, after my first garden walk-through, I always find some projects that end up bumping some of my grand plans for the garden. This year, I discovered the retaining wall in the Morning Garden had started to separate.

After lunch today, Josh, from Natural Stonescapes, sent his crew over to do the repair.


It actually ended up going so smoothly that by the time I came back out to check on their progress, Kevin was nearly done.

I think it ended up blending together pretty nicely.


Tomorrow, they need to add more fill behind the new section and then they can top-dress the garden paths with fresh granite gravel.

They are also going to finish the gravel pad for the outdoor dining room.


Here’s the view from the back. That mortar needs to set overnight.


Of course, Sonny had to inspect the work.

He only got in Kevin’s way about 15 times.


Asleep for the doorbell, awake for the home improvement as per usual, Sonny.


We made some good progress today – despite ol’ Sonny and the drizzle.


The arborvitae were all moved about twenty feet to their new spot on the north side of the fire pit.


So happy they got moved before I changed my mind again. It was definitely the right call.

These guys were just planted last Summer, so they were easy to dig up.


Tomorrow, this area will be leveled, lined, and rocked with the granite gravel – and then the outdoor dining set will have a new home.


All those ugly metal vents along the side of the house will get painted white later in May.

And, I’ll add lattice along the block foundation below the siding. I did this on the west side of the house and loved the finished look. It will tie in nicely with the front of the house as well.


Unfortunately, it looks like the Uncle Fogy Jack Pine didn’t handle the stress of last year’s late Fall transplant.


Instead, the Curly Willow that looked deader than a doornail last year is suddenly resurrected this year with lots of new growth.


Here’s another Spring favorite – the Scilla Siberica – and it’s in full bloom this week.


It almost makes me not miss the Forsythia in full bloom.


I just love that blue. Isn’t that something?


The water garden plants overwintered just fine in the whiskey barrel – three years running now.

It’s near the house – must be a little microclimate around there since it’s all sitting above ground.


The Hens and Chicks are looking great. The botanical latin for Hens and Chicks is Sempervivum – latin for “always living”

These guys live up to their name – as long as they aren’t drowning in a wet spot in the garden.

I like to plant them high and dry – usually along the rock borders in the garden – and with lots of perlite in the soil.  You can read about my love for perlite in this post.



My find of the week was from Heidi’s GrowHaus in Corcoran.


Brace yourself… It’s a willow that is also a groundcover.

Thank you, Japan. (That’s where it’s from – officially named: Salix nakamurana var. yezoalpina – I’m just calling her “Yez”)


She grows about 1′ high and 4-6′ wide – and she’ll do great in the rock garden.

In the Spring, Yez starts out with the silvery white catkins (those fuzzy little white buds) and then they turn bright gold in the fall.

Yez can handle full sun to light shade and almost any soil – so she’s very easy to please. She’s a great option anywhere you want a groundcover or a low shrub.

Positively irresistible!



Still growing...

Jennifer Ebeling
Jennifer Ebeling is a proud Minnesotan and U of MN alumni. Gooooooo Gophers! Each week, Jennifer produces and hosts Still Growing - a gardening podcast dedicated to helping you and your garden grow. The show is an in-depth interview format. Guests featured on the show share a passion for gardening and include authors, bloggers, professional gardeners, etc. Listeners and guests of the show can join the Still Growing community on Facebook. It's a place to ask questions, share garden stories, interact with great guests featured on the show, and continue to grow and learn. Jennifer and her husband Philip have four children, a big golden lab named Sonny, and live in lovely Maple Grove, Minnesota. P.S. When she's not teaching her four kids a new card game - or teaching them how to drive a car - Jennifer loves inspiring individuals and groups to maximize and personalize their home & garden.
Jennifer Ebeling
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