Xeriscape Design With Dry Stack Rock Retaining Walls
Tips and ideas for backyard xeriscaping designs using natural rock retaining wall
This picture will give you a good idea of how simple this dry stack wall is put together. You can get instructions on how to build one like this further down the page. While most retaining walls we build like this have mortar in the joints, this one is free standing without any mortar. At the request of the client this was a first for us. It worked out well and is very stable as it does have a concrete footing under it.
More Pictures Of This Design
- Yellow - Coreopsis
- Purple - Penstemon
- Top - Russian Sage
To begin with, this yard was very small, flat, and empty. In this particular backyard design, the wall was created for several purposes. First, was to create interest by creating a second level. It was also made to make the main fence look smaller, add boundary, and make the small backyard seem larger.
One thing you can't see about this wall which is very important to point out, is how it was laid together. When building dry stack or pre-fab retaining walls, you need to stack the rocks at a slight slope inward toward the bed from bottom to top. This gives the wall physical strength against the pile of soil in the beds. You can read more about this at the How To Build Rock Walls page.
The selection of garden plants that we used in this design is very bright and colorful. As I pointed out before, xeriscaping and xeriscape plants can be very beautiful. It's not just rocks and cactus. The plants you see in the foreground and in front of the retaining wall are Coreopsis and Penstemon. They are both low water use plant species.