While a well-tendered front or back yard–think sloping ground, green turf, lovely blooms and charming pathway and pergola–is already attractive just the way it is, it can still be a homeowner’s headache. Occasional downpours can lead to soil erosion that damages plants and the open layout provides no privacy to the occupants of the space. In such cases, a retaining wall–if properly built–can resolve the problems.
Retaining walls are economical and hardy elements that could lend a touch of charm to landscapes. Beyond that, they also help solve a variety of problems such as soil erosion, privacy issues and lack of planting space. A retaining wall can be a great DIY project that suit different skill levels. It can also be constructed from different materials, such as wood slabs, stones and concrete. Among the options, however, stones remain as the materials of choice by builders and homeowners alike. They are not only durable, they can also add permanent value and beauty to the home.
If your outdoor space is not outfitted with a stone retaining wall just yet, below are some ideas worth considering for you to create a long-lasting and elegant enclosure to your front or back yard.
Stacked billowing fieldstone wall
A billowing fieldstone wall makes for a stylish barrier for outdoor living space. Fieldstone is a great natural material that could lend a classic and durable backdrop for your garden. You can either dry stack the stones or use a mortar to hold the pieces together in place. Depending on the purpose that you want the wall to serve, you can set the stones as high as four feet to provide privacy to the space or several inches from the ground to lift up your lush collection of flowers or to supply a sturdy seat.
Cobblestone and wood fence combination
If you love the look of wood fencing and cobblestone, what better way to enjoy these two elements in your yard than combining them? Create a low cobblestone wall around the perimeter of your yard and top it with stockade or wooden shakes. The mortared cobblestones make for an excellent foundation that will provide your fence with a solid support and will also lend a cottage-style look to your yard.
Concrete block wall
If you want to make a smooth and uniform wall, try your hands on concrete blocks. These manufactured stones are easy to integrate and they are also the most suitable materials for creating smooth and uniform walls. Due to their smooth lines, concrete block walls complement the clean lines of modern homes.
Low flagstone wall
To add a sense of structure to an otherwise plain-looking yard or attractively separate zones within the space, consider stacking slim flagstones to create low walls. Because flagstones come in different thicknesses, it will be impossible to achieve an exact horizontal top once they are stacked. So do not worry about perfecting the walls. It will be easier if you lay the flagstones without regarding their thickness and just pick flat pieces to make a level top. Once in place, the low flagstone walls can double as seats or as display stands for container plants.
Ericka, who wrote the guest post above, is an avid writer who is passionate about discussing things related to gardening, outdoor living and home improvement. She is also a regular contributor for skip hire Edinburgh company, Lothian Skip Hire.
Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zooboing/5280587431/