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'Green' retaining wall- coir matting or similar

We have a steep slope on one side of the driveway, and for various reasons (buried electrics etc) we cannot dig it back any further, so we need to build a retaining wall for it. It is only a couple of feet high at the most, in some places less.

i am looking for ideas with which to retain it that will not eat into the already limited driveway space (read: an 8 point turn for hubby to get in at night). So if anybody has ideas that would be great- we have already ruled out anything that needs to be dug down (walls etc) due to aforementioned electrics being only a few cms below the surface. Yes, Mr Western Power thought his wand was malfunctioning!

One of the ideas we are currently toying with is for a coir/net mat pegged into the slope with creepers planted into it to stabilise the soil/ make it look less like a building project. Has anyone any experience of this? Where can you get the matting from as it only seems to be available in bulk?

J x


  • A picture would help us to visualise better, but failng that would railway sleepers work?

    If it is not very high, you could set the first layer on the ground, and then step a second row back onto/into the bank, overlapping the first row slightly., then another row if necessary. 

    Then plant with things that can be a bit of a nuisance in some places but helpful in situations like this, such as Persicarias (come in different sizes), vinca, Hypericum calcinum, Lysimachia punctata, all of which will grow just about anywhere. You will need to referee, but when the bank is somewhat stabilised you could add other things in places to extend the interest. The running roots are great stabilisers and the foliage helps protect the soil from rain and stop it sliding.

    I have a high bank in front of my house with just a low drystone wall at the bottom, built by me, so no engineering masterpiece(!) which then angles up at 45 degrees or more in places. It is kept in place by shrubs like Cotoneaster horizontalis, a ground cover rose, one or two strategically placed rocks and rosebay willowherb. The last does a great job and doesn't look out of place in my wild country garden, and also attracts elephant hawk moths, but I would not advocate it for everyoneimage I remove the shoots if they interfere with other things, but leave the roots well alone to avoid landslides!

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