Terraced Garden Tackles Troublesome Hillside

Building Plantable Terraces

Building a new home can be exciting and often challenging. This hillside lot was indeed a challenge for the homeowners building in a new development. They needed to reshape the slope in front of their home and gain more usable land for a driveway leading to the front entrance.

To manage the 8 ft. (2.4 m) change in grade and create a pleasing landscape, Hardscape Construction Inc., suggested a terraced retaining wall rather than one large wall. They advised the homeowners that two terraced walls with a planting area between them would soften the hill and add drama to the driveway entrance.

AB Dash of Ashlar

Allan Block Dash of Ashlar

"I’m pleased with the results. We took a challenging lot and created a beautifully landscaped driveway entrance".
- Hardscape Construction

retaining wall

The homeowners loved the idea of a terraced flower garden, but needed to keep the costs down. They worked with the contractor to create a design that was both economical and distinct. They used AB Stones for constructing the terraced walls and added a "Dash of Ashlar" to create a beautiful accent texture. With 20% of the wall being the Ashlar Blend pattern, they were able to keep overall costs down while creating a truly unique design.

By keeping the walls under 4 ft. (1.22 m), using AB Stones and laying out the terraces to achieve proper separation, they provided a cost effective solution for developing the site. The contractor describes the construction process, "Because this was a new development with previously excavated soils, we wanted to make sure the walls would not settle over time. So we re-excavated and compacted the base soils before beginning construction. Excavating for the spacing between the walls and compacting the infill soils had to be done carefully. Although difficult, it was necessary to ensure proper long-term performance of the walls.”

The homeowners are delighted with the project. "Hardscape Construction did a very professional job from start to finish. Even with the extra effort they made to ensure the walls were built on stable ground, they completed the entire project in less than 10 days. Today, 8 years later, you can tell they did a great job because the wall looks as good as the day it was finished."

Excerpt from Landscape Newsletter Issue #6