Landscaping With Berms and Mounds - Part I - Weekend Yard Work Series

28 May
I did a little work in my backyard again this weekend. I still haven't done anything with the pergola my dad and I moved but I'm going to! To see our ingenious way of moving it with only 2 people and a floor jack check out this post: The Great Pergola Move. Be sure and leave me a comment if you have any great ideas for how to finish it!

But this weekend was all about berms and mounds... well... one berm/mound anyway!

Adding a berm or mound to landscaping

I had this lovely pile of crap pre-made mound left by the previous home owners in my backyard.

Here's a closer look...

Yep... it's a big ol' pile of junk... old grass and dirt on top of a pile of fireplace ashes and partially burned pieces of wood with weeds growing on top and a few rocks here and there for good measure.

I've actually heard that ashes are good for plants so I decided to just go with it and make it look like an intentional mound in my yard instead of just a pile of weeds.

So I raked and shoveled and pulled out large chunks of burned wood and rocks and huge weeds... and raked and raked some more... and then raked some more...

I bought a few plants (all I could afford at the moment but there will be more later!) I found that large piece of metal that's lying in front of the plants in the pile. And see that board lying behind the pile? That's blocking the large gaps underneath the fence... large enough that one small little dog might be able to squeeze through. I will be replacing the fence but it's not in my budget this year.

There are also a bunch of large rocks along the fence serving the same purpose as the board. I found a couple that I thought were kind of interesting and put them on the mound.

I also created a little more interest in the mound by hollowing out the portion where the little daisy looking tree thing is planted and used rocks I found in the pile to create a little wall.

I think it's looking better already! Mind you, it's not done yet. I am planning some sort of ground cover and weed blocking cloth to go over the mound but I have to wait for another free paycheck!

Remember the Contorted Filbert bush (to the right of the new yellow flowering thing)? Well, when I was at the nursery I priced them... a bush about one third the size of this one was $92!!! EEK! I'm glad I decided to keep it!

Roxanne and Pongo (my little escape artist dogs) enjoyed lying on the cool, semi weed free mound. I should have got a picture but I didn't think of it.

You can see in this picture that I've also planted some more arborvitae trees, I have a total of 6 now that will eventually grow up tall enough to block the view into the neighbor's windows.

Have you been doing any weekend yard work? What kind of plans do you have for your yard?

Stay tuned for Part II!

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  1. Thats coming along great and I can't wait to see what you do with the fence. The mound area is super interesting and I like the added height for contrast to the yard.

  2. Isn't it nice to work in the garden??? My berm is looking really weedy but I am so far away from finishing it!!!!!!!

    Your garden is looking beautiful!

  3. It's looking fabulous! A pretty vignette to see when you step out the back door!

  4. You did a lot of work already! It already looks amazing!! Have you every checked Craigslist for free plants? I have gotten some hostas that way here, and lilly's. Lowe's here also marks down their plants to 50% off when they are older, but you have to keep checking...and lastly see if there are any gardening clubs in your area, you can get great deals on plants that way that they are just dividing up. I love that yellow tree! :) Kimberley

    1. Thanks for your comment Kimberley, I hadn't even thought of Craigslist... I don't know why... I shop for other things on there! I always check the clearance section for plants, I think most stores have them and I've gotten some great deals there too!


  5. There's much to be said about butt-head neighbors...and previous homeowners who couldn't be bothered to put the stuff in the trash! The arborvitae might just do the trick in hiding the fence. They look nice. Have fun with the have the whole summer! Enjoy!

  6. Well, hard work certainly paid off here. I can imagine how it will look when it grows in with the rocks.


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