In literally scores of landscapes, there are grade changes, altitude adjustments owing to the intricacies of the local land. Walls, as mentioned below, are a handy remedy. In fact, sometimes there is no substitute for them. With modern property law now firmly affixed dealing with issues of drainage and controlling water on one’s own property, “neighbor lawsuits” insist that solutions be met to insure all rainwater and irrigation be conducted elsewhere. Sometimes, this can present a huge quandary. Many times the only solution may be some sort of lowering of the lawn or garden level to deal with water appropriately. These pictures in this post represent a small range of possibilities in the construction of walls made from pre-engineered modular pieces, or segmented concrete blocks.
They also look really cool. I have to also mention, they are easier, by far, to construct than those made out of rock, given the same parameters. There are dry-stacked rock walls which can be built fairly rapidly with the right machinery and with select types of rocks themselves, but these are for projects long ahead of the actual building of homes. When a home is built, suddenly it becomes more problematic fitting in machinery that can easily handle those one ton beasts. Take it from me – I have tried.
So we’re left with other solutions. I love the flexibility of these blocks, myself. Curving them makes for an arresting design, pretty to look at and functional as all heck. These stones are all pre-engineered by geotechnical experts in handling water issues of hydrostatic pressure: the buildup of pressure as water collects behind a wall. Naturally, it requires foresight enough to insert pipes and drain systems as a part of the construction. When done right, it can be quite a nice sight, as the smiling morons here can attest ;-):
The ability to insert stairs and even bench seating is another great opportunity to add visual value to a wall as well as providing access and the ability for gardeners to get to their missions.
Or, you can even put a moving water display into your wall:
All in all, the segmented wall is not hard to build. It is definitely heavy work and there is cutting involved, although not a lot. The primary consideration in wall-building, at almost every level, is to make sure the bottom course is sturdy and durable. Once that is achieved, the rest is gravy.