Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Garden Wall Research in Southeast Portland

Would you believe that these sidewalk garden walls are on one block, same side of the street?  

"Keeping up with the Joneses" has never been illustrated better!

A master block layer must have built this beauty.  Looks like it could be 80+ years old.  (above and right)

Note how the height transition is accomplished leading to the stairwell and creating a planting pocket.

This style is referred to as back or deep mortared, so it looks like a dry stacked wall.

A dry stacked wall. (below)  The corner stones used here must have taken a bit of time to find natural edges - worth it!
(see 3 photos down for the opposite corner)

A modern brick terraced wall with lighting, pipe railing and aggregate stairs.  A bit corporate, but clean and tight design.

Now that nature has added patina (Oregon can grow moss in a season!) there is a softness that would not have been there when first installed.

Transition between neighbors stone to brick or brick to stone. (looks like the stone is newer)

The set-back of the brick wall is nice for plantings.

Old, old dry stack wall is met by the fancy neighboring mortared stone wall with a concrete cap.  (So nice that the new wall is lower and set back from the corner of the older wall.  Always defer to your neighbors established landscape and architectural decisions when it benefits both properties.)

Same fancy neighbor decided not to replace the very old aggregate stairs.  (below)

There are many decisions to make when designing a necessary feature and spending only what you can afford. 
(This budget must have been busted with the stone design.)

But PLEASE don't ignore function.... there is no space between the new railing and the stone wall for knuckles!  OUCH!  And you'll hear about it being wrong every time Grandma comes to visit.  "Dear, I nearly took a tumble trying to reach for the space on the rail where my hand can get a firm grip."

The young owner of this tudor house came home from her walk while I was taking this photo (Why is it I feel strongly that I'm stealing when photographing private property?)

This wall and stair design fits perfectly with the modernization of this nearly 90 year old tudor, as it's architectural details are painted out in grays and charcoal.  These color choices have satisfied the contemporary style of the owner, while combining the color of the stone walls and mirroring the clean lines of the neighbor's brick walls.

Thank you for joining me on this walk.
I don't go far very fast but look what's in my view!

Cheers!  Linda   :-)


  1. Linda my heart is palpitating looking at these lovely old stone creations! They are truly works of art. How lucky are you to see these on your walk?! Fantastic :)

    1. Valuable Works of Art! We are currently coming up with a landscape design which will (hopefully) involve some retaining walls. Our garden has sloped areas that we would rather have as accessible level patios.

      The budget is getting hit first by needing to replace rotted iron fencing and resurfacing the pool. I LOVE a challenge!

      Good to hear from you Karen :-)

  2. Linda, What a neighborhood! A lot of curb appeal. I love the old stone and it fascinates me how they put them together with just the right stones.

    You see all the details that I would miss! Love that about coming here. I always get a new perspective.

    The last modern one is so pretty too.

    1. How quickly would I drive you CRAZY if we were on a walk together ? !

      xo, LP :-)


Hello! Your comments are the interaction I look forward to while writing my posts.
Cheers! Linda


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