Desert Southwest landscaping on a small hillside circular driveway using retaining walls and Xeriscaping principles and

Top side view of the front two level retaining wall showing the other steepest wall in the background. This angle gives a good idea of the amount of slope we had to address on this circular driveway. It's not much but was enough to make it necessary to create levels so that we could plant without run off.
Again, this small retaining wall doesn't have any purpose of holding a slope but rather creates continuity and unity with the rest of the landscaping by adding the retaining wall element. If you look closely, you can see that this wall lines up with the other wall on the other side of the sidewalk to help create the continued unity as though they would meet in the middle.
Lower view of the steepest area and highest retaining wall. With these smaller type retaining wall blocks, it's a good idea to not stack them much higher than this. The plants inside are Diascia, Verbena, Lantana, and a Chitalpa tree.
Another view of the steepest area of the landscape. This angle gives a better idea of how steep and quick of a drop it is. Again, as with the rest of the landscaping, the plants are newly planted and will take a while to grow in and add more character to the area.
This planting area top view shows the retaining wall we created to address the steepest area of the landscape. The planting bed design shape is just something simple to add a little more character than just a circle or a square box.
This small wall doesn't really have any purpose to hold any slope but is just created in this area to create continuity and unity with the rest of the landscaping. all other areas of the landscape have this element so it would have looked odd with out it. Purely cosmetic.
Downhill side view of the two level retaining wall gives a better idea of how much slope there is on this circular driveway and front yard.
Two level retaining wall helps to create planting areas inside this circular driveway on a slight hillside slope. It's not much of a slope but is enough to make it difficult to water plants without all the water running off before it saturates. Level areas needed to be created for planting. The plants are newly planted.

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2 of 24 comments
  • Lea6941
    on Aug 2, 2012


  • McCall Hazelson
    on Feb 17, 2016

    I think something that can be done with desert landscaping that looks really good is the use of levels. Having just a flat bed of pebbles doesn't look that great to me, so changing things up will make your yard stand out. I like have each tier with a different style or feel, just to switch things up.

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