Retaining walls are often a necessary landscape choice when dealing with sloping areas in Wellesley, MA, backyards. They play an important role in improving site drainage, preventing erosion, and creating usable space in otherwise steep areas. A retaining wall can also serve as a dramatic focal point in your landscape, turning what is a necessary functional structure into an attractive design element.
Expand Useable Space
By terracing a steep or sloped yard, you can use retaining walls to create more areas for outdoor living and entertaining. This technique shapes large steps into the hill, supported by retaining walls, while forming flat areas perfect for gardens, small grassy areas, or patios. By connecting each area with paths or stairs, you create a flow and travel pattern that turns a once useless hill into a functional part of your landscape design. Even in smaller areas, terraced hillsides could add the opportunity for additional gardens, shrubs, or water features.
Complement Landscape Design
Retaining walls can be dramatic focal points when the materials used to craft them are carefully considered in relation to the overall aesthetic of your landscape. Natural stone, particularly for dry stacked walls, helps to bring a rustic feel to a home, while more uniform pavers give walls a crisp, modern style. The options are nearly limitless, from natural stone to concrete pavers or bricks. Other design elements such as stone veneer and coping or plastered walls add even more options to the finished visual appeal of the structures.
The shape of your retaining walls also contributes to the overall feel of the design. Unless strictly hindered by landscape needs, think about if your design is better complemented by sharp corners and square lines, or by relaxed, curved walls. Your Wenzel, Inc., landscaping contractor will be able to help you figure out the best shape and structure for achieving the best design that prioritizes function and aesthetic appeal.
Integrated Design Elements
The placement of retaining walls—whether by necessity or choice in sculpting out your ideal yard—can help you decide where to place other elements and how they’ll best be incorporated in other parts of the yard. When working with a sloped area near the house, consider using retaining walls to imply the end of an outdoor kitchen. The retaining wall can act as the end point for a fireplace or grilling station, or simply act as backdrop to an elegant entertaining area. When a retaining wall runs near a pool, an add-on water feature could complement the relaxing atmosphere that’s already been created. If you only need short walls for terraced areas, built-in stone seating expands the opportunities for relaxed conversation and lounging throughout your backyard.
When terracing a sloped hill with retaining walls, consider how people might move about your yard. If you’ll be using the newly expanded spots as entertaining space, consider an elegant stone wall that meets up with a stone staircase of matching materials, bringing the functional and visually stunning elements together. Natural stone would tie neatly into the surrounding landscape and stand up to years of wear and tear.