11 Fieldstone Retaining Wall Ideas

Have you ever wondered what to call the structures that hold the soil and plant life above and behind it? These are called retaining walls, and they are a beautiful addition to your landscape if you want a more structured, organized, and space-saving solution.

If you're currently remodeling and want to elevate your landscape, we have gathered 11 fieldstone retaining wall ideas that can inspire you.

Retaining walls are not just functional--they are also aesthetically pleasing and can make your landscape look better. Here are fieldstone retaining walls you can try:

  1. Pair them with patio steps
  2. Attach a seat to the wall
  3. Utilize lighting on the walls
  4. Go for a rugged look
  5. Fill it with fern plants
  6. Place it near a pool of water
  7. Keep the grass trimmed and mowed
  8. Keep a sloped angle
  9. Build a large retaining wall
  10. Incorporate an amphitheater design
  11. Keep a pathway

Building a fieldstone retaining wall can make your landscape more visually appealing and enhance curb appeal. They add value to your house, and they make your outdoor scape look inviting as you can have more space for yourself.

If you want to learn more about how to design your landscape with retaining walls, keep reading below.

Natural stone landscaping in home garden with stairs, 11 Fieldstone Retaining Wall Ideas

11 Fieldstone Retaining Wall Ideas

Retaining walls are an ideal landscape fixture. They increase property value, and they don't require too much maintenance so you get all of your investment back.

They are known for their functionality since they can hold even heavy trees and maintain the vegetation by retaining moisture which is necessary for plant growth.

These fixtures also reduce stormwater runoff as everything can be absorbed within the soil, decreasing the risk for stream impairment in other areas.

Here are ways you can incorporate these functional and visually pleasing fixtures into your landscaping.

1. Pair them with Patio Steps

Natural stone landscaping of walls and steps outside house

Incorporating tiers into the retaining wall is a great way to make your landscape look more visually structured. It will look like an extension of the stairs, which you can later convert to walkable tiers.

They give off an effortlessly organized look, and they enhance the look of your steps. However, even if the retaining walls themselves aren't tiered and are only tall enough to pair with stairs, they still make for a visually appealing landscape structure. 

2. Attach a Seat to the Wall

Retaining wall with bench topped with flowering petunia's in garden

If you want to increase the functionality of your retaining wall, try attaching seating along the walls. Create a fire pit with the leftover materials, and you have yourself an outdoor patio!

Since you will be next to plants, you have the benefit of smelling the refreshing scent of the plants. Just make sure you have insect repellents since they are known to surround plant life especially if you live in a tropical or humid area.

3. Utilize Lighting on the Walls

Awesome backyard with hot tub and fire pit

Nothing says effortless elegance quite like warm recessed lighting on landscapes. Install lighting along your retaining walls to enhance curb appeal and to light up your outdoor space when there's a gathering or if you simply want to relax outside. 

If not recessed lighting, you can opt for freestanding lights which can still make your landscape look sophisticated.

If you have tiered landscapes, it is best to install either recessed or freestanding lights on each tier to highlight the beauty of the plants on each tier. 


Check out these recessed lights on Amazon.

Read: 15 Great Solar Lighting Ideas For A Retaining Wall

4. Go for a Rugged Look

Lean into the fieldstone's rugged look. Placing boulders on your landscape will make the landscape feel natural, and will enhance curb appeal despite its rugged appearance.

For added visual appeal and to make the plants healthier, layer the soil with red mulch and let it blend with the landscape. 

This design is perfect if you want a chic and rustic look. It is best to incorporate this when the retaining wall leads directly to the ground beneath it so the boulders will seamlessly blend in and make them visually cohesive. Try putting sprawling plants on each tier to lean into the rugged aesthetic.

Read: "How To Plant Flowers In Rock Landscaping."

5. Fill it with Fern Plants

Stone stairs in the shady garden framed by ferns and blue hortensia plants

Planting fern plants on retaining walls will give off the impression that the plants are "spilling over" the walls, which can enhance its aesthetic appeal. Incorporate other vibrant-colored plants and flowers along the tiers to add pops of color and to make your garden look more "alive." 

If not ferns, you can put other large shrubs and plants into the retaining wall and make them bushy enough so that your retaining walls look lush and fresh with greenery.

See live, hanging ferns on Amazon.

6. Place it Near a Pool or Water Feature

Placing the retaining wall near a pool of water--artificial or natural--will enhance the look of your landscape. Water paired with any natural elements will look seamless, and it will make you feel as if you're swimming in a lush forest. 

Let the retaining wall curve over the pool to make each element blend into each other, and to give the illusion that they are an extension of one another. 

If not directly beside the pool, you can leave a space between the pool and retaining wall although the landscape will not look as seamless. However, this will still enhance your landscape's aesthetic. 

7. Keep the Grass Trimmed and Mowed

If you would rather have a garden extension, keep the grass trimmed and mowed on the area above your retaining wall. That way, you would basically have a two-tiered garden since one part--which is on a retaining wall--is elevated. 

You can cut a pathway in the middle so you won't need to step over the grass if you want to maintain their lush and green look. You can also try planting bright-colored flowers to inject a pop of color. 

8. Keep a Sloped Angle

Colorful landscape design

Sloped retaining walls are more about their functionality. They are easier to build if you build tiers, and you can arrange the plants according to their growth so they won't eclipse the other plants. The angle prevents errosion and stormwater runoff, so it's ideal to put bigger plants into. 

9. Build a Large Retaining Wall

Instead of settling for small or medium-sized retaining walls, you can build one huge wall if you live beside a sprawling garden and want to prevent errosion. This is also ideal if you only have little functional space and need to hold the garden in its place.

10. Incorporate an Amphitheater Design

Amphitheater designs are perfect for retaining walls. You can either keep it functional and simply keep a turf on each step with a patio at the bottom, or you can plant small flowers and shrubs on them for added visual appeal. 

11. Keep a Pathway

Cut a path beside or at the center of the retaining walls. That way, people can walk around it and appreciate the greenery around.

The type of pathway depends on how the retaining wall was built. Tiered retaining walls can have better pathways since you can simply build stairs in between. 

If the retaining wall is small, build a pathway around your garden so you won't have to step over grasses and ruin your lawn. 

Final Thoughts

Enhancing your landscape sometimes means building something from scratch. Fortunately, fieldstone retaining walls are relatively easy to build and install. You can try doing it yourself, but letting a professional build them would be better for both functional and aesthetic purposes.

As always, consider the layout of your landscape as you decide how to build your retaining wall.