Retaining walls are important in maintaining an elevation's form. As its name says, it keeps the soil up to prevent it from sliding away especially at sloped or uneven areas.
In gardens where there are many aesthetic elevations, a retaining wall should ideally be as decorative as it is useful. Depending on preferences, soil load and appropriate use, there are different types of retaining walls:
- Gravity walls: These walls rely on their hard materials to keep the soil back with its own brute strength. Brick, concrete and stone are popular materials of choice for these walls.
- Cantilevered walls: These walls are reinforced by steel piping or frames cast in place at the back of the material to form a shape similar to an inverted T. This uses much less material but offers just as adequate support as the gravity walls.
- Sheet piling: Sheets of steel or plastic are arranged and driven to the ground to form a wall. It is usually used in tight spaces or areas with soft soil.
- Anchored wall: In addition to the material itself, an anchored wall keeps the soil in through the use of cables or other binders attached to the ground behind it to anchor the wall for further strength. This wall is ideal for supporting heavy loads.