After opening up their back yard to accommodate a new deck, patio and future hot tub, some wall construction was in order. This home is located in the country, and the the field stone pictured here occurs naturally in the area, so it fit the bill nicely. We always like to use materials that are native to the area if we can.
On walls of this size, I like to use stones that are consistent in size and install them with the flat side out. Although it takes longer to construct, I it gives the wall a more “hand crafted”, quality look.
The wall is backed by a thick layer of felt-like material , which both keeps the soil from settling and the face of the wall clean. Behind the felt is a 12″ layer of gravel that drains the water to prevent water pressure from building up (possibly pushing the wall out), and down to a drain tile that empties out at the end of the wall and flows downhill, away from the house.
Before we could landscape the back of this home on a corner lot, we had to solve a drainage problem due to inadequate sloping for channeling rain water away from the foundation, and a heavy clay soil resulting in poor drainage. We installed catch basins at the bottom of the two downspouts at both corners of the house, and used non-perforated drain tile to carry excess water away from the foundation to a point about half way to the back property line, where it exited onto the back half of the lawn and continued on the surface to a common swale that ran between the two properties. We were then able to begin our landscaping.
In addition to planting along the foundation I planned in two berms at each of the two property corners, plus the berm you see pictured here, which I decided to sweep out and around an existing red maple tree. When the plants mature, this berm will do a good job of the tall corner and with it’s steeply pitched roof .We included a small clump magnolia tree, native-style grasses, butterfly bushes (Asclepias), yellow coneflowers, and ground cover. A large glacial boulder was included for added interest. The plywood is one of two “plywood paths” that we laid down to protect the lawn from the loader tracks we used when placing the large stone.