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Retaining Wall Ideas and Suggestions

20 Mar

Retaining walls within your landscapes can add beauty, curb appeal and dollar value to your property if installed correctly. The building material of your home and its style will reflect the type of stone selected for your retaining walls.

The homeowners below have constructed a retaining wall with stone capped with brick, trying to match the brick color of the home. The cap is a great idea if you can come very close to selecting the exact color of brick.

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I wish there was a higher concentration of dark rust colors in the stone as in Mountain Meadows below.

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If the retaining walls are located further away from your front foundation, other materials can be used with success. This boulder retaining wall is located in a natural area away from the house. I would not call this particular wall a success for lack of plant material and function. If you have extra rocks and boulders on-site, think about how they can work for you. Would this material work better creating a pond, dry creek or within a rock garden?

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Natural areas are great for retaining walls for the mere fact of adding much needed interest to large planting beds.

Formal homes with formal plantings should stick with formal retaining walls. All plant material is sheared to perfection creating a formal landscape. The wall may have worked better constructed of brick capped with a heavy rust colored stone.

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The retaining wall in the photo below can be improved my removing some of the middle stones and planting with hens and chicks or sedum to break up the height of the wall. Juniper is planted to cascade over the wall, which will eventually cover it. Smaller cascading plants are creeping phlox, dianthus, candytuft and creeping thyme.

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The photo below I threw in just for fun. This is the front landscape of a $300,000 home. What is wrong with this picture? Like I have stated before, there are so many ways to utilize stone, brick and other hardscape materials within the landscape. This is not one of them.

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Happy Planting!

Diana Gardner-Williams  www.greensborogardens.wordpress.com

Landscape Design and Installation

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