Retaining Walls: Function and Beauty

When it comes to retaining walls, function and beauty don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Big Bend Landscaping believes purpose and beauty should go hand in hand.

For many homeowners, the sloped sections of their yards are a sort of no-man’s-land and it means they are losing out on what could be a wonderful addition to their landscape. They regularly deal with unsightly bare patches in their lawn because rain water washes away their top soil in spring rains. And if they’re located at the bottom of a hill, there are additional headaches, such as flooding and the resulting damage.

Do you have this problem? A retaining wall may be the answer. Read on.

What is the Purpose of a Retaining Wall?

A retaining wall is a wall-like structure designed to hold rock and soil in place. Our retaining walls are built out of a variety of materials, including concrete blocks, treated timbers, rocks, boulders, and poured concrete. Some of these materials have shorter lifespans than others. Some are built to be both attractive and practical solutions; some are just practical.

Big Bend Landscaping specializes in interlocking, retaining wall blocks. We believe they are a long-lasting, attractive solution to the need for retaining walls. We only use the highest quality material from brands like Romanstone, Belgrade, BP, Versa-lok, and Anchor.

Our team carefully plans each step of the process. First we dig a trench, carefully leveling it to ensure a solid foundation, and add a layer of compacted gravel. This is where we place a socked PVC drain plate to prevent unwanted water from accumulating where we don’t want it. We place our first row of wall pavers, a layer of geogrid (securing the other end with metal rods), then our second row, locking them into place with specially designed pins. Our crew continues this process until the retaining wall reaches the desired height, then add top soil to the final layers.

There are many reasons to consider contacting Big Bend Landscaping to construct a retaining wall. Below are just a few of them.

Easier (Safer) Maintenance

A yard with a steep slope is difficult, even hazardous, to maintain. Using a push mower on a hill is a major workout and can be risky, regardless of what direction you’re pushing it. And a riding mower presents even more serious risks. This means the safest option is a weed eater or trimmer, which is time consuming.

Adding a retaining wall to your landscape levels out your green space and makes it easier to care for.

Retaining Walls Provide More Usable Space

A sloped yard is a challenge to enjoy. It’s hard for children to play on, it’s unsafe for outdoor play equipment, and entertaining guests can be hazardous! And gardening of any kind can also be difficult on a hill without major accommodations.

There are several solutions to this problem, depending on your goal. If you want to garden in that area of your yard, Big Bend Landscaping can terrace the hill. Terraces are created using a series of retaining walls that create flat areas at regular intervals. The result is a graded series of beds with room to grow plants of your choice on each level.

We can also build one larger retaining wall and level the slope by backfilling with top soil to create a large, flat area.

Drainage control

Is your home located on the bottom of a hill? Do you deal with flooding or large amounts of water accumulating in your outdoor living space?

Water pooling around your home degrades your foundations, requiring expensive repairs. Flooding washes away flower beds, damages trees, and causes walkways and patios to deteriorate over time. Flooding also causes depressions in the soil, which creates large puddles, attracting insects such as mosquitos.

Big Bend Landscaping prevents this by building a retaining wall combined with an adjoining drainage system. This allows rain water to drain harmlessly away from your home, protecting your foundations and landscape.

Erosion Control

Erosion is often a problem on steep gradients, especially if you live in an area with any amount of shelf rock or limited topsoil.

Storm water run-off carries away your top soil, sometimes to places you don’t want it, such as patios. In its wake, it leaves unsightly bare spots and exposes the roots of trees, shrubs, and plants. This can turn into even larger problems, causing further property damage and all the headaches that go with major repairs.

Raising the gradient by building a retaining wall, leveling the slope, and planting sturdy vegetation and turf goes a long way toward preventing erosion. Big Bend Landscaping offers all these services and more.

Beauty in Function: Seating Walls

Retaining walls are not just useful. They can be a beautiful addition to your landscape as well as a solution. They can serve as raised beds, providing an eye-level place to plant perennials, flowers, and shrubs. When used as terraces, they offer many appealing possibilities to the ambitious gardener.

Retaining walls may double as seating walls when located near outdoor living spaces such as patios, fire pits, and outdoor kitchens. They are an inviting place to sit as well as a space to set plants and other outdoor decorations.


Big Bend Landscaping has been beautifying the St. Louis area with our landscaping, retaining walls, fire pits, patios, and walkways for over twenty-five years. With careful planning, attention to detail, and long-lasting, high quality materials, we help homeowners recover the use of their yards and enjoy the space they have.

Our team holds a Level 1 Certification from the National Concrete and Masonry Association. This means we’ve gone the extra mile to make sure we are up to date in the newest methods and materials. We are experts in our field. When we present you with your options, we will be offering you the best.

We offer a five-year guarantee on all our work; this includes parts and labor. If for any reason, you have a problem with something we’ve done, call us and we will make your satisfaction our priority.

Do you like what you’ve read here and want to know more? Give us a call at (636) 349-2946 or contact us for an online estimate!