Retaining walls in the landscape: what and how can you make good “props”?


If a summer cottage or a personal plot is located in an area with difficult terrain, then when it is arranged, it is necessary to solve the issue of strengthening the slopes and slopes. Using retaining walls in the landscape, you can not only eliminate this problem, but also decorate the site with another architectural and planning element. Suitable materials for the construction of retaining walls are concrete blocks, natural stone, logs, bricks and gabion structures. Artificial structures are sometimes installed on completely flat areas in order to add flavor to the design of the site. On the fertile bulk land, magnificent flower beds are arranged, which look especially unusual and beautiful in a high place. You can enhance the effect of the height difference in the garden by planting specially selected plant varieties. In addition to planting flowers, support walls can serve as a basis for embedding additional decorative elements, which increases the functionality of their use.

This video shows how you can build retaining walls on the site with your own hands, using bricks or concrete blocks for this.

Methods for laying stone retaining walls

There are several ways to stack stones. However, in any case, the first row is laid in recesses specially prepared in the ground. The stones of the subsequent rows are laid out in a checkerboard pattern, thereby providing a reliable two-point support for each of them. To give special strength, the retaining walls made of stone are fastened with cement mortar. The walls, which play a more decorative role, are erected in a dry way:

  • Stacking stones of the same height in even horizontal rows is used in gardens decorated in a regular style. Sandstone or gneiss is used as a material. These types of stones do not create problems during processing, allowing the formation of the required number of blocks of equal size.
  • Laying rectangular stones of different heights in horizontal rows. Such a retaining wall looks less strict. It is considered universal, and therefore suitable for decorating any garden, regardless of the chosen style of landscape design. When choosing a material, pay attention to the shade of the stone.
  • In country-style estates, retaining walls are made of rubble stone. As a rule, these stones are of different sizes, which complicates the process of laying them. But the designer opens up a wide field for imagination when working with such material.
  • Cyclopean masonry of natural stones with a rounded shape is also popular with specialists. Both sea and river pebbles are ideal for this. Soil is poured into the spaces formed between neighboring stones, and special unpretentious varieties of flowering plants are planted.

The shape and size of the stones also determines the appearance of the future retaining wall.

The retaining wall, laid out in a dry way from stones of natural origin selected in size and color, is a decoration of the site

Sectional view of a dry stone wall:

Longitudinal section of a stone retaining wall, which clearly shows the main structural elements of this structure. The deviation of the wall from the vertical is 15 degrees

Schematic legend:

  1. The trench into which the foundation is laid, which serves as a solid foundation for the retaining wall. The width of the trench is 40 cm if the height of the wall to be constructed is equal to one meter.
  2. Drainage pipe that allows water to drain away. If you do not provide for the presence of drainage at the base of the wall, then the water accumulating behind it will wash the soil and destroy the structure.
  3. The bonding stone, laid with the long side deep into the foundation, provides additional stability to the structure. For the same purpose, when laying stones, a small slope is specially given to the wall, not more than 10-15 degrees.
  4. A layer of stone and crushed stone, which is used to fill the trench. When backfilling, the stone-crushed stone mixture is carefully compacted. Due to this, the wall becomes wider and much more stable.
  5. The niches formed between the individual stones are filled with earth. Sometimes nests are specially left between the stones in order to later plant ampelous (climbing) plants in them. After their growth, the wall turns into a beautiful decorative element of landscape design.

Note! Bell, armeria, beetroot, soapwort are suitable for supporting walls erected in sunny open places. Stonecrop, aubriet, saxifrage, St. John's wort, and stunted phlox also grow well in such conditions. You can plant lumbago in the sun, rejuvenated, freckle, veronica, gypsophila, herbal carnation. For retaining walls in the shade, you should choose Corydalis, Saxifrage, Cymballaria, Lobularia, Valsteinia, and ferns.

How to strengthen the terrace with logs?

In some regions, it is easier and cheaper to use logs with the same diameter to build support walls. A wooden retaining wall in landscape design looks no less beautiful than a stone structure.

One of the possible ways to construct a retaining wall from round logs of equal diameter, reliably keeping the slope from collapse

The logs are impregnated with special solutions that inhibit the process of decay, and are installed vertically in a previously dug trench. To keep the wall firmly in the ground, it is buried half a meter. Adjacent logs are placed tightly to each other. The structure will be level for a long time if a layer of rubble is poured onto the bottom of the trench and well tamped. The free space in the trench around the logs is covered with gravel and then filled with concrete.

Here is another example of arrangement:

Concrete retaining wall construction

To fill the concrete retaining wall, a shallow trench is also dug, into which the formwork of the required height is installed. For effective containment of the concrete mass, the formwork is reinforced from the outside with props. Before pouring the solution, a reinforcing frame made of metal rods and wires is installed. Also, pipes are laid at the base of the wall through which the water accumulating behind the retaining wall will be discharged.

A little secret - in order to ensure the evenness and smoothness of the front surface of the retaining wall, roofing material must be attached to the inner wall of the formwork

With the help of concrete, you can build quite impressive structures:

Using gabions and bricks

Retaining walls made of gabions - mesh boxes filled with natural stone - are easily erected with their own hands. Gabions are called bulk mesh containers made in the factory from metal wire with a protective anti-corrosion coating.

Gabion structures are actively used for the construction of retaining walls when terracing a site. Mesh containers filled with large rocks can last for decades

Mesh containers differ in size and shape, which can be:

  • box-shaped;
  • cylindrical;
  • mattress-mattress.

Box gabions are more suitable for retaining walls. The nets are brought to the site folded. Then they are straightened and manually filled with stones. In this case, large stones, exceeding the size of the mesh cells in diameter, are stacked along the edges of the container. The middle is filled with fine gravel.

Between themselves the mesh boxes are fastened directly at the installation site of the retaining wall with galvanized knitting wire. With the help of sharp pins that easily stick into the ground, the mesh boxes are securely fixed in place. So that the walls of the mesh do not bend when laying the filler, they are tightened with braces. The container loaded with stone and rubble is closed with a lid, which is attracted by a specially designed device. Gabion structures are characterized by a long service life. Under loads, the gabion structure is deformed, but not destroyed.

Important! When installing a retaining wall made of gabions in a garden area, you do not need to worry about drainage outlets, since water passes through the filler stone without hindrance.

Retaining walls were originally built in mountainous areas to reinforce dangerous slopes and to retain soil in vineyards. Gradually, this type of structures began to be used in landscape design. Retaining walls made of bricks can be seen in the garden plots. This affordable building material can be easily installed using a binder mortar into even walls.

The retaining wall, neatly laid out of bricks using various installation methods, beautifully frames the elevated area of ​​the site

All the considered methods of constructing retaining walls can be tested on their site by any person. The difficulty of work lies only in carrying weights, because the stones are rather heavy.

Therefore, it is better to carry out these works with several assistants. Of course, the involvement of professionals in the construction of the retaining wall saves a person from searching and delivering the necessary materials, as well as from hard manual labor that takes not only time, but also energy.

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Retaining wall: a functional decoration in the country

Today, many people are trying to acquire a summer cottage, because their own corner outside the city is a great opportunity to spend a weekend closer to nature in the fresh air.

But the territory of the site does not always have an even relief. Often, for garden plots, sites are set up on the slopes, which makes it extremely difficult to use them, beautiful arrangement and landscaping.

In such a situation, the ideal solution to the problem will be the use of retaining walls, which will not only strengthen the slopes, preventing soil movement, but will also become a highlight of landscape design when decorating a summer cottage.

Currently, the use of retaining walls has become an indispensable element for decorating a suburban area and dividing it into zones.


Choosing a retaining wall design

Of course, the use of a retaining wall in the landscape makes the problem area an excellent place for gardening or gardening. But the aesthetic appearance of the structure is also of particular importance.

Therefore, the first thing you should know about the construction of a retaining wall in your country house is the features of its use in the landscape. After all, it can be both decorative and functional.

The decorative retaining wall differs from the capital one in the material and design used. For its construction, gabions, wooden posts or bricks are used. For a capital structure, concrete or stone structures with a high-quality drainage system are best suited.

Several common techniques can be used to give retaining walls a truly decorative look. For example, to create a beautiful landscape, let climbing plants up the walls. Using them will give the structure a more natural look.

Retaining walls are great for use as flowerpot stands. You can also put a variety of decorative figures on them. This will greatly decorate the design of your summer cottage landscape.


Gabion is a volumetric mesh product filled with various materials. It is used to strengthen slopes, walls and river banks. The advantage of the gabion retaining wall is that for its construction you do not need to spend time on careful selection of stones and their neat laying, but you will have to purchase a mesh container.

Fill the gabion mesh with stones and attach the structure to a vertical flat surface. If you are building a low gabion wall (up to 1 m), then you do not need to lay the foundation. To save money, cover only the front of the gabion with decorative stone, and from the inside, fill the space between the wall and the slope with rubble or gravel.

Installing retaining walls makes the garden look stylish while maximizing the potential of the slope site.



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