Posted on: 4 November 2015Share
Retaining walls are sometimes needed to keep soil that's in your yard from eroding away. They also help keep excess soil and other materials from falling into your property, such as when you live behind a hill. Yes, these walls are necessary, but it doesn't mean they have to be boring. The following suggests two creative ways to turn that rather blah landscape feature into a colourful focal point.
Make a Statement with Flowers
Nothing takes the boring out of a cement or plain brick wall than masses of colourful flowers. If you already have the single slab type of cement retaining wall, dress it up with boldly painted planters along its length. Put them at ground level or along the top lip, or both. Pre-planted flowers already in bloom make it easier to create an instant color scheme, but if you've got a green thumb and a bit of patience, start your plants from seed.
Another option is creating a wall from scratch. Precast cement blocks work well; just stagger the blocks to allow room for plants in the empty spaces between the bricks. The staggering places each row a little farther back than the previous one, creating a slightly tiered effect and giving each plant more sunshine. Use already started plants; they seem to do better in this type of wall scenario.
In either of these scenarios, the color choices for your flowers should coordinate with the color of your retaining wall. For example, a grey cement slab or block wall contrasts just as nicely with bold yellow poppies as they do with multi-coloured daisies. In both cases the colors "pop." If you go with a red brick wall, then you might consider a spray of white or yellow flowers, since the brick makes both colors stand out.
Go With Natural Stone
There is no law that says you must use cement for a retaining wall. There is also nothing wrong with a little natural stone camouflage for that existing wall. In either case, choosing natural stone, which comes in various shades, patterns and sizes, allows you to be more creative in your wall building.
For example, if you have an existing wall, dry-stacking pieces of natural stone in front adds interest and also provides additional support. Dry-stacking is using the weight of the stones to keep them in place, rather than using mortar. This technique also works for building retaining walls from scratch, and makes the perfect DIY project. Contact a service like precast steps by J & J Precast Ltd for more information.