Garden bloggers design workshop-walls and fences

Starting with a close up of the concrete block of which the main wall is composed. Each of these blocks weigh eighty pounds. It was professionally built, by a man called ‘dead eye’. He could tell if something was level with uncanny accuracy. He had large, muscular helpers to carry and cut the blocks. They were artists.

A ‘money shot’, this is to show a close look at the concrete wall behind the main house. It is a workhorse of a wall, holding back a major amount of earth as this area is a very steep slope. The photos below will show you what I am talking about. You have to be a mountain goat to garden here. The flowers are hyacinth Jan Bos with blue violas.

A narrow space under the garage deck with a wall of smaller concrete block. Now it is planted with astilbe below and a row of japanese painted fern above. These walls are home to large numbers of voles who eat or dislodge most plantings. These plants are surviving this treatment for now.
Another close look at the main wall with a homemade trough with erica westwood yellow and a mini heuchera surrounded by moss.
This fence corner is overwintering a myrtis communis, bronzed up for the winter but green later. In front is a hydrangea mariesii, hoping for bloom next year, zapped this year by late frost.
Long shot of the split rail fence in the area called the knot garden. There is a chain link fence behind the tea olive hedge behind the fence I am trying to cover up.

This shows the wall with fence at the end and the gravel in between. Yellow pear tomatoes self sow each year inside the wire cage at the right. I like to have all my containers here to give them the care they deserve.
Professionally installed rock wall and stone facing on the foundation at the front of the house. Raised beds have great drainage and your own chosen soil composition. Lots of sand is in here because it was left over from the masonry work. This bed is filled with bulbs; daffodils, tulips, fall crocus and asiatic lilies. I can sit on the edge and weed and plants and prune. A great spot.
This counts as a wall too doesn’t it? The deck is less than a foot off the ground but animals could still get under there. This was a DIY project that gave us new respect for the stone masons that did the rock on the front of the house. It’s not easy to get that mortaring right.

The concrete block wall makes a lovely backdrop for all the containers. In the winter the moss is greener. It provides a warmer environment for plants and is easy access to water and tend things because the distance from house to wall is only nine feet.

This rose is the rootstock of an Iceburg rose that bit the dust. It has been moved several times and is presently in the shade of some dogwood seedlings that are now fifteen feet high. The rose has stretched to get to the light. It is by the central air unit at the side of the house and is seldom seen or it would have been upgraded some time ago. It may still after looking at this photo.

The split rail fence was originally placed to keep a row of zebra grass from flopping over when blooming. It was so much work cutting down the grass in late winter that it was replaced with the osmanthus fragrans, Russian Tea Olive, in background. The tree peony in bud is protected and showcased with the wood fence and evergreen background.
These pictures are sort of not in a rational order. Sorry for that. I am still working on this type of composition thing. It will get better as more posts are published I hope.

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16 Responses to Garden bloggers design workshop-walls and fences

  1. chickenpoet says:

    Great pics mom. It is better than most seen out there, in my opinion. Michael and Gregory are enjoying the pics too. Allan even commented on how pretty everything is. Can’t wait to see/read more.
    Love Ya.

  2. Frances says:

    chickenpoet…thanks for the comment. glad everyone thought it was up to snuff. keep reading.
    Love, Frances

  3. Nan Ondra says:

    Terrific gallery of photos, Frances! Thanks for showing off all of your walls and fences. I love seeing the creative ways that other gardeners cope with their challenges (wow, what a slope!) and turn them into great features. I also really like the way you’ve combined the concrete pots and hypertufa troughs with the concrete wall to tie that area together. And oh, all of that lovely stonework–I envy you! I appreciate you taking the time to participate in the Garden Bloggers’ Design Workshop at, and I welcome you to the garden-blogging community. You’ll be hard pressed to find a nicer group of people!

  4. Frances says:

    Nan…thanks for commenting. I have been a lurker for over a year on all the blogs I stumble upon, sometimes leaving a comment. I noticed that most notes are left by other bloggers. I have been taking photos of the garden since receiving my first digital camera in 2002. It is time consuming to cull the shots for the posting but that will get easier since all new photos will be grouped for articles to be written. Everyone has been wonderful, supportive and welcoming. Thanks to all.

  5. Annie in Austin says:

    Hello Frances,

    Your comments at Pam/Digging brought me here to see how much fun you’ve had in Tennessee.
    I just cracked up when I read that like many of us with small yards – you ran out of room in the garden and turned your eyes outside the property line – but unlike anyone else I know you actually did knock down the neighbor’s house and turn it into a garden! The rest of us just wish we could do it.

    I’m looking forward to more visits here.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  6. Frances says:

    Annie, Thanks for the input and for visiting. It does sound like a whale of a tale about the house next door but it is true. It was a one bedroom cinder block house but the lot was really two lots so there was much room to expand. It may not have been a good financial move to buy and tear down but it has not been regretted.

  7. Pam/Digging says:

    Pam @ Digging says:

    Love the stone walls. Stone anything is good, right? I enjoyed seeing the pics of your large garden, particularly the knot garden. It seems like few of us bloggers have formal gardens, so that was a nice change.

  8. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Frances, I like the way you presented your fencing. It is interesting to see how and why peoples gardens evolve.

  9. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    P.S. I like your knot garden. I also have a knot garden. It is my nod to formality in the garden. ha. It is still growing. It doesn’t look like much yet but it will…I hope. I will have to put a picture of it up sometime soon.

  10. Frances says:

    Lisa…I would love to see your knot garden. Mine is not even close to how it was envisioned. Straight lines are hard for me, left handed you know.;-)

  11. healingmagichands says:

    Hi Frances! I just stumbled across your blog through the garden design workshop. Your pictures are wonderful, and I really love your stone walls. I look forward to visiting you again.

  12. Frances says:

    healingmagichands….I appreciate your comment. The design workshop is such a great idea. Thanks to the Gardening Gone Wild group.


  13. brokenbeat says:

    hells bells, frances. you enter the blogging world with sweet ease, bringing your calming artistry with you. it is much appreciated, for my novice tactics are in need of sharpening. thus, i hereby vow to be a regular subscriber to Faire Garden.

  14. Frances says:

    brokenbeat…thanks for the praise. sharpen tactics here if you please and comments are most welcome.Love.

  15. I tracked this down from the Gardening Gone Wild – Walls and Fences Design Workshop.

    Love to see all of the walls and fences in your lovely gardens.


    Thanks Cameron. This was my very first real post. Real meaning not an introduction to who I was and about the garden in general. The topic was a perfect jumping off point. I loved seeing your fences too. 🙂

  16. Pingback: Garden Bloggers’ Design Workshop – Walls and Fences Revisited Wrap-Up

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