Building a rock retaining wall in your garden is one way that you can spruce up your yard while serving a function as well. You can use a rock retaining wall to edge a flowerbed or a garden using rocks and stones, or you can use the rock retaining wall in your garden to hold back soil from erosion. You can also consider planting herbs, flowers and plants in and around your rock retaining wall to give it an added decorative element and personal style.
Step 1: Choose Appropriate Rocks
First, you'll need to choose the rocks and the stones that are best going to fit in with your landscape. Your rock retaining wall should complement your garden while creating a new focal point. Design your wall to coordinate with your existing landscape space as well as your home siding material and color.
A great place to look for flatter rocks for stacking is in a stone quarry. Another solid option for creating a retaining wall is to use bricks or concrete blocks to build the wall as they are sturdy and tend to look nice in all garden settings. Another option is to combine different media to create a unique retaining wall, but take care to create a sturdy wall.
Step 2: Add Soil
Find a high quality soil in which to plant herbs, flowers and other plants in and around your rock retaining wall. The soil should be a mix of compost and a high-quality planting soil. Mix in some gravel for proper drainage for the plants inserted in and around the wall.
Step 3: Insert Stakes
Insert wooden stakes to indicate where your wall will stand, running a string between these stakes to mark visible boundaries. Begin construction by digging a trench that is approximately 4 inches deep along the line of the string, filling this area with gravel or sand as a foundation. Then tamp this base down solidly so that it is both stable and firm to the touch.
Step 4: Fit Rocks Together
Now you should begin to fit the rocks together over the base, making sure to leave space between them where you are going to place your plants. Add the soil mix into these gaps and stagger plants in between them for the best results. Allowing plants to grow in your rock retaining wall will actually strengthen the wall as the plants will keep the dirt or soil that you are attempting to retain from eroding.
Finally, tuck the plants and the herbs into the spaces, filling in any extra spots or gaps with soil. Make sure that the soil is tamped in properly with a trowel to keep the retaining wall doing its job, which is to prevent soil or dirt from eroding in your garden. As the plants grow in the spaces of your wall, they will further strengthen it.