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3 Interesting Ways to Dress up Your Block Retaining Wall

Jul 10, 2013 | Pavement

Washington DC | Maryland | Virginia

While retaining walls are sometimes needed in order to hold dirt in place, they can also be unsightly if they are made of concrete block. Rather than simply live with a retaining wall that is dull and uninteresting, you can easily dress it up a bit to make it blend better with your natural surroundings.


Natural Stone

One way to dress up a block wall is to cover it with natural stone. You can do this by attaching sheets of stone veneer to the finished structure to soften the appearance a bit. Natural stone held together with mortar can also serve essentially the same purpose.



Plants can help disguise the harsh features of a block retaining wall as well. Consider creating a small garden space in front of your retaining wall by using railroad ties or treated lumber posts. Add a few shrubs or flowering bushes to this space to give it visual interest. Attach some rods to the wall in order to place hanging baskets full of begonias or sweet peas to this area. You could also consider installing a trellis and then planting climbing roses or ivy over the top of it.


Container Garden

Should your block wall contain a flat top, you can easily use it for a container garden. Sit some containers full of cucumber, zucchini or watermelon on the top and let these vines cascade naturally over the side of the wall. In the space below, plant some corn, tomatoes or pole beans and let the wall serve as a natural support for these vegetables.

block retaining wall doesn’t have to ruin the looks of your landscape. At Johnson’s Landscaping Service, we have hundreds of ideas that will help you turn an ordinary concrete wall into a resource you’ll be proud to show off to visitors. For more information on our landscaping services, you can contact us for an initial consultation.

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About the Author

Matt Johnson grew up in a family of landscapers and gardeners as the grandson of Raymond Johnson (Founder, 1933, Johnson's Florist and Garden Center) and son of James and Carol Johnson (Founders, 1960, Johnson's Landscaping Service, Inc.). Since 2007, he has led Johnson's Landscaping Service with his brother, Charlie.  Matt and his wife Jaime live in Petworth in Northwest DC with their 3 sons and 2 big dogs.

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