Retaining walls help to fortify sloped backyards (and front or side yards) against soil erosion and make it easier to add landscaping ranging from green grass to plants, wildflowers, rock gardens, outdoor staircases, or water features. Whether your backyard is a gently sloping lawn, rolling hills, or a steep patch of untamed rocks and dirt, these retaining wall ideas for sloped backyards in a range of styles and settings will help you to optimize your landscape design and make your outdoor space more beautiful and usable.
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Boulder Retaining Wall
Reflecting the surrounding mountain terrain, JLF Architects and Big-D Signature used boulders to create a retaining wall between the main house and garage/guest quarters of this Park City, UT. A newly constructed wall made of remnant stone on the other side of the smaller building adds a sense of history to the property.Continue to 2 of 26 below.
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Bucolic Stone Retaining Wall
This lushly planted sloping backyard from Crisp Architects includes a stone staircase and retaining wall that lends it a bucolic feel.Continue to 3 of 26 below.
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Desert Retaining Wall
This Palm Springs backyard pool area from Michelle Boudreau Design has a retaining wall with a stepped stucco edge that creates a focal point on the sloped periphery. The slope is planted with a spare selection of desert-friendly vegetation and complemented with palm trees and privacy hedges.Continue to 4 of 26 below.
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Multi-Level Retaining Wall
Stacked gray stone adds texture to this tiered backyard retaining wall from KG Designs, planted with green plants and white and purple flowers that soften the modern Seattle backyard patio and outdoor living space.Continue to 5 of 26 below.
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Local Stone Retaining Wall
JLF Architects built a retaining wall to protect the downstairs patio space from water runoff on this sloping site in Hudson River Valley, NY. The retaining wall is built from large rocks and landscaped with stacked soil beds that echo the natural setting and local stone.Continue to 6 of 26 below.
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Gently Curved Retaining Wall
Retaining walls follow the curves of the gently sloping green lawn of this charming old home renovation from Crisp Architects to create an organic feel.Continue to 7 of 26 below.
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Steep Slope Staircase Retaining Walls
Sloped retaining walls on either side of the staircase leading downhill to the pool area add structure to this large and lushly landscaped Mediterranean hillside property from Fantastic Frank.Continue to 8 of 26 below.
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Retaining Wall for Trees
This sloped side yard retaining wall from Light and Dwell is planted with young trees, while edged beds beneath it are filled with shrubs to line the footpath.Continue to 9 of 26 below.
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Flagstone Retaining Wall
This Southern California backyard patio from Leanne Ford Interiors is made possible by a flagstone retaining wall that flows seamlessly into a built-in outdoor banquette and flooring in the same finish for a cohesive look.Continue to 10 of 26 below.
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Double Staircase Retaining Walls
Martha O'Hara Interiors creates a smooth transition between this Lake Minnetonka, MN home and its sloping manicured lawns by having a series of retaining walls around a pair of staircases.Continue to 11 of 26 below.
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Retaining Wall With Integrated Fountain
This raised backyard patio from Lady Landscape is planted with ivy, greenery, and flowers, structured by stone steps and a pair of retaining walls that separate it from the back deck. An integrated retaining wall fountain, that spills into a lily pond between the two spaces, adds a whimsical water feature for an enchanted garden effect that is illuminated by warm ambient lighting.Continue to 12 of 26 below.
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Flower-Topped Retaining Wall
Contrasting organic and manmade materials, this stone retaining wall lining the glass-walled staircase of this backyard pool from Fantastic Frank provides a place for multi-colored flowers to bloom.Continue to 13 of 26 below.
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Triple Staircase Retaining Walls
Triple retaining walls help structure this sprawling backyard from Crisp Architects and create an easy transition between the back porch and the outdoor patio on the gently sloping lawn below.Continue to 14 of 26 below.
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Steep Sloped Hillside Retaining Wall
A series of modern, concrete multi-level retaining walls allow for generous landscaping that maximizes the steep and dense lot of this Southern California hillside home from Home Consultant.Continue to 15 of 26 below.
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Landscaped Retaining Walls
A large palm tree is planted on a section of this sprawling hilly back lawn from Fantastic Frank that is structured by a stone retaining wall that matches the facade of the home.Continue to 16 of 26 below.
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Outdoor Patio Retaining Wall
A retaining wall helped turn this backyard space from Afro Bohemian Living into a flourishing garden planted with white, pink, and purple flowers of varying heights to add texture. The retaining wall also serves as a back for a wooden bench that adds extra seating.Continue to 17 of 26 below.
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Modern Retaining Wall
A series of retaining walls that mimic the clean lines of this Austin, TX home from Martha O'Hara Interiors help to integrate it into the contours of the existing hilltop lot.Continue to 18 of 26 below.
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Curved Retaining Wall
A wrap-around retaining wall follows the curves of this gently sloping backyard pool area from Fantastic Frank, planted with Mediterranean trees and vegetation that befit the Spanish island setting.Continue to 19 of 26 below.
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Slightly Sloped Retaining Wall
This small rustic boulder retaining wall from Amy Leferink of Interior Impressions helps to integrate the two-story home into the existing lot while providing a place to landscape the outdoor patio.Continue to 20 of 26 below.
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Sloped Lawn Retaining Wall
A vivid patch of green lawn is planted inside a bright white retaining wall that matches the modern style of this Southern California home perched above the street from Home Consultant.Continue to 21 of 26 below.
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Driveway Retaining Wall
A low retaining wall lines the long, sloping driveway of this hillside property from Fantastic Frank, giving grass, trees, and plants a chance to grow without inhibiting flow.Continue to 22 of 26 below.
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Wood and Stone Retaining Wall
This tiered wood and stone retaining wall from Fantastic Frank is generously planted to give it an organic and integrated feel.Continue to 23 of 26 below.
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Stepped Retaining Wall
The retaining wall on the periphery of this Ibiza backyard pool area from Fantastic Frank adds structure to the outdoor space and protects the lawn and pool deck.Continue to 24 of 26 below.
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Vegetable Garden Retaining Wall
Home Consultant restructured the slightly sloping backyard of this Southern California home to include a retaining wall along one side of the fence for a fledgling vegetable garden.Continue to 25 of 26 below.
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Double Retaining Wall
A double landscaped retaining wall creates a transition between the back patio of this contemporary home from Brophy Interiors and the steep drop to the flat lawn below.Continue to 26 of 26 below.
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Staircase Retaining Wall
The sloping backyard of this property from Fantastic Frank has multiple levels, including a reclaimed wood and rock retaining wall lining the staircase leading to an open-air deck.
What do you do with a steep sloped backyard?
A steep sloped backyard can be structured with retaining walls that will hold back soil erosion and allow you to plant vegetation or flowers. Adding integrated steps or staircases will make it easier to navigate between levels so that the outdoor space is more user-friendly. You can also take advantage of a steep sloped backyard to build in a water feature such as a waterfall.
How do you landscape a sloped backyard on a budget?
To cover a sloped backyard without breaking the budget, you can plant creeping ground cover plants, use existing boulders to build a rock garden, or erect a footpath that will make it easier to move up and down the slope.