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Planting next to new retaining wall

I have a bit of an unusual garden, my house is an end terrace on a hill, mine and my neighbours are all raised about 6ft above ground level. At the back of the properties there’s a shared car park at ground level. 

My neighbours only have small patio gardens built on top of 6ft retaining walls plus a fence for privacy. I also have a patio like this but I also have a garden that stretches the length of the car park. Rather than building this raised it’s instead been built on a huge slope lengthways, so basically I have a very long thin bank of grass in full view of my neighbours and an incredibly steep slope of dirt, weeds and rubble down to ground level.

What I’d like to do is replace my ground level fence on the left with another 6ft retaining wall with fencing on top, and then fill in my slope and raise/level out the whole garden.

obviously this will be an enormous undertaking and the consequence of getting it wrong will be the destruction of all the cars in the carpark! 

If possible I’d like to avoid a plain old lawn and have a more interesting garden instead with paths, shrubs and small trees as the garden will be a good size once it’s levelled out, BUT I don’t want to plant anything that will damage that retaining wall. Any recommendations?


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  • Here’s a photo of the garden, basically I want to replicate the existing retaining wall and fence combo you see in front of the patio but alongside the little pathway on the left where there’s currently fence, and then fill in the slope with rubble and soil so the garden is raised to one level.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,054
    A photo would help. It's almost impossible to advise without seeing the site properly  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Fairygirl said:
    A photo would help. It's almost impossible to advise without seeing the site properly  :)
    Please see above photo in comment
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,054
    Ah - it wasn't there when I posted  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,054
    I think that's quite tricky. If the wall at the far end belongs to that house [I think that's what you're saying] then that's the major obstacle. You'd probably need their permission to put anything against it, especially soil, and that would possibly affect insurance too.
    It would certainly take a fair old bit of filling, although the normal solution would be to remove that top section of grass and use it to help level it out.

    One thing that I don't quite get is the entrance to that patio at the house. It looks as if it leads directly onto the grass. Is that just the photo, or am I missing something?  :)

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,248
    You wouldn't be able to level off with the lawn completely,the grass,/, soil would be half way up the fence,which would either rot or fall over. Unless I'm reading your plan incorrectly
  • seacrowsseacrows Posts: 219
    It's entirely possible that you would need planning permission to change the surface level by that much. In which case you'd also need proper building and engineering plans for the retaining wall. Also drainage plans. I think the maximum you can raise land by without planning permission is 30cm, and there are rules about subsequent fence heights too.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,054
    It's not going against the fence - it's going against another wall internally. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Kanger_roo2004Kanger_roo2004 Posts: 7
    edited August 2021
    Fairygirl said:
    I think that's quite tricky. If the wall at the far end belongs to that house [I think that's what you're saying] then that's the major obstacle. You'd probably need their permission to put anything against it, especially soil, and that would possibly affect insurance too.
    It would certainly take a fair old bit of filling, although the normal solution would be to remove that top section of grass and use it to help level it out.

    One thing that I don't quite get is the entrance to that patio at the house. It looks as if it leads directly onto the grass. Is that just the photo, or am I missing something?  :)

    No the wall at the end and everything you see in the photo is my house, you can see the neighbours house on the far left but my garden/wall wouldn’t go near their property as theirs starts further back.

    I don’t get your confusion about the patio and the grass, how else would I access the lawn lol? If it helps here’s a photo from the other end of the garden 




  • You wouldn't be able to level off with the lawn completely,the grass,/, soil would be half way up the fence,which would either rot or fall over. Unless I'm reading your plan incorrectly
    You have read it incorrectly, I want to take down the fence and replace it with a brick retaining wall with fence on top, much like the one in front of my house and conservatory in the photo   
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