Friday, April 24, 2015

My Landscaping Adventures- 9

Today's installation finishes up our previous projects and brings us completely up to date.  Whew!  We've come a long way in our eight year trip down memory lane.  Today is a second concrete retaining wall that I couldn't live with any longer.   Here it is before I got started on it.
This is my attempt to chronicle the progress around the yard dealing with our many landscaping adventures.  Here are the links to previous articles in case you're interested:
My Landscaping Adventures  Getting started in the front yard and an island of rock
My Landscaping Adventures- 2 The island concrete border and a preview of the back patios
My Landscaping Adventures- 3 Back lower patio, firepit and cantilevered staircase
My Landscaping Adventures- 4 Upper Patio, deck and the beginning of backyard plantings
My Landscaping Adventures- 5 Photos of the planting areas we've talked about so far and the beginning of the large bed out by the road
My Landscaping Adventures- 6 A look at the large flowerbed I've added out front, from a few placed rocks to planted berms and the start of a watering system.
My Landscaping Adventures- 7 Vertical Concrete Retaining wall, firepit and pump house. 
My Landscaping Adventures- 8  "Wood" Concrete Sidewalk
I began by adding trees with a vertical concrete mix that I use for other carving projects (here's my first retaining wall project with the mix) and I did a scratch coat for some rocks, I changed my mind though on the rocks and never finished them.
I chose slate tile because I love all the color variations, 12 x 12's to save some money and then cut them down into 3" x 12" rectangles to give it a little more of a linear look.  The slate will represent my water.  This was a very slow process.  Normally when I lay tile I figure out where my first full tile starts on the wall and place a board at that spot and tile on the board, giving it some support, then come back and do the bottom row (the one under the board) later.  I didn't want holes in the wall so I just started putting up the lowest row, allowing it to dry a little before adding another tile.  I could only go a couple high and had to move on, sometimes not even that since I didn't have any support underneath.  I did manage to get most of the bottom row done in one day so that on day two I could come back in, finish off the bottom row and really go to town getting the rest of the tile up. 
 Once I got the "water" in, I moved on to the greenery for the trees!  I found an inexpensive mosaic glass tile at Home Depot with a variety of green, blue and white tiles.  Perfect!  I cut it into odd shapes, trying to keep it going in a linear fashion and lathered it up, sticking it on the wall sporadically, cleaning up excess mortar as I went.
 I grouted everything and then went back in with a white grout to apply some sky and give it a polished look.  This was really easy, like icing a cake.  The grout allowed you to leave lots of texture and pattern in it, really love how it turned out.  I plan to add some plantings along the wall at the base so I could have just left the bottom but it seemed unfinished so I went in with mortar and gave the area under the "water" a nice, evenly spread finish.
 Here's some close-ups.  I also sealed it.  Don't want water getting in and destroying it.  Eventually, with our freeze/thaw cycles, I'm sure I'll have some problems and when I do, I'll just go in and fix it, makes for an interesting, ever-evolving project. 

With that, My Landscaping Adventure Series is complete and we are up to date on all our Landscaping projects around here, so far that is.  This year we are working on a new deck, Our First Project of the Season- 2015 and I have lots of projects to work on in the front flower bed when time allows. 
What are you working on this season, anything fun?


  1. Can't wait for spring cause that's where I plan to spend some time and get some projects done this season. It's going to be a great year! concrete patio contractors

  2. "Students will be able to survey a small site using running dimensions and triangulation making note of site details such as the position of trees, buildings, simple level changes, and services, etc. Georgetown Landscaping


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