If you happen to have a home situated on a property that is not perfectly flat, the sloping areas of your landscape can prove to be a challenge when it comes to creating an attractive planting area that is not concealed from view. However, with a little ingenuity and a few materials, you can raise a portion of ground to create a planting mound that is highly visible from whatever aspect you choose.
Choosing the Location
A raised garden will work best set against a gentle slope. Choosing location is key because if the area of your landscape is too steep, the backdrop of the hill will take away from the set apart appearance of the raised planting area. If it's too slight of an angle, you will be dealing with a lot of work to try and raise enough ground in behind the mound's retaining wall to achieve the task. An angle near 45-degrees gives you the perfect opportunity to create a retaining wall that is set apart from the hill itself, without making it too difficult of a project.
What You'll Need
Creating a garden mound supported by a retainer will only require simple materials you can find at just about any home improvement store or gardening center. It is a good idea to draw out a crude plan that has simple measurements for you to work with, because this will give you an idea of what materials you will need to complete the process. You will need:
- A large rectangular piece of sheet metal sturdy enough to hold shape, but flexible enough to bend to a slight curve
- Landscape stones or bricks of your choice
- Quick-drying mortar mix
- Fast-setting Concrete
If you have any experience creating a retaining wall, you already know that the initial phase of the project is pertinent to how well the wall turns out. While creating a garden mound, the retaining wall is vital and must be firmly situated to allow for a sturdy structure. In your chosen spot, work to raise the surface level at the base of the slope by at least 12 inches. This can be accomplished with dirt alone, but gravel will help to give a strong foundation.
Raise the entire base area of your planned mound, leaving a definitive line for the edge of the steel sheeting that will be the beginning of the retaining wall. Dig a shallow trench around the perimeter of this raised area to bury the sheet metal. Use the fast-setting concrete to set the sheet of metal in place. Gently curve the metal to conform around the raised ground. Heavy sand or gravel should be pushed around the base of the metal for stability.
After allowing the concrete a few hours to set up, you can start applying stones to the outlying surface of your raised garden mound. Work from the base to the top, completing an entire run at a time, and join the stones together with mortar mix as you do. When finished, you will be left with a semi-circle shaped retaining wall that just needs to be filled in with good soil for planting and your favorite plants. You will be well-pleased with the raised planting garden you have created and your landscape will boast an individualized design you can be proud to share.
For more information on retaining walls, check out companies such as Distinctive Landscape Inc.