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North Vancouver
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604-317-1180

Vancouver retaining walls and excavation services -  Dig Yardscapes offers services in retaining wall construction and excavating for homeowners in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland including North Vancouver, West Vancouver  & Burnaby. 

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Dig This - Our blog about retaining walls, excavation and stuff.

It's finally here... our brand new website!

Derek Ing

It's been a bit of a long time coming, but we're very pleased to announce the launch of our brand new website!

We did an all around revamp of the look and feel, as well as added plenty more content to be as helpful to you as possible.

Be sure to check out...

  • Our guidelines page. We've done all the grunt work for you and included links to all city and district regulations around retaining walls and slopes for the different parts of the Lower Mainland.
  • Way more awesome retaining walls page. Lots more details on retaining walls including pros and cons for the different options you have at your disposal. If you're hemming and hawing between different types of walls, this should be a big help!

  • Visuals galore. We added plenty more snaps of our projects on our photos page.

We'd love to get your feedback in the comments. And if you find that there is any info missing or anything else you'd like to see here, be sure to let us know. We value your input!

We'd also like to thank our marketing consultant Martina Iring for all her help with the content and the SEO! We hope that you'll agree our website is fun to read :)

Best erosion control plants for your retaining wall slope - perennials

Derek Ing

Ferns grow abundantly in Vancouver and BC - helping to stabilize slopes and prevent erosionSo you've built a retaining wall (or several) on your property. The next step in your landscaping adventure is to get planting on those new slopes that your retaining wall is holding up. Whether you've got one large slope, or several tiered areas, you need some greenery in there to call the project finished.

Your favourite plants, flowers and shrubs are a great start. But we also recommend that you add some plants that are known for minimizing soil erosion into the mix. These plants spread quickly (both above and below ground). Your rock solid wall will get an extra boost from a slope peppered with these erosion controllers.

Erosion preventing perennials

This list of perennials that thrives in Vancouver and the West Coast is sure to get you going...

  • Shield Fern (Dryopteris filix-mas) - You see ferns all over the forest floor and on many a slope for good reason. They are natural erosion preventers and soil creators. 
  • Bugleweed(Ajuga reptans) - Mahogany leaves and spiky blue flowers add an eye pleasing punch to your landscape.
  • Pussy slope(Antennaria) - This hardy plant is perfect for dry areas and can even withstand foot traffic. This silvery-grey foliage will call even the most inhospitable slope home.
  • Snow in Summer(Cerastium tomentosum) - You guessed it - this plant is named for snowy white flowers and is know for its awesome creeping ability.
  • Cliff Green(Paxistima canbyi) - This evergreen perennial is also quite the spreader and sports while flowers in the summer.
  • Fleece Flower(Persicaria affinis) - If you love brightly coloured flowers, use this mat-forming bloom to add some colour to your slope.
  • Ribbon Grass(Phalaris arundinacea) - This grass with lovely white striped blades is an aggressive one and will have your slope in shape in no time.

Try planting these perennials to make your retaining wall look right at home on your property and add some additional slope stabilizing power. Gotta love the kill two birds with one stone principle! If you're looking to get some landscaping done after Dig has finished your retaining wall, let us know. We'd be happy to recommend one of our local, Vancouver landscaping crews.

In the next post, we'll look at some trees and shrubs that can also help with erosion control. Stay tuned and happy summer!

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Dig removes a 3500lb cedar stump with ease, yeehaaw!

Derek Ing

Little Dig sure made short work of this massive tree stump in Burnaby!

When you bring in an arborist for tree removal services, you're more often than not left with a large tree stump in your yard. Unless you plan to leave the stump as part of your landscape, it's gotta go and you definitely can't get it out on your own.

If you're looking for stump removal, Little Dig is ready to take on the challenge, no matter how big your stump is. Get in touch with us today about our tree stump removal services.

3 Cheers for Concrete Blocks!

Derek Ing

Concrete retaining wall New WestminsterWhen it comes to retaining wall material, you have a lot of choices.  When you envision your ideal backyard landscape ( or yardscape as we here at Dig call it!), what do you see?  Perhaps a quaint English brick or stone wall, or a beautiful West coast style wood wall?  You might not, being the green loving Vancouverite you are, think of concrete blocks right off the top of your head. But the Dig Boys love working with concrete blocks, and recommend it as your retaining wall choice. 

WHY GO FOR CONCRETE?

Concrete blocks are safe, stable and built to last.  A concrete block retaining wall requires a mortar-less installation which can be done year round (especially in our balmy North West climate).  Brick and wood are notorious for collapse, as brick requires impeccably applied grout and mortar and wood requires braces and tie backs. You concrete blocks aren't going anywhere.

Concrete blocks are an affordable option that gives you an extra bang for your buck thanks to their long-life durability.  Wood may stand out as the most affordable choice, but keep in mind that wood has the cheapest up-front cost.  Wood has the shortest life span of retaining wall materials, and can be prone to rot or infestation if not treated properly.

Contrary to what you might imagine, concrete blocks are a very versatile option for retaining walls. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and finishes.  They give you the ability to add curves or corners to your yardscape, while an option like wood limits you to straight lines.  If you’re concerned with so much gray, add a little ivy here, some plants there, and before you know it your retaining wall will blend right into your natural landscape.  

Concrete blocks can be a very eco-friendly choice. West Coasters are famous for our earth loving recycling spirits, and us Dig Boys are proud to uphold this image.  Dig uses blocks made out of recycled concrete to build up those fine retaining walls.

We're flexible to work with you and any retaining wall material you may choose, but we definitely like, or shall we say, “dig,” concrete blocks above all options.  We hope you “dig” them too!