What Are Landscape Walls and How to Create Your Own

If you’re concerned about the landscape in your garden or backyard and you’re wondering what you can do to shape any undesirable slopes that might affect the look of it, then a landscape wall is exactly what you need. Landscape walls, also called retaining walls, are structures built to keep away soil and help you shape your garden the way you want to. Even if they mainly have a practical use, they can also be used to provide any outdoor space with some new and interesting landscape features. Today, we’re going to delve into what landscape walls are and walk you through the steps of building your own.


Landscape Walls: 8 Interesting and Useful Facts

1. Multiple Uses

As we’ve already mentioned, you can use landscape walls for more than just keeping away soil in case you want to build a road, for instance. You can build a landscape wall in your garden, if you want to create both a seating area and a place where you can plant your favorite flowers. Not to mention the fact that their design can make a real difference in your landscape.

2. Creative Projects

Speaking of design, one of the great things about landscape walls is the fact that they allow you to be creative. You don’t have to follow a straight line or a specific model you find online. You can add curves and angles as you wish and make the design your own.

3. Different Sizes

Landscape walls also come in different sizes, depending on the space in your garden and your use for it. If the wall is smaller than four feet, you’ll probably manage to design and build it yourself. If you’re going for taller and larger walls, we advise you to seek an engineer’s help.

4. Different Materials

If you were wondering what materials you can use to build a landscape wall, then you should know that the easiest choice are manufactures stones and blocks. They offer consistency and structural integrity, plus they are easier to install than other types of materials.

grey concrete brick

5. Wall Base

Every wall needs a base, and a landscape wall is no exception. You should invest some time and effort into preparing it, since it will influence the rest of the wall as well. Your wall base should be a couple of inches below grade. You should also fill it with gravel before adding the blocks.

6. Wall Drainage

You wall will also need drainage, which you should take care of before actually starting to add the stones or blocks. We advise you to cover a pipe in fabric and add it to the base of the wall (this is not something you necessarily need). The reason why you should also use some fabric is because this will prevent the pipe from clogging and save you the trouble of digging it out for this purpose later on.

7. Wall Leveling

One of the things you have to pay attention to when building your wall is keeping it leveled. You should do this after each row of blocks that you add. It would be much more difficult for you to correct any imperfections after you’ve already added several layers. Plus, you’re going to want your wall to look even and consistent.

8. Backfilling

If you want to properly support the bricks in your wall, you should make sure to backfill as you add them. Every new brick row that you add should be followed by some backfilling that matches that level. The soil should be compact, so don’t forget to tamp it as you go along.

How to Build Your Own Landscape Wall

1. Plan It

Naturally, the first step in building a landscape wall is planning for it. Think about how you want it to look and how it would fit in your garden or backyard. You can first use a hose or a rope to mark the layout. Then, take a shovel and outline it properly. After measuring the length and height of the wall, calculate how many blocks you’re going to need for the entire project. Keep in mind the fact that depending on the size of the wall, you might need a permit to build it. Before you start, check the building codes in your area and see if this is the case or not.

landscape wall containing a curve

2. Gather the Required Materials

Your next concern should be the materials and tools that you’re going to use to build the wall. In terms of tools, you’re going to need a shovel, a hand tamper, a carpenter’s level, concrete adhesive, a circular saw, and a masonry blade for the saw. The main materials that you have to purchase are the building blocks, followed by some gravel, a pipe for drainage (optional), and some landscape fabric. We advise you to always purchase more blocks than you think you’re going to need. That’s because some of them might break and you’re going to have to replace them.

3. Prepare the Foundation

The first step in preparing the foundation is to dig a trench. Remember that the first row of blocks should be buried halfway and the trench has to be twice as wide as the block. After you’re done with this step, you’re going to have to tamp down the soil to keep it leveled. Then, add the gravel and tamp it down as well.

4. Build the Wall

Finally, it’s time to add the bricks one at a time. Just make sure to check if they’re leveled every time you finish a row. When you start the second row, you’re going to have to use the circular saw to cut the first block and stagger the joints. Make sure that there is no dirt between any two pieces of building blocks. After adding a couple of more rows, place the landscaping fabric behind the blocks. Then, fill that area with gravel. The last row should be made of wall caps that you stick to the previous row by using a concrete adhesive.

Summing It All Up

We hope today’s guide to landscape walls was useful in teaching you the basics about this type of outdoor structure and the steps you have to follow to build your own. Building landscape walls can be a time-consuming project, but it will definitely spruce up the look of your garden or backyard.

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William E. Eubanks

I'm one of the main writers on the site; mostly dealing with environmental news and ways to live green. My goal is to educate others about this great planet, and the ways we can help to protect it.

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