Using a Contractor to Improve Your Home

Materials to Consider for a Garden Retaining Wall

Beautiful gardens combine hardscape components, walkways and patios with natural foliage and plants. Instead of depending on paving to bring textures and colours to your garden, why not build a retaining wall? These barriers hold back soil on one side. They can be used to surround elevated garden beds or create flat levels on a steep hill. Retaining walls can be practical and decorative. Here are several materials you might consider to build one on your property.

Concrete Blocks

One possible option is using blocks that fit together to create a wall. The blocks can be made from concrete and treated to mimic natural rocks like granite or travertine or imbued with texture and left grey. These systems come with capping blocks to create a finished appearance. Because they're manufactured with consistent colours and patterns, the wall will look professional and cohesive.


Timber provides a homespun, rustic look. Make sure, however, that the wood has been treated to prevent termite infestation. Typically, wood structures don't last as long as stone or concrete ones, as they decay or distort with time. These walls may use long sleepers set horizontally against shorter wood pieces that are fixed into the ground.


Stone comes in various colours, including gold, blue, grey, green and many more. So, you'll have a spectrum to pick from when constructing a rock retaining wall. These barriers are built by stacking rocks of various shapes and sizes on top of each other to form a secure structure. The irregular contours and colours give the feature a natural, organic look. Because the rock pieces are stacked and not cemented together, the wall forms gaps that allow rain to flow through, helping to protect its structural integrity. Otherwise, saturated dirt on one side of the fence might exert a strain on the structure if rain doesn't drain correctly.


A retaining wall style that's perfect for an industrial look is the gabion barrier. These structures consist of wire cages that are filled with boulders. To resist rusting, the mesh must be robust and weather-protected or galvanised. The cages must be powerful enough to withstand the massive weight of stones and rocks.

Each of these materials gives a garden a different look. Stone walls provide an organic aesthetic, while timber creates an appealing rustic effect. A gabion wall lends itself to an edgy industrial appearance and offers a unique, non-traditional aesthetic.

Concrete blocks are the most versatile option, as they can be coloured and textured to mimic natural substances like stone and timber. Alternatively, they can be designed to create a uniform, modern look. Ask a retaining wall contractor about the options for your specific installation.

Bear in mind that retaining walls of a certain height will require council approval. They may need the input of a structural engineer to guarantee that they can bear the weight of the earth on one side.

Contact a retaining wall contractor to learn more.