There are two general types of retaining walls: mortarless (dry) and mortared (wet). A mortarless structure cannot be over 4-feet high and is more cost effective. A mortared structure can be engineered to be 10’s of feet in height and is more labor intensive. Both are effective and beautiful and enhance a yard. The purpose of a retaining wall, as well as the overall landscape design, should determine whether the structure should be built from cultured stone, concrete, brick, wood, or other natural material. It is important to maintain consistency and unity throughout a yard.
Greenworks Designs offers a complete line of mortar and mortarless retaining walls for residential and commercial projects. Hardscapes usually create the bones of the garden by defining traffic patterns and creating physical structures, living spaces and value are added to your home by providing useable square footage outdoors. All of our stonework is installed with a clean aggregate base usually 8″ deep, properly compacted, leveled, and graded. In situations that require mitigating water problems, we can design drainage systems right under the patio, walk, driveway or wall. Our two sided walls are built on the same base as our patios and walks. Our dry laid retaining walls are built proportionally to their height; this means they will retain the sheer weight of the soil behind them. Behind the wall goes a pocket of washed stone and a drain that creates a dry environment behind the wall as well as a buffer from soil heaving in winter. This pocket is carefully enclosed in a filter fabric to prevent soil infiltration. With taller walls, concrete or natural stone, we will also use geogrid to stabilize the backfill zone behind the wall.
What is Hardscape Design? Hardscape design is a subcategory of landscaping that refers to the usage of inanimate objects in landscape design. As the subcategory implies, hardscape design and hardscaping refers to “the hard stuff, components such as metal (i.e., iron), brick, stone, concrete, and timber.
Hardscape design is just that, the design process, creating a virtual design to integrate inanimate objects into a hardscape. Hardscaping includes patio and deck construction, the creation of a stone or brick walkway, stone wall construction, creating a wooden fence or gate, and so much more. The application of hardscape design and hardscaping is limited only by the virtual design teams imagination. Significantly, hardscape design and its implementation are not limited to large-scale undertakings. In fact, any metal, stone, brick, or concrete decoration integrated into your existing landscape is hardscaping. When planning a big project from concept through design and on to construction, it is crucial to consider both hardscaping and softscaping elements. Creating the proper virtual design, considering all aspects of an intelligent, well thought-out landscape and hardscape design is crucial to its success.
A question that must be addressed early on is what comes first? Do we begin with the hardscaping or the softscaping (the landscaping)? In most cases, it is advisable to begin with the hardscaping elements because they are the easiest to work with. By beginning with the hardscaping, you lessen the risk of injury to the softscaping (the plants), which may be damaged or destroyed by the physical exertion required by most hardscaping projects.
When integrating hardscape design elements into an overall landscape design, many favor curved objects instead of straight lines. By recognizing how hardscape and softscape elements complement each other, an aesthetically pleasing design is the end result. Creating curved walls and walkways may soften the landscape, counteracting the harsh, straight lines offered in most housing construction, sidewalks, and driveways. Consider a curvilinear walkway or path of stone to break up an area and create visual interest. Consider a water feature, flower bed, shrub or tree line, balanced with just the right hardscape elements.
Creating a curving path or walkway will also allow you and your visitors to wander through your landscape, taking in and enjoying the experience and the view. Greenworks Designs is a full-service landscaping company that has built their reputation balancing landscape virtual design, hardscape virtual design, and water features into a unifying whole. Every element in a landscape design is hand-selected, ensuring that every aspect of your landscape and/or hardscape design is imaginative and aesthetically pleasing, while also meeting Greenworks Designs time-tested standards. From specially selected stone to the beauty and charm of natural quarry rock, Greenworks Designs ensures lasting beauty for every landscaping and hardscaping project, from design to final cleanup. Greenworks Designs stands behind their virtual designs and their services! A landscape, hardscape, or water feature is only as good as the people and materials behind it, the team that creates it and the hands that mold it.