In most cases, folks require a retaining wall to prevent downhill erosion. These walls are often thought of as unattractive intrusions into our landscaping. But they don’t have to be!
One of the best ways to improve the looks of a retaining wall is by intentionally building one that will also function as a flower and plant bed. And hey, those roots the plants drop also help with solidifying the wall. It’s an all-around win-win!
Here are some of the best retaining wall flower bed ideas.
Planned Color Schemes
One of the classiest ways to dress up your retaining wall is with a planned color scheme flowerbed. Like this one, using yellow, purple, and white, the distinct design of the colors comes through with intentionality. Our best advice is to choose colors that work well together, like red and blue, purple and white, yellow and orange, or similar.
For a wild, exotic-feeling retainer wall garden, consider planting a variety of plants that will attractively “go wild”, overthrowing the looks and space of your retaining wall. Be sure to use vividly colored flowers, long ornamental grasses or vines, and vivid leafy plants that make a statement.
Easy Annuals and Solar Lights
If you just want a simple garden plan, consider using annuals like marigolds and petunias to fill out the flowerbed without plenty of expense or extra work. They add bright color all season long, without a lot of extra work from you.
Themed “Gallery” Style Flowerbed
In this image, you’ll see some touches that emulate Asian design with the stone cairns and distinct plants. You can, of course, go with a gallery-style flower bed like this, or you can use that gallery retaining wall to grow any sort of themed flowerbed you like. Think English tea garden, rose garden, butterfly garden, even a fairy garden could work!
Singular Color Theme
If you have a penchant for a singular color (like pink here), consider planning your retaining wall garden around this color scheme. You’ll find a variety of flowers that come in the same shades of various colorsm, or you can make a rainbow within the color like pictured here.
Selective Spaces Flowerbed
Just because you’re growing a flowerbed doesn’t mean your entire retaining wall plot has to be filled with flowers. You can choose a style more like this one pictured here with spare plantings of gorgeous flowers and leafy plants for a nice, clean statement.
Rock Garden Flowerbed
For a unique twist on both a retaining wall garden and a rock garden, combine the two for this sort of rock garden flower bed. Mix and match stones and rocks, carpet flowers, and shorter flowers for a nice short patchwork look like this one.
Not all flowers are “plants” – some come in the shrubbery. And shrubs make for some of the best plants to use in your retaining wall garden. They generally put down long root systems that help to support against erosion and come in a wide variety of colorful flowering options you can choose from.
Stick with a Pattern
If you like things neat and orderly, consider using a pattern for your flowerbed. You can alternate colors, plant types, or both, like shown here, or choose two plants to alternate for a neat, clean look.
In some cases, plants that cascade like these are your best bet for that retaining wall, especially if it’s an older wall that could use some sprucing up. The flowing plants add extra color and beauty to any space for sure – and require less trimming than others.
Try Some Xeriscaping
Your retaining wall garden could be your ticket to a xeriscaped place. That are beautiful, arid-type plants that are grown in gravel or mulch like this. Mix in some cacti or succulents for the full effect, and enjoy the low maintenance space!
Hummingbird and Butterfly Garden
Just because it’s a retaining wall doesn’t mean it can’t serve as a hummingbird garden! For this, simply choose beautiful butterfly and hummingbird attracting plants like bee balm, columbine, and foxgloves.
Container Statue and Mini Pond Garden
Admittedly, this idea won’t work for everyone, but this unique take on a retaining wall flower bed is pretty cool nonetheless. The idea combines that of a tiny pond with a fountain (or statue, if you prefer), combined with potted plants for a distinct container garden unlike any other.
This retaining wall garden has a distinct flower border that adds a bright white pop that helps to shape the design of the garden. If you start with a border, move inward, match plants, create lines (or even designs), and voila – you’ve got a gorgeous, well-planned space!
Line ‘Em Up!
For this garden, the plants are lined up, simply and plainly, resulting in a beautiful, clean-looking garden space. This design type is great for people who like singular colors and order.
If you like a little eclectic beauty, consider going with a rustic style garden design. But rustic, we mean natural and “wild”, but with some intent displayed. Choose plants that will “explode” with natural leafy beauty and colorful blooms, then let them grow wild – trimming back only for their health and to keep the pathway clear.
Build It Up
In the case of this garden, the designers not only planted carefully curated plants to add color, but they built up the bed with rocks to create an almost southwestern look of the great outdoors. It can be emulated with any type of boulders or stones you can find.
Short and Sweet
For a simple design, grab some short, easy-to-care-for flowers like pansies or geraniums and let them do the work. Plant the short flowers in patterns or just wherever they fit in the space. This idea is great, especially for shorter retaining walls where you don’t want to block views.
Think English Garden
For those who love a good English cottage garden, consider planting flowering shrubs, vines, and plants that you’d find there. It could include climatic, fuchsia, catmint, foxgloves, geraniums, lavender, or delphinium.
Rose Garden Retaining Wall Garden
And who’s to say you can’t turn that retaining wall garden into a rose garden? The right rose bushes will look amazing in the plots and add deep root systems if they’re well cared for.
Mix and Match
Finally, a mix and match design is a nice choice for a lot of folks – especially when you mix and match shrubs, flowering plants, and flowering trees. The multiple heights of plants will make the whole space gorgeous, and if you choose the right plants, they’ll keep it colorful all season long.
Plant That Wall!
Whatever plants ultimately you choose to use, you’ll find these ideas are sure to inspire effective, beautiful results. Be sure to choose plants with deep root systems to help support the wall. When all’s said and done, you’ll have a doubly useful and beautiful new garden feature you’ll appreciate for years.