Introducing the Greenhouse retaining wall project. With the Greenhouse and Raised Beds in place, the ongoing maintenance of grass and weeds that make their way up thru the edges of the 5/8 minus gravel edges becomes a concern. We explored several options, with the desire to eliminate sprays, and concluded that a brick retaining wall would not only combat this need, but also bring a sense of style.
The options for retaining wall materials can be massively overwhelming. The colour of bricks, the various sizes and styles, and cost associations weighed in. Another significant factor of paramount importance is that we wanted the wall to be perfectly straight, squared and the bottom of the retaining wall cap to be at the same height as the laser level grade stakes mentioned in the greenhouse construction. Another requirement were that of a 2 – brick minimum requirement. At the highest area of the foundation, one brick would have possibly sufficed, however, the primary raison d’être were that of controlling grass and weeds incorporating into the gravel edges.
These strict requirements instantly placed us out of our skillsets and we readily admitted that we would be punching above our weight with such a project. Thru conversations with landscaping suppliers, E & B Landscaping which is local to our area, were recommended.
The crew arrived kitted out on a wonderfully sunny and warm day in the early autumn. They measured, re-measured, staked and commenced to fashioning the retaining wall foundation. Within the foundation, they placed 5/8 minus gravel within the bottom whist compacting. With levels in hand, the first brick were laid. Within hours, the wall began to take shape. The corners of the walls were of particular concern as how does this become fashioned to be both functional and appealing to the eye. They managed to sort this out, along with some other area of detail to our satisfaction.
Once the wall were completed, some of the lot focused on planning and adhering the caps that are meant to be placed onto the top of the wall, whilst others focused on the step design at the front of the greenhouse.
We wanted the steps to be different, but yet complementary to the rectangular shape of the wall itself. Additionally, there needs to be a stable and suitable area when placing a wooden ramp to allow for wheel-barrow access. Again, they managed to sort this out wonderfully.
With the wall, steps and caps in place, the remaining efforts afterwards were the task of back-filling with gravel to the original foundation grade. This task we completed on our own, as it were an easy job of it with the bottom of the caps being at the same height of the laser levelled grade stakes of the greenhose foundation.
Lastly, the foundation of the wall left a 2″ – 4″ deep and wide trench on the outside of the wall towards the lawn. This were easily addressed with additional 5/8 minus gravel placed within. This will allow for drainage to somewhat retard the grass growth, knowing it would only be for a short time.
Maintaining the lawn outside of the retaining wall in regards to mowing would require a weed-trimmer of sorts, as the grass will obviously grow next to the brick itself. The cord of a weed-trimmer seems to do quite well with the concrete construction of the brick.