Last updated on December 2nd, 2011
HERE AT A GARDEN FOR THE HOUSE, there’s no shortage of landscaping challenges. Take the north end of the Rose Garden, where a glorious old maple tree grows on a steep slope. I couldn’t get grass to grow at the tree’s shallow roots, yet weeds flourished there. The cure? A retaining wall, built half-way round the tree:
The wall, built by a professional, and composed exclusively from stones I found while digging in the Woodland Garden, provides not only architectural interest, but a level bed for planting, too. If you have need for a similar wall, perhaps the following pictures will serve as a tutorial of sorts.
Now, you might wonder if covering the roots this way will hurt a tree. It won’t. The layer of gravel and the well-draining compost permit roots to breathe. Furthermore, roots are not injured during construction.
If you have a tree that grows on a hillside, and wish to make a garden beneath its leafy canopy, do consider building a demi-lune wall at the tree’s base. It’s the only way to make “under-planting” a real possibility.
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