Ideas for Stylish Retaining Garden Walls

4 December 2019

Incorporating a retaining wall into your garden design creates a lovely landscaping feature as well as offering a range of benefits:

  • Extra support if your garden is on a slope, to prevent earth and soil moving downhill with erosion.
  • Provide useable land by creating terraces on slopes.
  • Help to slow down the flow of rainwater.

Retaining garden walls can also provide extra seating or can be decorated with garden ornaments or other features to brighten up your outside space.

There are many materials you can use to build garden walls – from sleepers to palisades, with walling stone and building blocks in between. And there’s a wide array of designs that can be perfectly incorporated into any style of garden. Let’s have a look at some ideas for building stylish retaining garden walls.


Whether new or reclaimed, sleepers are a great option for creating a retaining wall and work perfectly in both modern and traditional designs. Highly versatile, sleepers can be laid vertically or buried horizontally in the ground. Sleepers are also very robust, meaning your design will stand the test of time. AWBS offers a great selection of sleepers, from new wooden sleepers to French oak and reclaimed sleepers – perfect for creating your retaining garden wall.

Bricks and building blocks

For a rustic look or a contemporary one, bricks are a popular and cost-effective choice when it comes to retaining garden walls. From rustic red bricks and stylish buff colours, to modern solid blue engineering bricks, there’s a wide selection available to allow you to create your perfect design. Standard concrete blocks can also be used to build a retaining garden wall, which you can then paint, render or clad with stone or timber. If you use larger hollow concrete blocks, you can fill them with earth and plant flowers and foliage for a stunning feature.

Walling stone is a natural manmade stone, used specifically for building or cladding walls, and we used this method at our Oxford Garden Centre Café, using the very latest porcelain cladding, which gives a lovely finishing touch to the area.

Palisades and gabions

Palisades are large landscaping poles that can be buried vertically in the ground to create retaining garden walls. Palisades are highly versatile and are a great way to create a curved wall, as well as being perfect for gardens that are on different levels. Another stylish way to create retaining walls is by using gabions – metal cages filled with natural stone, then stacked on top of each other. While they’ve traditionally been used in commercial settings, gabions are now becoming more and more popular within domestic garden designs.

To find out more about the different options for building retaining garden walls, and to seek expert advice about your particular project, please get in touch with us.

Contact us for a free landscaping, fencing or driveway quote. We’re always happy to listen to your ideas and offer friendly advice and a personal service. If you’d like us to help turn your dream project into a reality, get in touch with us today and arrange a free, no-obligation survey and estimate.