Updated: Jan 20
Retaining walls are required when you need extra support to prevent the soil on your land from moving downhill due to erosion. So, for houses that are built on slopes, this is a necessity. But just because you need a retaining wall, it doesn’t mean it can’t be a thing of beauty that adds value to your home’s landscape. Here are a few ideas that can really give that extra wow factor to your stone retaining walls.
Creating a Unique Water Feature
You don’t always need to use a retaining wall to retain soil – you can use it to retain water! You can give your landscape a stunning makeover by using retaining walls to create ponds and waterfalls, turning your backyard into an oasis of serenity.
Low Maintenance Gabion Baskets
Another creative idea to create a stone retaining wall is to build gabion baskets. These are cages or enclosures that are made from steel wire (and sometimes framed with wood), that are then filled with bricks or rocks and are then used as retaining walls. When stacked creatively or with multi-colored rocks, these gabion baskets can look stunning!
A great way to make your retaining wall really interesting is to use mixed rocks to create this feature. Mixed rocks can be of different shapes, sizes, and colors. This will create a really amazing wall that will definitely increase your curb appeal!
Multi-Level Retaining Walls
When your home is on a slope, it’s an opportunity to create something truly special. You can use stone retaining walls to create multi-layered gardens, and even tinkling waterfalls and pools.
Creating an Outdoor Kitchen
You can use your retaining walls as part of your outdoor kitchen! How, you ask? Simple! Grow an herb garden in the retaining wall right behind your outdoor kitchen. So, while you’re cooking, you can simply reach over and pluck the herbs you need to flavor your food!
A Tree Centerpiece!
You can create a small retaining wall around your favorite tree and make it the centerpiece of your garden. Surround your tree with colorful blossoms and turn your garden into a scented heaven! By the way, that retaining wall can also protect your tree’s roots from erosion.
A Brick Retaining Wall
Brick retaining walls can give your landscape a classic and orderly look. Added to that, the lovely red bricks will make your plants look even more vibrant.
Flagstone Retaining Wall
Flagstone may be a little expensive, but this natural stone can really spruce up your landscape. You can make your wall even more striking by using irregularly shaped and differently sized stones. This combination not only looks earthy, but it also manages to give a modern and sophisticated feel to your yard.
Beauty in Repetition
There is beauty in repetition. You can use blocks of stone that are all exactly the same size and shape and placed in a precise, repetitive pattern. This type of retaining wall design requires a lot of time, patience, and meticulous attention to detail. But it’s worth it. It will really increase your curb appeal.
Another great idea is using stones made of the same size and shape but different colors. Like a patchwork blanket – in stone! The idea is not to create a symmetrical pattern but to create a haphazard style. This will give your retaining wall a lovely warm and homey feel.
Adding a Staircase
A plain stone retaining wall can be somewhat boring. So, one way you can create a more interesting wall is to incorporate a staircase into it. Those steps are not just decorative, but they also allow you access to the upper levels of your wall.
Sandstone used in a repetitive block pattern can create a sense of old-world elegance but with a modern feel. This pale stone will up the ambiance of your landscape and create a luxurious feel to your yard. Sandstone, however, can cost a pretty penny, so be prepared to spend quite a bit if you want to go with this kind of a retaining wall. The good news is that this stone will last a lifetime.
Instead of creating a single high stone retaining wall, you could create multiple small terraces that rise gently. You can create lovely flowerbeds, decorative pebbles or even garden lights in each of these terraces. This is definitely a more time-consuming project than a single retaining wall, but the end result is truly beautiful.
Something that looks absolutely fantastic is a stone mosaic retaining wall. The natural stone pebbles are quirky and add a lovely touch of light color that is absolutely delightful. You can even add an integrated staircase into that wall, which will give your entire landscape a sense of continuity and blend the various features in your garden perfectly.