Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Design Contest

Our retaining wall was originally designed to be the same height as the deck railing. But at that height the wall would have completely obscured any view of the house as you come up the driveway. So I had the concrete guys keep it at the same height as the rest of the foundation. Which means now we have a bit of an awkward transition from the deck to the retaining wall. These are some pics for Res4 so they can brainstorm some ideas for how to finish this area. Anybody else have any suggestions?

*UPDATE - Thanks for the ideas - keep 'em coming. I suppose I should clarify a bit. We'd like to extend some kind of deck railing around the retaining wall (and deal with the hideous faux-brick, so all landscaping ideas are welcome). The issue with a railing is that the deck is about a foot higher than the wall. So I could build a cedar box on top of the wall to extend the fascia of the deck and just continue the cedar/cable railing, but not sure how that would look. Or we could incorporate a different kind of railing that would separate the two spaces (which I think is Res4's preference) but still give us the safety we need...







6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Plant a mixture of Liriope and Nandina. The deer won't eat them and the Nandina have a fine texture that will complement the structure without overwhelming it. hte berries will offer great fall interest.

PatinWV said...

Oops. Forgot my name. You could also try Oak Leaf Hydrangea. Beautiful and native.

Anonymous said...

Have you considered adding similar railing along the retaining wall? With small children and potential liability if you rent this place out, I think it might be too easy for someone to inadvertently get hurt.

Just my two cents.

Also wanted to say that the place and views look awesome.

Joe

Ben said...

Let's see... If you built a box on top of the retaining wall to continue the deck or railing around, you could integrate a planter box into it and grow a hanging vine-type plant that will cover the faux-brick.

Chris said...

Ben, that's Sarah's idea and I think it's probably the best option. In last month's Dwell there's a story about super's apt in NYC - the owners built a kind of lattice/planter combo that we thought we look pretty cool clinbing up the wall. That's the other idea at the moment. I don't know much about plants - what happens when the vines die in the winter? Anybody know anything that will last with cover year round, but not grow like crazy and need to be managed too much?

PatinWV said...

FYI Vines do not "die" in the winter. They go dormant....

Vines are by their nature fast growing, but manageable. I recommend Virgini Creeper.
( Parthenocissus quinquefolia)It's native. grows well, but won't overwhelme anything and it stunning in the Fall.

I would still put something at the top of the wall to soften the edge. Maybe a small evergreen shrub.