Retaining walls can be made of masonry, rocks, logs and even plants. The important element to keep in mind when landscaping your front yard with a retaining wall is that the only really vital aspect is the wall's ability to provide drainage. Loose walls can drain themselves, but bricks and cement blocks are going to require pipes or some other type of drainage addition. The landscaping part is up to your own imagination and creativity.
Stone Wall Divided by Steps
One way to incorporate a retaining wall that adds natural drainage is by building a stone wall with steps that are worked in as part of the walkway to your door. The opening provided by the steps gives your yard a natural entryway while the slope of the steps provides the much needed drainage participant in the design.
Loosely Piled Rock Wall
You can build a rustic retaining wall made of loosely piled rocks in your front yard without even needing cement. If you build with rectangular or square rounds, you prevent the potential for rolling that would arise as a problem if you built with round stones. Stack in triangular sections, and pack the earth into cracks or allow flowers to bloom so that your landscaping element here is a rock garden that also provides seepage for drainage.
Sloping Landscaped Walls
Sloping walls can provide a natural landscaping texture that drifts upward to your house. The sloping retaining wall is the perfect solution for those who want all that a retaining wall offers without having to put in the kind of work effort that goes with more stable walls. If the top slope is kept at a 37-degree angle and held in place by plants, you can add stones to build up to as much as a 50-degree angle.
If you have a gutter system that can take away the water, you can build a retaining wall that acts like a waterfall. Adding some rocks and plants to the streaming water that you need to retain will result in a waterfall effect. This is a good solution for those dealing with drainage issues associated with a stream that runs through your yard. Build the wall so that it slopes gently away and creates an aesthetically pleasing waterfall effect where the water falls over jutting rocks.
According to "Sunset Western Landscaping," the least expensive way to create level space on a steep slope is to build a deck. Your front yard deck can be worked into your landscaping by creating a container garden around the deck. Plant some trees in the backyard to prevent erosion. The desk will need to be built on stilts, but this gives your front yard a height issue that allows the container plants to complement the front yard trees and shrubs that will be branch-level with the deck.
- "Ortho's All About Creating Natural Landscapes;" Denny Schrock, Ed.; 2003
- "Sunset Western Landscaping;" Kathleen Norris Brenzel, Ed.; 1997
- he Landscape Design Site: Retaining And Garden Wall Pictures, Plans and Ideas
- Photo Credit breaking through the wall image by Artsem Martysiuk from Fotolia.com
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