The Decorative Possibilities for the Functional Retaining Wall | Potomac MD
The retaining wall is one of the most functional elements in all of landscape design. The purposes of the retaining wall are first and foremost to do things like prevent erosion, seepage and water damage. But don’t let the utilitarian nature of retaining walls blind you to their more decorative and aesthetic possibilities.
Retaining Wall Bench
One reason to find love for the lowly retaining wall is that you can get twice the benefit for half the money. Capping a retaining wall provides it with a more visually pleasing design courtesy of the overhanging lip of about two inches on either side. When retaining walls around eighteen inches high are capped with the right material, they can serve double duty as a bench. The right material for creating a seat wall is pretty much anything you like or can afford that won’t snag clothing or scratch bare skin.
High Foundation Illusion
Those living in houses built on a high foundation also have reason to love the decorative possibilities of a retaining wall. Retaining walls that stretch along the line of the foundation on property that slopes downward from the house can serve as a screen that creates the illusion of the house appearing to be constructed lower than it is. If you don’t like the idea of your house looking like a sitting duck on a hill, a retaining wall just might be the answer.
A retaining wall needn’t be just a big, less than attractive structure. If your situation is one in which a stream or creek needs to be directed away from your property, a retaining wall that softly slopes away from the house can be transformed into a more attractive waterfall system of effluence. Landscaping the water source with rocks and plants can serve to transform the aesthetics of what would otherwise be a purely functional operation.
Anyone who loves gardening can learn to love the decorative potential of a low-level retaining wall.
Instead of capping the retaining wall to create a bench, top the wall with hollow blocks in which can be grown the plants of your choice. Suddenly, your low and lowly retaining wall takes on a much more colorful appearance and produces a bouquet that is definitely a reason to show it some love.
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Chevy Chase, MD 20815
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