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Retaining Walls Are Featured In Landscape Designs In And Around Seattle

Author : Stephen Daniels


Retaining walls are prominent in landscape design projects all around the world. In many regions of the country, such as Seattle and other parts of the Pacific Northwest, they are especially common because of the hilly terrain and wet climatic conditions.

Unlike the mostly aesthetic garden wall, which is often used for small ornamental terrace gardens, retaining walls have multi-functional uses that factor into the design and materials used. The number-one function of retaining walls is holding back soil for erosion control. However, if a wall must be built, most landscape contractors believe it should also be attractive and multi-functional. In Seattle, contractors build retaining walls to create "rooms" within a garden, to create level yards where slopes once existed, to serve as privacy screens, and even to serve as additional seating. The overall look and function of the yard is considered once it is determined that a retaining wall is necessary.

Landscape architects follow several general rules when it comes to creating walls within a garden space. A wall usually won't be higher than 4 feet, for instance. This is primarily due to safety concerns as well as aesthetic and structural integrity of the wall. In some areas, walls that are higher than 4 feet require engineered drawings and additional, costly permits. Other considerations include the elevation and slope in front of and behind the wall, and the overall scale of the project.

Materials used vary from inexpensive decorative concrete blocks or poured concrete, to more costly brick, mortared stone and dry-laid stone. Traditional materials for walls, like treated lumber and railroad ties, are also still used. But unless the wood has been properly treated and installed by a professional landscape service, it will rot over time, making it not only useless but also potentially dangerous when set in soil.

Structural integrity, cost and overall aesthetics are among the factors considered by landscapers when selecting materials for retaining walls. A solid concrete wall might do the best job of holding soil back from a well-manicured lawn, but it will also give the yard an industrial feel. Meanwhile, facing the structure with a brick overlay or decorative cut stone will be more attractive, but more costly. What the designer and client want to ultimately see in front of the retaining wall helps narrow the focus of what materials are best suited for the job.

Beyond the visual appeal, a retaining wall must be able to direct drainage from the contained soil in a manner that does not damage the wall, the surrounding landscape or even the foundation of the home or other structures. When designed properly, these walls will provide an outlet for naturally occurring drainage patterns and will redirect water where appropriate - all without over-watering the landscape plants, draining onto a lawn, or perhaps worse, a decorative pond or pool.

A professional landscape contractor experienced with the rainfall patterns and soil conditions of the Pacific Northwest can create a safe, visually pleasing and functional wall for nearly every garden space.


Author's Resource Box

Stephen Daniels is an acclaimed internet marketing strategist. If you are looking for
landscape services in Seattle, he highly recommends Rick Young Landscape and Design. They work extensively with the client, offering services for any of your landscaping needs, from design to installation.

Article Source:
Articlebliss

Tags:   landscape design Seattle, Seattle landscape contractors, landscape services Seattle

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Submitted : 2010-12-12    Word Count : 1    Times Viewed: 199