Integrate A Concrete Retaining Wall Into The Landscape

Posted on: 15 May 2017

A retaining wall holds soil back on the one side but is free standing on the other. Retaining walls help you tame slopes by creating flat surfaces and preventing soil loss. Concrete is an ideal material for retaining walls because of its durability. You may choose a poured concrete or CMU block construction. Either way, design the wall's façade and landscaping so your retaining wall fits in beautifully with the yard.

Stone Veneer

Natural stone is a beautiful material for many different home and landscaping styles. However, walls constructed entirely of stone can be tricky. Instead, consider a stone veneer for your concrete wall. Typically, contractors use a stone veneer over a CMU block wall. For a custom stone veneer, a stone mason uses rocks that have been cut into thin slices and mortars them to the concrete wall. It's also possible to have contractors use cast stone, which as This Old House points out, makes the veneer less expensive and quicker to install.

Stamped and Stained Concrete

If you're having a poured concrete wall installed, there's another option for mimicking a natural stone wall. You can have the concrete stamped and stained. In fact, contractors have a lot of options with the stamping and staining process. They can make the surface of the concrete represent flagstone, brick, tile or fractured slate. Contractors can color the surface of the stamped concrete with dust-on color hardeners. However, they can also stain the concrete, which infuses a richer color. You can have the contractors utilize different techniques to mimic the look of grouting or color gradations in natural stone.

Vertical Overlay

Vertical concrete overlays are another method for beautifying your wall. An overlay essentially mixes the techniques for stone veneers and stamped concrete. Contractors use a lightweight, cement-based overlay material to spread over the surface of the wall. They can then carve or stamp designs into the wall. It's possible to make the wall resemble stone, brick or even wood with the staining or dusting process.


Once you've chosen the façade of your retaining wall, it's time to integrate the structure into your landscaping. Typically, retaining walls create a flat surface just behind them. Consider using this as a planting bed. You can add any plants that blend with the rest of your landscaping. However, consider having the plants touch or even spill over the wall for an attractive contrast. You can also add a foundation planting bed right in front of the wall to further blend it with the rest of your yard.

Choose an attractive surface for your concrete retaining wall then integrate it with your landscaping. Companies like Burns Brothers Concrete Construction Corporation can help you build the wall you need.