Retaining walls help to create, separate and elevate outdoor spaces, as well as provide protection against soil erosion. Beyond these practical aspects, however, they can also serve as eye-catching features for your Poughkeepsie, NY backyard. Take a look at these creative uses for basic retaining walls to inspire your backyard design.
Encircle an outdoor living space
A curved or geometric retaining wall can be used to form the boundary of a patio, creating an intimate and cosy area shielded from wind. This can be an excellent way of transforming a slope into useable area for leisure or entertainment. Incorporating the rich texture of natural stone into the wall can further contribute to creating a welcoming, private patio tucked into the hillside.
Complement a fire pit
With matching materials and the rustic charm provided by both features, a fire pit is the perfect companion for your retaining wall. A retaining wall following the curve of a circular fire pit can provide effective wind shielding and soak up the warmth of the fire. Alternatively, a retaining wall can be used to provide seating for your fire pit area, forming an ideal place for family dinners and barbecue get-togethers.
Retaining wall seating
With the right coping, any retaining wall can serve the function of additional seating for your outdoor areas. Top off low retaining walls with smooth stone or concrete coping for casual seating space with a view. For higher walls, benches can be built into the design with the retaining wall forming the backrest of a permanent outdoor sofa. Light up the space with some bright, comfortable cushions and enjoy!
Include a waterfall feature
Turn your retaining wall into an enchanting detail with a waterfall feature integrated into the surface. A small pond or stream can be included at the base as a catchment and to further enhance the tranquility and ambience created by flowing water. Finish off with a natural stone veneer for an authentic waterfall aesthetic, or opt for modern concrete finishes to suit a sleek, modern backyard.
Retaining wall plant beds
Flowering plants, ornamental grasses and even small shrubs are great options for adding visual interest and dimension to bland retaining walls topped with grass or gravel. Incorporating plantings into curved retaining walls will certainly add to a naturalistic theme, but minimalistic backyards can benefit as well. Line geometric retaining walls with evenly spaced boxwood for an orderly aesthetic, or play up the contrast between straight lines and flowing flora. Retaining wall plant beds are also fantastic for adding greenery to an adjacent patio or pool area without running the risk of soil ending up on your paving.
Soften hard lines
Straight retaining walls aren’t a bad thing, but unless they’re balanced by other elements in the landscape, they can appear quite austere. A sweeping curve incorporated into the surrounding landscape can help to soften the overall aesthetic. You can also consider adding rounded and more natural shapes by including rock arrangements or boulders in your design.