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The Beauty of Retaining Wall Landscaping | Washington, DC & Maryland

Mar 14, 2013 | Pavement

A house on a higher elevation or slope has some great advantages: it’s far less likely to suffer flood damage, and the natural drainage means less standing water to weaken the foundation or seep into the basement. However, a slope presents certain problems for landscaping. Not only is there erosion into neighboring yards, but whatever plants do grow on a slope are likely to be an eyesore without painstaking maintenance. Obviously, the best solution is a retaining wall. But even that is inadequate without consideration of what will grow above the wall. Let’s look at some examples of how the wall location, construction and landscaping work together to create an attractive, low-maintenance exterior design.

flowers on a table near a stone wall

Above on the left is a fantastic outdoor living area created by retaining walls and raised flower beds. Above on the right is another view showing the steps from the house to the sunken area.) The profuse, low-maintenance bushes and trailing vines above the walls provide a sense of privacy and insulation, while the beds provide space in front of the shrubs for annual or perennial color. The raised beds are ideal for healthy root growth, and the stone allows easy bed maintenance with very little clean-up. This is an heirloom-quality outdoor area that will be here for many years to come.

table and chairs in a patio near a stone wall

A retaining wall inside a fence serves an important function around a pool or patio area: while the wooden fence provides privacy, the retaining wall allows for professional landscaping that is protected from chlorinated pool water or fire-pit flames. The raised beds are spacious enough for trees, shrubs and flowering plants all. Below is another example, newly completed and planted.

stone wall on a backyard

Here is an example of a wooden retaining wall used on a steep slope bordering a play area. The new starter plants on the slope will quickly cover it, providing a nice backdrop to the play area. And wood, properly treated and installed, will also last for years.

backyard fence building

Finally, below is another beautiful retaining wall, built to preserve valuable trees around new construction. This wall also contains space for shade-loving plants to complement the surrounding woodland.

stone wall

These are only a few examples of how retaining walls enhance a property’s use and value. To see how Johnson’s Landscaping Service, Inc., can serve you in the Washington, D.C./Maryland area, contact us today.

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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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