When I began rebuilding my front porch, I found a hidden architectural treasure buried under the stairs. I unearthed the cast concrete cap stones for the brick knee walls that flanked the original stairs.
They were a little banged up. I just had to save them though, and committed to incorporating them into the final landscape design.
I was inspired by my honeymoon vacation to Scotland, family ancestry in Ireland, and a love for local parks and WPA projects, but also by my lack of other masonry skills! This was something I could do with a minimal learning curve. It’s flexibility, resistance to freeze/thaw cycles, and ability to be repaired with minimal disruption is why these structures are able to last hundreds of years.
The mix of materials and styles is intentionally playful and I enjoy that the knee walls flanking the stairs are more a symbolic restoration of their former self with a nod to even simpler times.
The main star of this raised rock garden is the Tamukeyama Japanese Maple. The rest is made up of a rotating cast of perennials which I initially over planted so it’s always getting thinned out as things mature and run out of room.