50 Garden and Backyard Retaining Wall Ideas and Terraced Gardens (Photos)

A collection of backyard retaining wall ideas and terraced gardens. All kinds including wood, rock, stone, brick, gabion, concrete, low, garden and more.
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Luxuriously landscaped terrace garden.


Welcome to our photo gallery featuring a selection of the most luxurious and beautiful terrace gardens with retaining walls.

Terrace gardens date back to ancient times, and are still a beautiful but rarely seen luxury in modern times.

Contemporary terrace gardens and retaining walls tend to be much smaller and modest in most residential landscaping designs, and while some are works of masonry, others are simply stacked stones or concrete steps.  We set out the 10 retaining wall materials here.

The majority of the terraces and retaining walls you’ll see in this collection can be found in nearly any suburban neighborhood. Many contemporary terrace gardens are also in urban areas, and use extensive container gardening to create these small gardens in the lack of a traditional planting bed.

The above terrace is an expansive garden with a small pond, waterfall, and small evergreen bushes lining the larger terraces.

We hope you’ll enjoy this unique collection and find inspiration for your own garden!

Find more backyard ideas in our definitive guide to backyards!

Wood retaining wall ideas

Stone and rock retaining wall ideas

 

Thin slate stones stacked create a natural-looking, simple barrier between the landscaping and the grass.

Thin slate stones stacked create a natural-looking, simple barrier between the landscaping and the grass.

A more country, rustic retaining wall by the side of a paved pathway, creating a terrace up the large hillside. Moss grows on the old stones, marking this wall as well aged.

A more country, rustic retaining wall by the side of a paved pathway, creating a terrace up the large hillside. Moss grows on the old stones, marking this wall as well aged.

A hand-laid retaining wall made out of natural stone. Two terraces are filled with low maintenance landscaping. The terraces smooth out angle between the much higher house and the lawn.


A hand-laid retaining wall made out of natural stone. Two terraces are filled with low maintenance landscaping. The terraces smooth out angle between the much higher house and the lawn.

A series of layered stone terraces between the highest and lowest levels of a split-level home. A ramp is overhead.

A series of layered stone terraces between the highest and lowest levels of a split-level home. A ramp is overhead. Source: Zillow DigsTM

A new garden with several garden tiers and new growth. The stone retaining walls will keep the arrangements separate.

A new garden with several garden tiers and new growth. The stone retaining walls will keep the arrangements separate.

A residential terrace garden along a winding stone path along the side of the home.

A residential terrace garden along a winding stone path along the side of the home.

A look at the above terrace garden and path from the rear of the home.

A look at the above terrace garden and path from the rear of the home.

Stone retaining walls running beside a packed dirt road.

Stone retaining walls running beside a packed dirt road.

A series of retaining walls surrounding a waterfall that runs into a small creek down the hill.

A series of retaining walls surrounding a waterfall that runs into a small creek down the hill.

Cobblestone / Brick retaining wall ideas

A contemporary home with terraced landscaping on either side of the stone stairs that lead up to the front door. The light colored stones are stacked neatly around the planting beds, making the hillside less dramatic.

A contemporary home with terraced landscaping on either side of the stone stairs that lead up to the front door. The light colored stones are stacked neatly around the planting beds, making the hillside less dramatic.

A stone retaining wall that snakes around either side of a paved pathway. Ornamental trees, flowers, and draping vines fill in and around the sides of the two terraces.

A stone retaining wall that snakes around either side of a paved pathway. Ornamental trees, flowers, and draping vines fill in and around the sides of the two terraces.

Stacked landscaping stones are an easy and great way to keep grass out of your planting bed and add curb appeal to your landscaping. Any borders you create will stay in place.

Stacked landscaping stones are an easy and great way to keep grass out of your planting bed and add curb appeal to your landscaping. Any borders you create will stay in place.

The stones used to create these terraces and retaining walls are speckled with small holes that give them the appearance of a kitchen sponge.

The stones used to create these terraces and retaining walls are speckled with small holes that give them the appearance of a kitchen sponge.

A series of light stone retaining walls that help keep the sand dunes from eroding away and also provide a sturdy place for larger evergreens to grow.

A series of light stone retaining walls that help keep the sand dunes from eroding away and also provide a sturdy place for larger evergreens to grow.

Lush landscaping with a small birdbath, looking glass, and uniformly stacked stones. A small set of stairs leads up to a pathway on the top terrace.

Lush landscaping with a small birdbath, looking glass, and uniformly stacked stones. A small set of stairs leads up to a pathway on the top terrace.

A retaining wall next to a stone courtyard in alternating red and gray stone.

A retaining wall next to a stone courtyard in alternating red and gray stone.

A simple terrace garden with ornamental grasses and bushes.

A simple terrace garden with ornamental grasses and bushes.

A simple, curved retaining wall that forms a circular planter full of petunias.

A simple, curved retaining wall that forms a circular planter full of petunias.

A retaining wall of light stacked stone that is uniform in color and size. The ground above the stones is covered in a thick groundcover.


A retaining wall of light stacked stone that is uniform in color and size. The ground above the stones is covered in a thick groundcover.

 

A simple retaining wall that creates a raised gardening plot filled with petunias, black-eyed susans, and other members of the daisy family.

A simple retaining wall that creates a raised gardening plot filled with petunias, black-eyed susans, and other members of the daisy family.

A retaining perimeter wall around the wooden backyard patio. The top tier runs into the surrounding woods.

A retaining perimeter wall around the wooden backyard patio. The top tier runs into the surrounding woods.

Terraces of multiple heights surround this pool complex, creating a private oasis.

Terraces of multiple heights surround this swimming pool, creating a private oasis.

Beautifully fashioned retaining walls, each with a different plant in large groups.

Beautifully fashioned retaining walls, each with a different plant in large groups.

Concrete retaining wall ideas

A series of small concrete terraces create steps along this hillside. Soft, plush grasses make this spot perfect for sitting.

A series of small concrete terraces create steps along this hillside. Soft, plush grasses make this spot perfect for sitting.

Gabion retaining wall ideas

See our entire gabion wall and fence article/gallery here.

A simple terrace created with wooden blocks, chicken wire, and large stones for a rustic look. The landscaping is simple and low maintenance.

A simple terrace created with wooden blocks, chicken wire, and large stones for a rustic look. The landscaping is simple and low maintenance. Source: Zillow DigsTM

Garden Wall Ideas

What’s the difference between a garden wall and a retaining wall?

The difference lies in purpose. Retaining walls hold back the earth.  They can definitely look great and be aesthetically pleasing, but their function is to hold back earth.

Garden walls are purely aesthetic.  They are not built for strength.

A short retaining wall that creates dedicated planting beds easily distinguishable from the grass lawn.

A short retaining wall that creates dedicated planting beds easily distinguishable from the grass lawn.

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27 Garden Trellis and Lattice Ideas (Wood & Metal) | 50 Creative Container Garden Ideas (Illustrations)65 Walkway Ideas & Designs (Brick, Flagstone & Wood)









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