Retaining walls look their best when homeowners successfully use plants and other landscaping elements to break up the surface of the wall while reinforcing the wall's natural patterns. These tips will help you landscape around your wall to accentuate the wall's aesthetic presence.
Cascading Plants Break Up Hard Edges
Cascading plants grown over over the top of your retaining wall help break up the retaining wall's long, hard top edge. Spilling over the side, cascading plants also introduce the idea of abundance and untamed growth in your garden. For easy-to-grow cascading flowers, consider petunias, a staple of garden beds everywhere because of their simple needs and fast growth rate. For a cascading flowerless plant, consider 'Little Diamond' ivy, a gray-green ivy plant with a preference for partial sun and a trailing growth habit.
Vines Cover Large, Monotonous Areas
Retaining walls can get a little boring when they're very big. Use vining plants to break up the monotony and add greenery to larger, more expansive stretches of rock. The easiest to grow vining specimens are those that cling to the rock naturally without needing support from a trellis or fence. English ivy and Boston ivy are both common choices for covering large swaths of empty, open vertical space.
Shrubs Reinforce Natural Patterns
Evenly spaced, well-trimmed shrubs planted along the top of the wall provide an upright presence to the area around the retaining wall, reinforcing the patterns created by the wall's bricks or stones. Inserting shrubs between cascading plants or specimens with a shorter profile will add an up-down-up-down zig-zag to your retaining wall's profile. This keeps the eye moving along the wall's edge and prevents the retaining wall from becoming a distraction from the rest of the landscape.
Lights Add Nighttime Interest
At night, retaining walls can become visual black holes on your property, making it difficult to see the slope of your property. Add lights to your retaining wall to introduce visual interest and also make your property easier to navigate in the dark. Upward pointing lights positioned at the base of your retaining wall skim the surface of the rocks, leaving recessed parts in shade and jutting areas lit up. This draws attention to the interesting textures and surface variances of your wall.
For more tips, talk to your gardener or landscaping experts from places like Quality Lawn & Landscape. He or she will be able to show you ways that creative landscaping can work with your retaining wall to make your property more beautiful and successful.