Four Things to Consider About Retaining Walls in Rockville, MD

Retaining walls hold back soil when there is a difference in earth elevation. Many retaining walls in Rockville, MD are used to terrace yards with steep slopes, to help create usable outdoor space, and to control erosion. Low retaining walls are mostly used as planting beds and can add interest to an otherwise flat yard.

It’s important to have a basic understanding of what goes into proper retaining wall design before you hire someone to build a landscape retaining wall on your property.  Here are four things to consider:

  1. Base: a retaining wall must be built on a suitable base, set below ground level. The taller a wall is, the further below ground level it should be set. In order to support the rest of the wall, a good base should consist of compacted soil and at least a six inch layer of compacted sand and gravel.
  2. Backfill: a retaining wall must have properly compacted backfill dirt behind the wall. There should be at least 12 inches of granular backfill (gravel or a similar aggregate) installed directly behind the wall in order to provide proper drainage. Compacted native soil can be used to backfill the rest of the space behind the wall. If you intend to do landscaping behind the wall, a 6+ inch layer of native soil should also be placed over the gravel fill.
  3. Drainage: efficient drainage is important, since water can’t pass through most retaining walls. Drainage problems can cause bulging or cracking in your retaining wall. How to ensure proper drainage of water from behind a retaining wall? You can require that your landscaping contractor backfills at least a foot of space behind the wall with gravel. You can also have a perforated pipe installed along the inside, or backfilled, bottom of the wall. Be sure to ask your landscaping contractor if weep holes will be needed to allow water to drain through the wall.
  4. Height: the height of a retaining wall determines the load it can bear and how much extra reinforcement will be necessary. Residential retaining walls are usually built between 3 and 4 feet high, because that height provides excellent strength without requiring additional reinforcements.

For more information on retaining walls in Rockville, MD, please contact East Coast Landscape Design, the Washington D.C. area’s leading licensed landscape design company. Located in Montgomery County, Maryland since 1979, the company, under the leadership of President Mark Simpson, has designed and installed landscape projects, including patios, outdoor kitchens, driveways, and retaining walls.

Tips for Making Your Kensington, MD Patio Perfect

You’ve seen some of those fabulous patios on TV or the Web – and East Coast Landscape Design can create the Kensington, MD patio of your dreams. Here are some tips to add those finishing touches that make your patio perfect for you and your family.

Make your patio an extension of your home.

  • Make your outdoor seating comfortable and stylish.
  • Coordinate your outdoor colors – furniture cushions and accessories with plants and flowers.
  • Add lighting – like interesting lanterns – to your patio
  • Add a fire-pit or chiminea together around on those chilly nights.
  • Add ways to cool off –  add a pergola with vines, plant a tree or add a simple canopy for shade

Create privacy by incorporating several view-blocking techniques.

  • Plant hedges and using fences or walls to create your private sanctuary
  • Create a curved pathway to your “hidden” patio.
  • A virtual wall of planters at the back of the patio creates a soothing hedge.
  • A stucco wall around the patio makes it feel even more enclosed and intimate.
  • Add bamboo panels for an inexpensive way to create privacy.

Create a view with a beautiful focal point, and make your patio a destination.

  • A well-designed formal garden creates a perfect backdrop for luxury seating.
  • A fountain creates pleasant and soothing background sounds.
  • Surround the patio with fragrant flowers, such as roses, for even more sensory appeal.
  • A flowering small tree, such as a dogwood, that adds shade and extra interest.

Rest assured that the experienced professionals at East Coast Landscape Design can design and build your Kensington, MD dream patio. East Coast Landscape Design uses a wide variety of materials including stone, brick pavers, interlocking bricks, and stamped concrete. These experts will work with you to select materials for your Kensington, MD patio that compliment your home, providing seamless function and style. Please contact East Coast Landscape Design today at 301-421-4141.