Wood, and Boulder Retaining Walls
In the right setting, a timber retaining wall blends into a landscape more naturally than any other material. When stained to match a log or cedar clad home, it carries the house materials into the landscape for a more unified appearance. In the woodland garden, they are particularly beautiful, composed of the very trees that surround them.
Another method of using natural dry stone as retaining walls results in the use of boulders to hold back ground. This kind of wall depends on the very weight of the boulder itself for stability.
One reason for this kind of wall is to raise planting areas above grade due to high water table or dense, poorly draining clay, hard pan and bedrock. So, if you’re looking for a walled garden, call now!
When to Seek Professional Help
Retaining walls are hard-working structures that fight a constant battle against gravity, so consider many variables when developing them. You may need a professional to help you to assess the soil in the area you plan the wall. Also look at the climate and terrain – this will help you know if this is a weekend job for you, or whether you need professional help.
Ask these questions:
- What is the slope? If it’s greater than a 3:1, landowners should always consult an engineer.
- How much frost and freezing will your wall – and the soil it’s holding – be subject to?
- What is the drainage like? If water will flow heavily on the wall and soil, you may need to add drainage.
- What type of soil do you have? A soil with heavy clay content will not drain well, but is also less prone to erosion. A sandy soil has the opposite characteristics.
- Are there any other structures next to the proposed site? What power will the wall have on the structures?
- Do you live in an area of where there are expected earthquakes? Will an earthquake engineer be needed to analyze the wall to make it extra resistant to earthquakes?