If your garden is on any kind of a slope, it’s possible a garden retaining wall might make your property more usable, and more valuable. Retaining walls hold back soil to allow a level planting area in a space that normally would have poor soil, drainage, and access. So banish the idea that only ground cover plants can grow on your slope! Build one of these DIY garden retaining walls and change the whole dynamic of your yard.

From ‘BHG”, build this concrete block retaining wall in less than a weekend! I love the cap on the top of the blocks, it gives it a finished look, and also a place for seating.

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This bit of retaining wall inspiration is from ‘Isbir Construction‘… there isn’t a tutorial, but it’s a great photo in that it shows you how simple a retaining wall can be. This is simply cedar timbers cut to different lengths for interest, a row of bricks to prevent erosion, and then soil and mulch to backfill. Obviously this simple project is better for a minor slope correction. Perfect for this flower beds where the water just seems to run right off…

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Want the same timber feel, but on a larger scale for a bigger job? Then follow along with this tutorial and video from ‘This Old House’ and build your own timber retaining wall. This particular one is not a small job, but with some DIY ability, you could save thousands over having this installed. Photo: Landscape Supplies

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Here is another variation. Sorry, could not find a source or tutorial. Love this design though!

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Do you want a wall with a different look and feel? Build a concrete block retaining wall with this tutorial from ‘Family Handyman’. This also has no possibility of rot, making it a very long lasting solution.

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Also from ‘Family Handyman’, make a retaining wall from less expensive pressure treated 2×4’s…. This is a great plan for the gardener on a tighter budget. I love the look of this, it could go well with a modern or rustic style garden.

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Use all those boulder size rocks you keep digging up by building a rock or stone retaining wall with this tutorial from ‘Las Pilitas Nursery’… They even have drawings to show how to layer the wire and mortar to make a strong wall…

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‘DIY Network’ offers a great step by step tutorial for building a stone block wall, with lots of photos along the way.

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Finally, a little inspiration from “Down Under”, ‘Gabion 1‘ in Australia has two ideas for you using wire mesh to create a “gabion”. These can be filled with stones, bricks or recycled materials. Use your imagination on what kind of repurposed objects could fill the wall!

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DIY Garden Retaining Walls

Image Credits: BHG, Isbir Construction, Landscape Supplies, Family Handyman, Family Handyman, Las Pilitas, DIY Network, Gabion 1

 



3 Comments

  1. Stephanie Smith June 2, 2015 at 6:36 am

    This is great, I’m not so much a fan of the concrete and stone walls as I am of the wooden ones, specifically the layered one near the top of your article. It’s so natural! I’m needing to make one for my garden and I know I’ll be using this as inspiration, thank you.

    Reply
  2. Deanna R. Jones June 4, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    This is a great tutorial for building a retaining wall. I really liked your tip to use pressure treated 2×4’s to help save money building it. That seems like a really affordable way to build a retaining wall that looks different from the standard stone wall. My budget is a little tight, but I still need the wall for my garden, so I’ll be sure to use 2×4 panels instead of stone blocks.

    Reply
  3. Cal Driver January 14, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    Thanks so much for these! I love the “gabion” look for a retaining wall. Stone walls really give some great color, diversity and organization to a yard. Looking forward to springtime so I can try some of these projects. Thanks again for sharing!

    Reply

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