How to Use Retaining Walls in Landscaping: 75+ Functional and Aesthetic Ideas
Retaining wall made of wood in the landscape design of the local area
To understand how retaining walls will look in landscape design, photos of their implementations taken in other areas will help in the best way possible. But in addition to their appearance, it is worth knowing how they are created in order to understand what difficulties can be encountered in their design, and what problems of the site can be solved with their help..
A beautiful small flower bed with an original support made of antique wood
Rust effect metal decorative post
Small concrete fence with pebble finish
Retaining wall finished in glossy chocolate tiles
Design options and the purpose of their installation on the site
Retaining walls and paths occupy a special place in landscape design. They should not be underestimated, since in some cases they can look even more successful than flower beds and alpine slides. Moreover, with flower beds, they can be well combined with them, creating a kind of hanging gardens..
Retaining wall is an important element of landscape design
It is difficult to spoil the landscape design of the site with retaining walls, on the contrary, they allow solving not only the issue of the presence of stationary decorations, but also a number of complex problems associated with the soil on the site. With their help, you can eliminate the likelihood of seasonal soil creep associated with excess moisture or excess soil..
Retaining mesh made of gabion filled with large stone
From the point of view of a decorator, they can also be considered to create various zones, some of which will perform one function, and some will perform another..
Brick retaining wall zoning recreation area and lawn
However, the walls differ not only in functional type, but also in their dimensions, although both of these concepts are interrelated. An extremely decorative function is performed by miniature and compact walls up to half a meter high. Medium-sized walls of about 50 – 70 centimeters in height already perform the function of soil containment – a support, and tall objects, in height exceeding 1 meter, already perform, first of all, full containment of soil in especially large volumes. They are used as a rational solution to ground movement problems.
Low retaining structure with a decorative function
Materials used and methods of decoration
However, the walls can be distinguished by other features, for example, by the materials used. Surely you have seen beautiful retaining walls in landscape design in any areas. They are made from natural, composite materials, cement, metal and even plastic..
Retaining wall made of thin slats with corner bench
Objects can be completely made of natural stone, but their functionality is quite limited due to obvious reasons, therefore, more often natural stone is used as a decorative component, and the base is still made of brick, concrete or reinforced concrete slabs. At the same time, both ready-made products can be used as a basis, so they can be created on the site from scratch on the basis of available components.
Concrete blocks half submerged in the ground
Natural stones such as sandstone, limestone and limestone can be used for wall cladding..
Antique finishing bricks will decorate the facade of the retaining wall in the yard
Metal walls are usually not lined, but used as they are, but additionally processed to avoid premature damage to the structure and increase the service life. Plastic can be used at all without additional processing, provided its high decorative properties.
Dense metal support structure
For cladding, bricks, tiles, and in rare cases even mosaics are also widely used. Plants planted on the fenced area can act as an additional decor. The only condition for this is only that their root system is underdeveloped. Otherwise, plants can irreparably damage the walls over time..
Retaining wall made of classic red brick with aging effect
Features of the design development
Since the walls represent engineering structures, some rules should be followed for their design, which relate to the following categories:
- Dimensions and proportions;
- Auxiliary elements.
Decorative stone support for soil support
Regardless of the type of walls, they must necessarily have a foundation. This is necessary, first of all, to create a stable foundation that prevents the walls from self-destruction under the influence of a combination of factors. Also, the foundation will additionally restrain the soil..
Retaining wall of block sections in a landscape of strict sustained style
Important: the foundation can not be installed only if the wall is only decorative and is used to create geoplastics – artificial correction of the flat relief of the site.
Retaining hay designed to prevent soil displacement
If the foundation will not be equipped, it is required instead to create a wall structure that will restrain the fertile soil layer, especially when it comes to multi-level terracing. In this case, not a separate foundation will be created, but a deepened part of the wall, expanded at the base. It will serve the same function. In this case, the wall will have to be deepened by at least a third of its height, respectively, at a height of 90 cm, the underground part will be 30 cm.The width of the lower part should be twice the upper.
Concrete wall with a small foundation
The walls must contain drainage elements. If desired, lighting elements can also be introduced into the design, which will illuminate the site at twilight..
Landscaping of the adjoining area with good lighting
There are many ways to build a retaining wall landscape design. These include several basic designs, each of which has its own advantages and features. The most popular of them are three:
- Full fencing;
- Compact fences.
Original retaining wall made of gabions
The least costly in this case will be the use of gabions. In this case, do-it-yourself retaining walls are made very quickly and do not require much patience and perseverance. Similar designs began to be used during the Renaissance. Their design has changed somewhat, but the purpose and main features remain the same. Their feature is multifunctionality, so they can be used not just as part of a general concept or design feature, but as a full-fledged basis. But it is worth noting that in this case, the site will more resemble a fort protected in every sense..
Retaining walls made of concrete slabs along the stairs
More attractive in this case will be small walls made mainly of stone and adhesive mortar, as well as larger structures created in the same style, which immediately perform the function of terracing, and not just decorating the site. It is much more difficult to create them, but if the style of the site is a priority, then their use will definitely be preferable..
The wall as a decorative element visually divides the territory into micro-areas
They are made quickly, and most importantly, of any height. For their construction, no concrete solution is required, but only natural stones and a rectangular metal mesh – a container. The only condition is that the grid cells must be smaller than the smallest stone that fills it. Gabions can be stacked one on top of the other and thus form the height of the wall. They can be used for terracing or simply to contain large masses of soil. Within the city and outside it, you can often find the same structures that hold the ground level when creating bridges and embankments.
The shape, size and color of the stone filler affects decorative structures made of gabions
The peculiarity of this method is that all meshes used must have the same size and compatible shape. It is also advisable to use stones from one deposit in order to preserve the color gamut throughout the entire area..
It is recommended to use a filler stone that is one third larger than the mesh of the mesh container
The best option is considered as a base taken from a polymer-coated metal mesh. It will protect the structure from corrosion and will allow you to keep the wall intact for a long time..
Harmonious combination of gabions with the local landscape
Full walls and fences
If time resources allow more, you can make a more attractive wall, but no less functional wall. It will be based on a concrete or reinforced concrete slab, cast on site. Under it, it is required to create from polypropylene pipes and crushed stone.
Simulation of a low fence with a retaining wall
To create the body of the wall, you will need a collapsible formwork, and when creating high and multi-level structures with steps, also a frame. The wall that has frozen on the next day can be freed from the formwork and decorated according to your own design – with tiles, wild or artificial stone, etc. But there is another interesting option that you can implement on your site..
Retaining wall acts as a foundation for the fence
This method is most acceptable for those who do not have sufficient funds to buy a wild stone, and there is no way to find such a construction option nearby. In this case, a fresh, barely set concrete composition can be textured like a stone..
Large wild stone that serves as a fence and retaining wall
This is done with a trowel, which marks the future cobblestones. Each must have its own unique size, shape and position. According to the markings, artificial seams are created, along which furrows are created on the concrete surface.
A beautiful combination of retaining walls made of different materials in one yard
After hardening, the concrete can be additionally treated with metal brushes to create a stone effect, wash off the dust and, after the surface has dried, paint the surface and open it with a waterproof facade varnish.
Garden path and seating area decorated with a retaining wall finished with wild stone
Advice: paint adjacent areas in different shades to create the illusion of a variety of stone types used
Several types of rocks on one wall in a classic garden
Retaining walls in landscape design: photos of miniature walls and borders
A wall of small width (up to 20-30 cm) can be laid without using a concrete base. The starting material will be blocks, brick or natural stone. They will be laid on a strip foundation. Behind the wall, from the side of the unpaved embankment, it will be necessary to install drainage in the form of crushed stone, which is wrapped in a roll of agrofibre. From above, this roll will be covered with a fertile layer of soil flush with the installed wall.
Low concrete wall decorating the landscaping of the courtyard
As for the masonry itself, it is better to arrange it using not a concrete solution, but a special glue designed for gluing stones. It is sold as a dry mix that is diluted with water to the desired consistency..
A chaotically folded wall made of different rocks
Advice: the solution should not be liquid, so as not to leave drips and other marks on the already finished part of the wall. It is very difficult to display them, but they look unpresentable..
Drywall flat stone retaining wall
It is important to lay the adhesive in such a way that it does not reach the edge of the wall by 2-3 cm.If after installation it is still visible, the excess will have to be removed manually.
Accurate work on finishing the wall with stone
Another important point when creating walls is the high-quality preparation of materials. For example, a stone is difficult to connect with each other due to the large amount of dust and debris. Therefore, it is advisable to rinse it with a large amount of water with pressure and only then use it..
Low retaining walls, erected in areas of terrain with a sharp difference in height
Masonry can be used classic or oblique. In the second case, the wall will not have a flat surface, so it will have to be covered with a horizontal layer of stones. But in general, such masonry will look more natural and match the style of the rock, provided that the layer of adhesive solution is invisible..
Wall as an artistic and decorative element of landscape design
Parting words and conclusions
As is clear from the above material, retaining walls made of stone occupy a special place in landscape design. It allows you to apply geoplastics on the site, form a relief, give it the correct geometric shapes, play with levels. The latter possibility is especially clearly visible when introducing such a design technique as terracing..
Multilevel retaining wall with bright, beautiful flower beds
Retaining walls are most successful when they flow into areas located on slopes, regardless of which part they are located in. They equally cope with the mission entrusted to them, if the site is located on the top of a hill, in its middle part, or even in the lowland. Moreover, in each case, they will perform different functions..
Retaining walls will help simplify the task of planning and decorating the site
Such walls work well in combination with steps, can act as an excellent base for benches, and also be used as delimiters of zones on the site. They will help not only to advantageously beat the non-standard relief, but also to create it from scratch on an absolutely flat area. It will be possible to do this if there is only one wall, and if a whole cascade of them is created..
Rational use of the garden area with a reinforcing wall
The last, but not insignificant, advantage of such an element may be the possibility of creating a real fence, the basis of which will be the same wall extending beyond the site. Use such an engineering structure on your site, and you will be able to appreciate all its advantages.