Landscape Project 21-3 … Completion of East Terraces.

It has been two years since I started the terraces on my nine foot high hillside in the backyard and this year they will be finished! The hillside extends 100 feet across the backyard; has a vertical height of nine feet; slopes at about 45 degrees giving an upward slope length of about 13 feet or so. We had to dig into the hillside to extend our lower backyard so we could build a pergola, storage shed, and firepit on the lower level.

The east corner is pretty obvious in this photo from the top of the hill. Hot tub is in the shade provided by the pergola,

Several methods were used to contain the inevitable erosion but none worked until I started the terrace concept. In those two years, I have added two pallets of red concrete landscape block and about ten tons of rounded river rock of all sizes. The two corners have to be finished – one around the pergola and hot tub and one around the storage shed. The base of the hillside is reinforced with a 30 inch height of railroad ties faced with a tight lattice. This project will be the left or east end which wraps around the pergola. Just describing the work already accomplished makes me tired!

A closer inspection from below reveals the curve around the pergola and the tail end of Project #1 of the year which was completed several weeks ago before the recent rainy onslaught.
The unfinished east end curve showing the railroad tie retaining wall at the bottom (faced with lattice and Trex boards). This shows two terraces and a third (maybe a fourth) will be added as the curve is rounded. Many native rock backfill the railroad ties.

I am estimating about 40 concrete block will be used in building the rounded terraces and I will build three levels each about three block high. They will be backfilled with garden soil and with their sunny location will become an excellent planting area. I have a number of plants ready to populate the backfill including pink and white peonies, purple coneflowers, mixed dahlia, and other pollinator varieties.

Landscape block waiting their turn in completion of the terraces.

The clay bank presents digging issues but recent rains have softened the native soil. Rocks imbedded in the clay also present excavation issues and occasionally I uncover a pretty native rock which is added to the new rocky hillside.

Terraces already built in the center in winter dormancy. The combination of rock, block, and plants keeps erosion at bay.
Multicolored Peonies are now growing in my sunroom and destined for the corner curved terrace,
Purple Coneflowers will attract bees and butterflies all summer and will fill a terrace.
Crocosmia will add a touch of fire to the terraces!

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