It’s a homeowner’s worst nightmare. Paying for an expensive improvement such as a retaining wall and having it go horribly wrong.
That’s the story we heard when Annalee Myers of South Knoxville called Carex Design Group for help with a failing retaining wall made of 4-inch landscaping timbers that had been installed about a year before. Annalee wasn’t excited about having to redo her wall, but since she had to, she wanted it done right.
“The free consultation that Carex Design Group offers is what sold me on the company because that’s when I figured out that I could absolutely use them and the value was there,” said Annalee. “Because we had been burned on the initial wall, we were making a significant investment for the second time. To have Bob’s knowledge and expertise to validate what the landscape installer was going to do and what they were telling us, it was like having an insurance policy.”
What We Did for Annalee
The challenge with this project was not only reassuring the client that things would be done right, but also coming up with a design that solved the looming problem of a failing wall and incorporated other desired elements such as a pathway and planting area.
In the end, we created a landscape design that incorporated two retaining walls, a pathway and planting area.
To help ease the worried minds of Annalee and her husband, we first picked a strong and durable retaining wall block.
While the initial wall was straight along the side of the property, we designed a more attractive wall that curved along the side of the house. This not only created a perfect spot for a planting bed, but it also gave the homeowners more level space below the wall.
“We were very impressed,” said Annalee of working with Carex Design Group. “I had never worked with a landscape designer. I just always worked directly with landscapers and I always thought that I knew enough about what I wanted that I really didn’t need a designer. Meeting Bob with Carex Design Group made all the difference in the world because he thought of things that I had never thought of. It also validated the things that I wanted because he brought some of those things into the plan.”
Because Annalee isn’t from East Tennessee, we also enjoyed introducing her to several amazing plants that do well in this area. The planting area we designed gave her good variety and was packed with seasonal interest.
For spectacular fall color, we used Japanese Maples with deeps reds, Mt. Airy Fothergilla with a spectrum of yellow, orange, red and even purple, Muhly Grass with its pinkish purple and wheat colors and American Beautyberry, which loses its leaves early but then boasts spectacular purple berries.
For springtime flowers, we used the Mt. Airy Fothergilla (a real favorite of ours) for its white puffy blooms and Ever Red Loropetalum for its fuchsia flowers.
Year-round, the Angelica Juniper provides beautiful coverage and its blue foliage is an amazing contrast to the reds of the Japanese Maples and Loropetalum.
“We felt like it was such a luxury to have Bob’s knowledge and expertise for the low cost, said Annalee. “I would have paid more.”
Annalee also shared that having Carex Design Group as her partner in the project, rather than that of the landscape contractor, made all the difference to her and her peace of mind.