The Design and Purpose of Retaining Walls


Retaining walls are a unique visual component of a well-intentioned landscape design. They add a stately grandeur and dramatic flair to your landscape. However, a professional landscape designer adds these retaining walls for a very specific purpose. They are made to support the earth and create a barrier between one spot on your property and another. Here at TDH Landscaping, our two erosion specialists are Maryland-certified and can help you determine whether retaining walls are appropriate for your property.

When Retaining Walls are Necessary

When planning a retaining wall construction project, it’s important to consider what purpose the walls are going to serve. This will help identify the types of materials that should be used to construct the walls. For example, a retaining wall designed to stabilize a sloped area of your landscape will need to be made out of very sturdy materials and may even require concrete reinforcement. Retaining walls can also be used to control soil erosion or water runoff on your property. These two natural processes can be hazardous to your home and its foundation if left untreated. For these uses, a wide variety of materials is available, such as natural stone, brick, and concrete.

How to Design a Retaining Wall

Every retaining wall needs to be designed with precision and care to be effective while also blending in with the rest of the features of the existing landscape. Some considerations that a professional landscape designer will make include:

  • Materials: Using the same type of material in the retaining walls as another landscape feature creates a harmonious aesthetic. Different materials can make the property look too busy.
  • Height: The rationale behind the installation of a retaining wall will determine how tall it ought to be. If you are having them installed purely for decorative purposes, strive for small, short walls – high walls can create a constricting feeling within your property.
  • Wall Caps: The very tops of the retaining walls are a great place to add flair to the design. Beautiful wall caps complete the look by giving off a finished, neat aesthetic.
  • Design Elements: From straight lines to circles and curves, nearly anything is possible with retaining wall design. Of course, your choices in this may be limited if your wall is meant to fulfill a specific purpose, but ornamental retaining walls can be designed to complement any landscape.


If you have a unique, personal landscaping project in mind, contact TDH Landscaping. We will work with you to combine your vision with our renowned expertise and experience to make it happen. We have been in business for over fifty years, and our goal is to give every landscape a curated touch while offering the knowledge to keep your residential outdoor area beautiful all year long. Give us a call today at 410-692-0050, send us an email at, or fill out our contact form here to get the process started. Keep up with our blog for more updates and helpful tips, and don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInPinterestYoutube, and Houzz!

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