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Retaining walls are one of those landscape design elements that do not sound particularly exciting but they not only functional but beautiful as well.  Retaining walls, first and foremost, are used to control drainage and reduce erosion.  Rainwater and water from you irrigation system are all influenced by gravity.  As you water or experience rain, it will be absorbed by the ground and plants but any excess will inevitably run downhill.  When designing your landscape you will add both hardscape and softscape elements to achieve balance in your design that includes beauty, function, safety, and aesthetic appeal.

When you design your landscape you put certain elements, such as plants or trees, in certain places.  This is done intentionally to make things look like you want them to, grow properly and add to the overall aesthetic you want to create in your landscape.  But, as rainwater and water from your irrigation system saturate the ground and plants they could begin to slide and move if there is no retaining wall in place.  Whether you have a sloped landscape or have added design elements with retaining walls such as creating planters or raised gardens, a retaining wall is necessary to keep everything in its proper place.  But, beyond their primary function of retaining, they also look nice and add visual interest to your landscape.  They can be made of a variety of materials such as wood, brick, pavers, natural stone and more.  The design, materials and height chosen all make a unique statement about your personal style and landscape design so there is a great opportunity to put your stamp on your landscape.  To stand the test of time in both appearance and function it is important to ensure that retaining walls are properly installed.  If done incorrectly, retaining walls could actually cause substantial damage to your home and property.  This is because retaining walls must have a proper drainage system in place to ensure that water drainage does not run off in the wrong location or build up and create problems.  A retaining wall must have a level foundation for the materials to be placed on which means that a foundation trench must often be dug.  A foundation wall can be strategically laid or installed using mortar.  Gravel is often used in place of some native soil to prevent oversaturation from occurring that can damage your structure.  Determining what is best for your landscape is often best left to the professionals as their experience and knowledge will be an invaluable tool.  Consult your landscape designer when designing your retaining walls to achieve a better look and properly functioning retaining wall.

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