When I tell people that I'm the landscaper who looks after our team's football field they are really impressed, and a little jealous. I don't think they know how much work it is though - it's definitely trickier than keeping your backyard looking green. Not only does my football field need to look lush, it also needs to be perfectly even so that the ball doesn't bounce at crazy angles, and not so soft that the players boots sink in. I need to keep up with all of the latest tricks that landscapers have, and I write these up here so that everyone can give them a try on their own fields.
Retaining walls, which are built to hold back a mound of earth, can be found in various areas of a garden. You might want to create a sunken courtyard, and once the soil is excavated to form a hole, a retaining wall can form a barrier to keep the soil at the side in place. Alternatively, your property may be hilly, and you want to create tiers of flat ground with the help of retaining walls. These barriers can use various materials, such as concrete blocks, timber, and sandstone. Here's a rundown of these options.
Concrete block retaining walls use interlocking blocks that fit together to create the barrier. You can make low, high, straight, or curved walls, as the separate blocks provide design versatility. While not aesthetic in its raw state, a concrete block wall can be finished in different ways. You could render the blocks with cement or paint them to blend with the landscape. For a rustic look, cover the barrier with a stone veneer finish. Concrete blocks are suitable whether you want to construct raised garden beds or undertake a large-scale project such as levelling out a front garden on a steep hill.
These walls are relatively involved to build. The blocks have a hollow core, through which steel rods are threaded for reinforcement. Gaps can be filled with poured cement, making the wall even stronger.
Another material to consider for your project is a timber retaining wall, using sturdy planks and posts. Wood has a unique natural charm that will enhance your garden. Timber retaining walls aren't as suitable for massive projects as concrete blocks are. However, timber walls don't require such an extensive footing system (of steel posts cemented into the earth) as concrete. Thus, you can get the wall built relatively quickly. However, wooden structures don't tend to last as long as some other materials, and termites and rot are two problems that can arise.
Another natural material that may entice you is sandstone blocks, which can be stacked to form a low wall. Unlike concrete blocks, they're not hollow in the centre so they're quite heavy. Thus, you'll pay extra to transport and move the chunks of sandstone, which require machinery to lift them into place. However, sandstone will bring a lovely rock aesthetic to your garden. Each piece of stone will feature organically blended tones and colours and provide a timeless rustic texture.
For more information about retaining walls, contact a local landscaping company.