Retaining Wall For Small Ravaged Yard
retaining wall designs
This is a retaining wall question regarding heights and design.
I have a small yard in a cookie-cutter subdivision. But, it has a large hill encompassing 3/4 of it. There is maybe 8-10 ft. of semi-level yard before the slope begins. The yard is about 40ft wide by about 60 or 70ft deep.
My thought was to do one large wall across the yard about 5 feet tall. This way I can have a couple of fruit trees and garden up top - safe from dogs and kids. But, the landscaper that came out has recommended (2) 3ft. walls in a curved terrace form.
I think that would work. But I just can't seem to picture it or let go of my destruction-proof garden. I am in Ky, so the dirt is clay and there are drainage issues in my lower yard. I just don't know what to or where to find good resources on this. Thank you.
A five foot high wall is quite high, while (2) 3 foot walls are not so massive. However, the advantage of one wall, is that you are creating one large level area (behind the wall). Two walls create more of a terraced look, and you are also involved with a specific planting design between the walls...plus more maintenance of the garden.
I did a quick sketch for you showing the differences between using one or two
retaining walls. It is not to scale, but shows the different wall scenarios. The scribbly item is a person showing general height relationships. Note that the five foot wall provides a larger space on the upper level.
A five foot wall should be engineered and is more complicated to build as it is a much taller structure. In addition, you have to be sure to have either fencing on top or very deep planting beds to prevent anyone from falling over the wall. This is usually required by the township or city.
The best thing would be for it to be drawn out for you, to scale based on your property elevations and dimensions. This can be an elevation drawing like I did, but more accurate...even with the plants shown. Also, probably a drawing of curved walls in plan view as the alternative would be helpful.
The drainage issues in the lower section of your yard should also be addressed by your landscaper. Ask him how he is going to solve this problem. It might be a swale, a lawn drain, etc. It's possible that when the retaining wall is done, it will help, but this should be determined ahead of time by knowing the "after elevations" and where the water will drain to.
Btw, if you send me certain site info, I can do an accurate elevation for you. Otherwise I hope this info has been helpful!
"Susan, what a pleasure it was to work with you. You made me feel like I was your only client - responding late at night and always so quickly! Your design is amazing and we only hope we can do justice to it when we plant. You have such fantastic ideas and you are so open to suggestions and changes. Loved working with you - now if you could only come to Canada and plant it!!!"