Our clients recently purchased a new home on Mercer Island. The landscape had long been neglected and needed a serious upgrade. We removed all of the existing landscape in the front and side yard to give everything a fresh look with a design that would fit the property. The biggest portion of the project came in the backyard where we built a four foot tall retaining wall along the back hill. Our clients are planning to build a new deck off the back of the house and they needed a level, sound area to begin construction. The wall is roughly 50 feet in length, built using Belgard's Diamond Pro Retaing Wall Block. Rather than try to remove all of the existing ivy on the back hill we built small planting areas for various focal plants to be installed once the deck is finished. The front and side yard had some major elevation changes to contend with. We installed close to 50 Huckleberry risers to create a winding staircase from the backyard to the front. Basalt boulders were used to create mounded planter beds along the path. To fill in the sections between the risers we installed roughly 3 ton of Pennsylvania Bluestone to create a natural looking path from the backyard to the front entry. We left large gaps in the bluestone to accommodate various ground cover planting. Again, once the deck is completed we will be coming back to do a full planting install. Along the driveway was a large slope covered with blackberry. We assumed that the slope had some kind of rockery supporting it but after removing the vegetation we learned that there was nothing holding the slope back. We installed a second retaining wall in this area which will also act as a dog run. It was an unplanned portion of the project but in the end our clients ended up with a pretty large area of usable space. For plantings above this wall we used Arbutus, Rock Rose, and Oregon Grape. When we return to do the rest of planting we will be installing a variety of ground cover and succulents to help with erosion. The new deck should be finished early spring so we can return to finish with the planting. We will also be installing a new irrigation system and LED low voltage lighting system. This landscape has come a long way since we started and we are really looking forward to putting the finishing touches on it this spring!