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Landscape Solutions: Retaining Walls

By Whirl Construction (559 words)
Posted in Decorative Curbing on November 23, 2012

There are (1) comments permalink

When you think about landscaping, a few things that come to mind are usually flowers, shrubs, trees and laying down mulch. While plants are the icing on the cake, it is hardscaping that gives your landscaping structure. The structural features of your yard, like your walkways, decks, fences and patios, are all great examples of hardscaping. Hardscaping is about form as well as function, giving your landscaping personality while taking care of practical concerns. Fences mark boundaries, walkways direct people, and retaining walls corral soil. Landscapes that are not flat can pose a number of challenges. Slopes and hilly terrain can pose drainage challenges, erosion concerns and difficulty finding flat space for plants, parking and pathways. Retaining walls are often the best solution to these problems.

retained_wall_garden

There are many different types of retaining walls, from simple garden walls to massive, impressive sweeps allowing for flat parking on a hill. Trying to manipulate and contain a large amount of soil demands a knowledge of wall and soil engineering. While a DIY-homeowner can tackle a small garden wall in a weekend or two, larger projects are best left to experienced professionals.

A good retaining wall can:

  • help minimize or prevent erosion{#/pub/images/garden_flower.jpg}
  • control storm water drainage
  • create planting beds
  • create flat areas for patios and parking
  • create structure around walkways

One of the primary uses of retaining walls is transforming challenging or unsightly terrain into something with functional grace. Homes built into hillsides can use retaining walls to tackle embankments. A slope can be shaped to allow for a patio, planting areas or just enhanced aesthetics. Retaining walls can also cut through hilly property to create better parking or convenient turnarounds. By creating raised planting beds, retaining walls can make landscaping easier to maintain. Attractive and functional, they are healthier for the plants and easier on you by separating planting beds from the lawn. They can also help prevent nutrient-rich topsoil and fertilizer from washing away.

Interrupting a slope can also redirect storm water drainage and shore up disintegrating hillsides. A well-placed wall can be the difference between a wet and dry basement for homes located downhill. Establishing a solid wall around a paved path can help prevent water from pooling on the walk. Retaining walls can be built in many shapes and out of a variety of materials. A solid stone wall can last many, many years with proper maintenance. Natural stone is both gorgeous and effective. Concrete is functional and can be stamped or faced with natural stone. A professional will know what types of walls are best for your landscaping challenges and can design a wall that addresses your concerns while being aesthetically pleasing.

A well-designed retaining wall will beautify your home and increase its value while adding to the structural integrity and usefulness of your landscaping. If you think a retaining wall might be right for you, contact us at Whirl Construction for expert advice on your landscaping project.

Comments (1)

Max posted on: October 26, 2017

I've been thinking about getting a retaining wall for my back yard, and I think that being able to see the benefits from your article makes me want to do it sooner. I'm glad that you talked about being able to minimize or prevent erosion with a retaining wall, which I think would be good for us. I'm going to have to look at some different retaining wall options and protect our landscaping from erosion! Thanks!

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