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Retaining Walls Can Enhance a Traditional Landscape Design Aesthetic in Harrisburg, PA

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Are you looking for a way to add interest and function to a traditional landscape? The humble retaining wall could be the answer! Here’s how retaining walls can enhance a traditional landscape design aesthetic in Harrisburg, PA.

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Are you looking for a way to add interest and function to a traditional landscape? The humble retaining wall could be the answer! Here’s how retaining walls can enhance a traditional landscape design aesthetic in Harrisburg, PA.

Related: FROM RETAINING WALLS TO FIRE PITS: THE MANY USES OF WALL PRODUCTS IN HARRISBURG, PA

Retaining walls are primarily used for soil management on sloped lots. They also help create functional space on a sloped property. Terraces offer many options, including multi-level living spaces and convenient gardens. Retaining walls are often used to integrate landscape lighting without the clutter of light posts. 

Retaining walls are right at home on flat properties, too. Set a few feet from the home’s foundation, they provide a finished look to the foundation plantings. Retaining walls placed around a patio offer plenty of overflow seating that allows for a clutter-free space (particularly welcome in smaller spaces).

 

Aside from their many practical uses, retaining walls are an opportunity for creative artistic expression.

Traditional design themes are relatively formal. A retaining wall can play to that formality or soften it. Straight retaining walls with right angles contribute to the feeling of symmetry and order, while curved walls bring attention to the natural landscape. An entry walkway becomes a statement when bordered by a retaining wall. A garden becomes a focal point when emphasized by a wall. 

Retaining walls can also completely change the spatial feel of your property. In small spaces, curved retaining walls guide the eye in a gently meandering pattern, taking attention away from the perimeter of the space. In large spaces, retaining walls can be used to visually break up the expanse and create a series of small outdoor “rooms” that are separate, yet visually connected by retaining walls and walkways.

A stacked retaining wall – for example, four terraced levels that are no more than two feet high each – give a downslope garden area a more spacious feel, while allowing for formal plantings or even a ribbon of lush lawn on each terrace.

 

Which materials will best complement a traditional landscape design aesthetic? The most versatile retaining wall systems incorporate brick, natural stone, or concrete blocks that are manufactured to resemble natural stone. 

Traditional brick is used only as a face material on a retaining wall as it is not suitable for the structural needs of a retaining wall. It is best used alongside homes that do not have a brick facade. The landscape should be its own entity, and incorporating more brick next to a brick facade could be visually overwhelming. Brick adds a stately feel to a home with clapboard siding. 

Natural stone is endlessly fascinating as a building material, as each stone is completely unique. Manufactured stone (concrete wall units made to look like natural stone) is a popular option for retaining walls because precision-cut, interlocking units are ready to be joined in endless combinations, while natural stone must often be cut onsite. Both natural stone and manufactured stone give visual heft to a landscape as well as a complement to homes with a brick facade. Stone walls have a rustic feel that integrates the outdoor living spaces into the natural surroundings (unlike brick, which looks like a man-made material, the stones used to create a wall look like they could have been picked up on-site).

If you’re ready to give a traditional landscape project a practical “wow!” factor, give us a call. We are your retaining wall experts!

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