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4 Smart Ways to Beautify Your Home with a Retaining Wall

May 28, 2013 | Lawns, Services

Washington DC | Maryland | Virginia

Very seldom in this area of the country do you find the truly flat landscapes that you find in the Midwest. Here we have rolling hills, rivers and streams, as well as rock outcroppings, which could lead to building a house or designing a yard on a slope. This often requires the need for a retaining wall in order to prevent future damage to your home, deck, pool or other feature that requires flat land for its foundations. So now that you have a retaining wall, how can you integrate it into your landscape design? Whether it’s a solid, unsightly slab of concrete or a rock wall, here are some ideas for beautifying your retaining wall and incorporating it into your yard.

  • If it’s a block wall, find some way to cover it. There are some great outdoor paints which will withstand the weather for a few years. You can make it a focal point if you are artistic, or cover it with stucco if you wish it to blend in a bit more. You can also seal it with a waterproof material and then erect a living wall in front of it (like a vertical garden). We do encourage you to seal and then cover the top of the wall with stones to prevent moisture from getting into the concrete.
  • If it’s well placed, make good use of it. If the wall provides shade in the summer afternoons and evenings, build a patio at the bottom of the retaining wall to create a lovely outdoor dining space. You can insert some outdoor wall sconces to provide a romantic atmosphere for dining or drinks.
  • If the wall faces into the sun, capture that heat with a small planting area. You can easily create a planting bed with a second level of wall, lower than the first and using the same materials, to highlight plants that love the sun. Make sure to line your bed with impervious materials so that no water gets into your retaining wall when you water the plants.
  • If it varies in height, use that to your advantage. You could build a waterfall that flows over your retaining wall and into a small fish pond, for example. Again, it’s important to use impervious membranes when building your waterfall and pond, so that no water weakens your retaining wall.

So are you ready to transform your plain, unsightly or just boring retaining wall? Contact us today to discuss these ideas and more!

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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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