Ways to Use Retaining Walls in Your Landscaping

A retaining wall is a structure made from rock, wood or pavers that restricts soil movement or stabilizes property. While retaining walls often have a specific function, they also can be a beautiful addition to landscaping. Here are a few ways you can use retaining walls in your landscaping to protect your property and add a lovely hardscape.

Hill Stabilization

One of the most common ways retaining walls are used is for stabilizing hills for erosion control. Using a wall at the bottom of a hill or slope can reduce the possibility of land or mudslides that can erode topsoil. This can create a stunning border while protecting your property.

Tiered Hills

Not only can retaining walls stabilize hills, they can create tiered, useable flat areas on your hilled areas. Adding two, three or more tiers of flat steps up your hill can give you planting areas for flowers or produce, expending your useable land space on your property.

Sunken Patios

A retaining wall can be used to create a sunken patio that is surrounded by beautiful stone. Imagine stepping down into a patio or fire pit area that is carved out of the soil and lined with rocks or pavers. Retaining walls can also incorporate seating along the wall, often referred to as a sitting wall, great for patio areas.

Retaining walls can be made using many different types of materials, but stone and pavers are the most popular due to durability and aesthetics. If you are interested in adding retaining walls to your property, talk to your local landscaper that offers hardscaping and retaining wall installation. Together you can design a retaining wall that will add function and beauty to your home and property.

Posted on behalf of:
Maxwell Hardscapes
Sherrills Ford, NC 28673
(704) 469-5766

Creating a Stunning Raised Garden

Retaining walls have many functional uses, from preventing erosion to creating tiered, useable areas on slopes. However, not all retaining walls are for purely function. One beautiful way to use a retaining wall is to build a raised garden. Not only do you have an area to plant, the retaining walls can be a gorgeous focal point, even when planting season is over.

Benefits of a Raised Garden

There are good reasons to build a garden above ground. While ground gardens are better for large vegetables, when you just want a smaller herb or flower garden, above ground has its advantages. Some of the benefits of a raised garden include:

  • Better view. If you are building a flower garden, raised is easier to see and enjoy for improved curb appeal for your home.
  • Reduce insects. Keeping your garden above ground can help minimize insects and pests that want to use your garden for food. This is a good place for keeping slugs and snails at bay.
  • Less problems. Raised garden have their benefits. They have less erosion, root problems, good drainage, easier weed control and no tilling needed. You can save time and money on maintaining your garden.

Raised gardens, especially those built from natural stone, can be a stunning focal, functional hardscape for your yard, Plus, they can be easier to maintain than in-ground gardens. However, you do need some expertise to build stone retaining walls.

If you want a gorgeous, raised garden, talk to your local landscaper that builds retaining walls from natural stone. They can create a stone raised garden that is functional and add a beautiful focal piece for your yard.

Posted on behalf of:
Lane Landscaping
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(770) 609-4510

Do you Need a Retaining Wall?

Retaining walls can a beautiful way to enhance the landscaping of your home. They can be used for many decorative purposes, from building a raised flower bed or garden, to edging your driveway or yard. However, not all retaining walls are for aesthetics; they can have a function and need to protect your home and property. Here are some of the functional uses for a retaining wall and how to determine if you may need one.

Slope Erosion

One of the most common reasons for adding a retaining wall for functional reasons is to stop slope or hill erosion. Wet weather and other factors can cause soil to erode on slopes, creating a slide of top soil down the slope. This can ruin landscaping and cause damage to your home and property. A retaining wall can give sloped areas the support that it needs to stop erosion and prevent a mud slide on your property.

Use of Hilled Area

Another reason to add a retaining wall for functional purposes on a hill is to create useable areas. Slopes and hills can be difficult to plant or use; retaining walls can create flat tiers out of a hill for planting or entertaining areas. This can help make the most of your property and add value to your home by enhancing your outdoor space.

If you have erosion occurring due to a steep slope or hill, adding a retaining wall can protect your investment in your property. It can also add beauty and function for your landscaping projects. Talk to your local landscaper about how adding a retaining wall can benefit your property.

Posted on behalf of:
Mobile Joe’s Landscaping
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(770) 360-5604

Benefits of Adding a Retaining Wall

Retaining walls are used to hold soil, whether they create an above ground planter or they secure a hill or sunken space. These hardscapes can be made from wood, rock, brick or pavers, usually used for function, but they can also be a beautiful addition to a landscape design. There are many benefits to using a retaining wall on your property. Here are a few of those benefits.

  • Erosion protection. The main function of retaining walls is to stop erosion. You will see retaining walls used at the bottom of hills and slopes, or tiered up a hill, protecting homes, structures and driveways from mud slides.
  • Additional planting space. Using retaining walls, you can tier a hill for gardens on each level or make a garden above ground on a small patio. It can be a way to make the most of your yard for planting, even if you have hills or limited soil space.
  • Edging. If you have hills or slopes surrounding your property, a small retaining wall can create a distinct edge to your yard or follow the line of your driveway. Retaining walls can also create a sunken patio or fire pit with a secure edge.
  • Artistic touches. Retaining walls are often functional, but they can also add an artistic touch or classic design to your landscaping. Natural stone, brick or uniform pavers can all be used in different ways to enhance your outdoor space.

Retaining walls are mostly used on property with slope or hills, but any landscape design can be improved with these versatile hardscapes. Talk to your local landscaper about the benefits of adding a retaining wall to your landscape design for function or esthetics.

Posted on behalf of:
Lane Landscaping
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(770) 609-4510

Reimagining Retaining Walls

You see basic retaining walls everywhere, from standard modular block walls to bricks or landscaping timbers. While these walls are functional and can improve the beauty of the property, they can lack imagination. Retaining walls are great for creating a tiered slope for gardening or to outline your property or driveway – they also can protect your property from harmful erosion. However, they can also be works of art when you use a little creativity in design.

Design Ideas for Retaining Walls

If you have been planning to add a new retaining wall or replacing an old one, consider the options available. While uniform modular blocks or bricks work fine, why not explore some creative options? Here are some ideas to make your retaining wall spectacular – a functional, yet attractive, addition to your property.

  • Add some curves. Curves can make a big difference in the aesthetic appeal of your new wall. Skip the straight lines and work with your contractor to find curvy options to soften the look of your new wall.
  • Natural stone creations. Most retaining walls are very uniform; break the mold and get creative with natural stones. Adding fieldstones intermixed with river rock and other natural stone can create an intriguing design. Stay away from the uniformity for a natural wall look.
  • Use different colored bricks, stones or blocks to create patterns in your wall. Add geometric designs or unique patterns to give your retaining wall an arty appeal.

Talk to your hardscape specialist about ideas for your new retaining wall. There is no reason to settle for a boring, standard wall when there are so many options to make it imaginative.

Posted on behalf of:
Maxwell Hardscapes
Sherrills Ford, NC 28673
(704) 469-5766

Retaining Walls for Flat Spaces

In most cases, retaining walls are used to secure slopes or hills and make better use of landscaping space. While stopping erosion and maximizing space on properties with uneven ground is a useful attribute of retaining walls, they can also be utilized for flat spaces. Here are a few ideas on how to use retaining walls to spruce up your flat landscaping areas.

Planter Boxes

Retaining walls are excellent for creating planter boxes near your patio or around your yard. Stone or brick retaining walls can be designed in squares, rectangles or circles, either standing alone or connected to other hardscapes.

Sunken Patios

Add depth to your flat space by creating a sunken patio area. This is a perfect spot for a fire pit or fireplace for long nights out in your outdoor living space. Make the most of the area by creating a retaining wall ledge that is chair-height to double as seating for your sunken patio.

Fencing, Edging or Barrier

A retaining wall can be built to create a barrier or fence for your yard. This can be a beautiful addition to your landscaping, especially when made from stone or brick. Use across your front yard, on the edge of driveways or to section spaces in your outdoor living space (a wall between the outdoor kitchen and patio is a good example).

You don’t need a hilly piece of property to find excellent uses for retaining walls in your landscape design. Talk to your local landscaper that offers retaining wall design and installation to come up with ideas to enhance your flat space. You may be surprised how much elegance and beauty your new retaining walls can bring to your landscaping.

Posted on behalf of:
Mobile Joe’s Landscaping
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(770) 360-5604

Creative Tips for Adding Retaining Walls to Your Property

Retaining walls can be used for function and style in your landscaping. For function, they can be used to hold back soil on a slope or hill to stop erosion. For style, they can be used to create beautiful planting areas for gardens or to make different levels for your outdoor living area. There is no need for any retaining wall to be dull or boring. Use these creative tips to make your retaining walls beautiful and functional: 

  • Round or curved walls. Designing a retaining wall in a circle for a new garden planter or a curved edge to hold back the slope on the edge of your yard softens the look of your wall.
  • Natural stone. If you want a classic or rustic look, choose natural stone for your retaining wall material. There are many varieties, from cut stone pavers to beautiful, naturally-shaped river rock.
  • Sunken patios. One way to use retaining walls in an otherwise flat yard is to create a sunken patio. This can be a great place for a fire pit or fireplace where your friends and family can gather. The retaining wall can be rounded or with straight edges, with a few steps leading down to your bi-level patio area.

Whether you are building a small flower garden or want a large retaining wall to secure a steep slope, hiring a qualified landscaper to design and install your wall is a good idea. Larger walls may need to meet local building codes and need to be carefully installed for engineering purposes. Contact your local landscaper to begin designing a new retaining wall that is beautiful and functional for your home.

Posted on behalf of:
Mobile Joe’s Landscaping
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(770) 360-5604

Doing Your Retaining Walls Right

A retaining wall can fix a problem slope or highlight a garden bed.  But it’s important the wall be properly constructed or the problem that was to be fixed can become an unsightly mess.  Before jumping head first into construction, examine the area and then put in stakes at the opposite ends of where the proposed wall.  Tie twine between the stakes.  This will ensure a straight wall.

Building a Sturdy Retaining Wall

For a sturdy wall, excavate the soil at the rate of four inches per three feet of wall.  Next, add an inch or so of base material and then compact the area with a hand tamper.  Do this in stages until the base is complete.  Base material is a mixture of sand and crushed rock and available at most home improvement stores.

The next step is to start laying the bricks. Lay the bricks one at a time and end with a full block.  It helps to place soil in front of the blocks in the first row to assure they stay in place. Depending on the size of the wall it may be necessary to cut some of the blocks to make them fit correctly.  A masonry saw will be needed to safely and efficiently make the cuts.

If the blocks in the first row are not even, raise the low block and add additional base material. Once the first row is complete, level the row gently with a hand tamper.  Add the next row of block, always trying to end with a full block.  As additional rows are added the weight or the blocks will keep the rows level.

As each level of the wall is built, fill behind the rock with crushed gravel and gently tamp the gravel into any open spaces.  This step is needed to help with drainage and will keep tree and weed roots from weakening and destroying the wall.

Unfortunately, building a retaining wall right is not always as easy as it sounds. Save yourself the time and hassle by hiring an experienced landscaper to make sure you get the job done right!

Posted on behalf of:
Maxwell Hardscapes
Sherrills Ford, NC
(704) 469-5766

How Can Retaining Walls Improve Your Property?

One of most beautiful, functional structures on a landscaped property is the stone retaining wall. For any home built on property with slopes or hills, retaining walls can be used in a variety of ways to protect and enhance the land. While some retaining walls are added purely for aesthetic purposes, most have a function. Whether it’s reducing erosion or offering support, retaining walls are an excellent investment to improve your property.

Common Retaining Wall Functions

Retaining walls can range from only a few to several feet in height. The size and strength of the wall will all depend on the function. Retaining walls can be made from several types of materials, but arguably some of the most beautiful are those made with formed pavers. However, the function remains the same. The most common reasons for adding a retaining wall include:

  • Erosion control. Often retaining walls will be added to reduce erosion on hills and slopes. These walls are usually placed at the bottom of a slope or tiered down the side of a hill.
  • Leveling property. To create a level lawn or yard on a sloped property, many homeowners will use retaining walls to support a leveled area.
  • Supporting gardens or tiers. Many homeowners prefer to have abrupt level changes versus a slope, using the different levels for gardens or landscaping opportunities. Retaining walls support these different levels to create a beautiful area for planting.

If you want to add depth, stability and character to your sloped property, consider using retaining walls to achieve the best results. Using concrete, brick or natural stone pavers can create strong retaining walls that will also add curb appeal to your home. Talk to your local paver supply and service installer to discuss adding retaining walls to your property this year.

Posted on behalf of Tri County Pavers & Design
1925 Park Place
Boca Raton, FL 33486
(561) 738-5522

Creative Uses For Landscape Timbers

While many types of wood products have become increasingly expensive in the last few years, one of the most inexpensive is landscape timbers. Although they are not designed to build a deck or other major construction projects, they are commonly used for edging and building low retaining walls but can be used for many outdoors projects. If you find a good deal on landscape timbers at your local landscape supply store, here are some creative ideas for using them in your outdoor living areas.

Walkways

One of the ways to make the most out of landscape timbers is by building a walkway. Since timbers are designed to be placed in dirt, they are more resistant to rotting than most lumber. Instead of needing to build above ground like a deck, timbers can be laid on the ground, requiring a much lower investment of time and money. Cut the timbers into identical pieces, measured to the width of your path. Then use boards the length of the walkway to hold the pieces in place on either side. You can use gravel, mulch or even just dirt to hold the boards in place.

Benches

Landscape timbers can make a great rustic bench for your patio or garden area. They can be laid across bricks or blocks, using rebar to hold the seat pieces together. You can also make the entire bench from timbers, stacking them to create legs with rebar threaded through them into the ground, with additional pieces for the seat or back.

Next time you’re visiting your local landscape supply store, take a look at the timbers available and ask about any “inferior” timbers they may have on sale. Often timbers with flaws may be discounted, yet they can be a great source of lumber for creative homeowners on a budget.

Posted on behalf of Cunningham Landscape Group