A raised terrace creates more texture and visual interest in your garden, helping you overcome the bland expanse of suburban lawn. The terrace doesn't necessarily need be very high or very large, even a small rise can add more depth to your landscaping. Choosing the right material for the walls of the terrace is also a must, both from a maintenance and an aesthetic standpoint. The following guide can help you with this task.
There are several options for wood retaining walls. The most common is the railroad tie, but you can also have a custom wood wall constructed from cedar or another rot-resistant or treated wood.
Wood is generally one of the least expensive options. If it is waterproofed and treated against rot, it can last for many years – particularly in dry climates. It can look quite natural in the landscape, often blending into the background so that the garden plants take center stage. It won't last forever though, so it isn't suitable if you want a wall that will require little to no maintenance for many decades.
Brick or masonry walls are durable, and you have a vast range of colors and patterns to choose from. Brick works exceptionally well in traditional or classical home designs that already incorporate a lot of exterior brick on building walls, fences, or walkways.
It can be one of the more expensive option, since the installation is time consuming and drainage must be installed along the base so the mortar isn't washed out of the brick. It will last for a long time, although the mortar will require infrequent repointing as it ages and crumbles.
Concrete is thought of as utilitarian, but it is one of the least expensive yet most durable options when it comes to putting in a custom wall. You can have curves and right angles, as well as designs stamped directly into the concrete. It is also possible to dye the concrete different colors so it doesn't look as bland.
Another option is to have a veneer applied over the concrete. Precast stone veneers are popular options, as are masonry veneers. The veneers are not as durable as the concrete beneath, but it is less expensive to repair a veneer than it is to replace an entire retaining wall.
Precast stone blocks are as durable as concrete, although they are also slightly more expensive. Much like concrete, you can have stone blocks designed in nearly any configuration.
An added benefit is that you have more choice in the final appearance. You can use a granite-like stone for a natural, woodsy looking landscape design. Or, opt for carefully cut stones in a uniform shape for a more formal design. A cobbled together wall from different shapes of stones provides a more cottage garden feel.
Contact a landscape stone supplier for more ideas on building your wall.