How to Build a Garden Wall With Paver Stones


Until recently, creating garden walls was a task meant only for a professional or a capable do-it-yourselfer. Messy concrete and deep trenches were necessary to hold bricks in place; considerable time and money could be dropped into the project. With the advent of interlocking paver stones, creating a custom garden wall can be a simple weekend activity with extraordinary results.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Paver stones
  • Gravel
  • Rubber mallet
  • Plan out your wall. For mortarless interlocking pavers, the Ask the Builder website recommends you keep the height under 3 feet for optimum strength.

  • Create the foundation. The depth requirements will vary depending on your area and whether the wall will be used as a retainer. If your locale is prone to frost, digging down below the frost line will greatly improve the longevity of your garden wall. If you are in a relatively dry, temperate location, you may only need to take a few inches of topsoil off to level the ground. Regardless of climate, be sure that the foundation is level, smooth and firmly packed.

  • Lay the first course. Make sure the pavers rest snugly together. Tap them down with a heavy duty rubber mallet as you go. If using hollow pavers, fill each layer with gravel as you go.

  • Lay the next courses, staggering the paver edges so that they are offset. This will add stability to your wall. You may need half-bricks for the ends of every other row; many paving stone companies sell garden pavers in halves for this purpose, but if you have to cut them yourself, simply use a brick chisel and hammer to score a line around the entire block and then give the chisel a firm hit with the hammer. The block should break in half.

  • Cap off the wall with capstones designed for the purpose. This not only enhances the look of your finished wall, but protects hollow pavers from water and frost damage.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are using the wall as a retaining wall, be sure your foundation is at least 4 inches deep for each 3 feet of height. Fill a 2-inch layer of gravel along the new foundation site to ensure that moisture build-up behind the retaining wall has a place to drain. Backfill with soil after each course, tamping the ground firmly into place. To increase the stability of a retaining wall, slant the pavers into the slope by adding each course slightly further back than the layer before.
  • If you plan on building your garden wall any higher than three feet, consult a professional landscape architect. Poorly planned walls can topple dangerously. Failed retaining walls can cause property damage.

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