3 Durable Retaining Wall Materials

There are many retaining wall materials on the market and the material you choose to construct yours will affect its durability, longevity and appearance. While some retaining walls are installed purely for decorative purposes, most play an important role in the landscape by preventing soil from moving or eroding. Careful consideration is advised when selecting your material.

The three retaining wall materials outlined below can be used to create straight, curved and serpentine retaining walls.

1. Landscape Block

One of the most common materials that we use is landscape block.

gray retaining wall material

Landscape block, made of precast concrete, comes in different colors and sizes, so homeowners have a variety of choices when it comes to picking the right landscape block for their project. One of the features that make this such a popular choice is the ease of installation with landscape block— installers are able to achieve evenly spaced blocks with little effort on their part. Landscape block is a sturdy, durable retaining wall material that can last a lifetime if the wall is installed correctly. This is the most cost effective material that we work with making it an attractive choice.

2. RomanStack Stone

Another material option is RomanStack Stone. The stone gets its distinctive look from a process that rounds out the edges and corners, providing texture to both sides while creating its stone-like appearance though it, too, is made from concrete. The stones are built with an interlock system that creates a strong, stable and more damage resistant wall. RomanStack Stone looks great from any angle.

roman stack stone

3. Basalt Rock

Basalt rock is one of the most popular retaining wall materials throughout the Pacific Northwest. Basalt is a dense, hard rock. When constructed properly, a basalt retaining wall is capable of withstanding a lot of weight and will last indefinitely. The stones come in different colors in a solid rectangular shape that conforms to stacked configuration, though the aesthetic of the finished product can vary depending upon the experience of the installer. Basalt retaining walls have a natural look that compliments flagstone, decorative rock and water features.

basalt rock retaining wall
Good drainage behind a retaining wall is vital to a long-lasting wall, no matter the material. We use drain rock and drain pipe to ensure that our retaining walls can withstand our region’s amount of annual rainfall. Proper drainage also reduces the amount of unwanted plant material and weeds that can grow in between the cracks of retaining walls.

There is no shortage of options for homeowners who are looking to construct a retaining wall. If you’re in the planning and budgeting stages and wondering which retaining wall material is right for your project, contact us at 360-697-3215 or 253-530-0788. We look forward to meeting with you!

Thanks for reading our blog.  Northwest Construction & Landscape, LLC is a Kitsap County landscaping company that offers landscaping, decorative concrete and lawn maintenance services to homes and businesses across Kitsap and Pierce counties. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here.

5 Tips to Attract Hummingbirds

Lately, we’ve been thinking a lot about which plants will thrive in a drought resistant garden here in the Pacific Northwest and also attract hummingbirds and other pollinators. There’s nothing quite like the pleasure felt while watching bees happily buzz from bloom to bloom. It’s the very reason some of us garden!

Anna's Hummingbird

Anna’s Hummingbird, a species we see here in the Puget Sound. Photo credit Janine Donoho

Last weekend while planting in my mother’s garden I was presented with a moment of pure joy. Within minutes after digging holes for three Penstemon barbatus ‘Red Riding Hood,’ a hummingbird came whizzing by and perched itself on a nearby birch tree, eyeing the plant’s red, tubular flowers. Then it buzzed towards them and feasted on each plant while I looked on with total satisfaction.

Do you want to attract hummingbirds to your garden? If so, then read on. The hum of their wings and the sight of them zipping and weaving is such a joy to experience.

5 tips to attract hummingbirds:

1. Buy more than one feeder. Hummingbirds can be territorial about their food sources. Having multiple small feeders placed far apart from one another may attract more birds to your garden than one large one.

2. Provide nutritional balance. Place your feeders in the vicinity of nectar-producing shrubs, vines and perennials with red, orange or red-orange tubular-shaped blossoms, with bloom times that vary throughout the year. A favorite of ours that’s not red or orange is Salvia guarantica ‘Black and Blue.’ It features striking cobalt-blue flowers, and hummingbirds, bees and butterflies love it.

3. Give them a place to bathe. Place a shallow birdbath or water feature that creates a spray or mist of water near their food source. Rocks or glass stones can be added to a birdbath so that the water isn’t too deep.

4. Consistently clean your feeders. Bacteria and molds that form in feeders can be deadly, so be sure to clean and change the solution at least once a week. When temperatures rise with summer heat, it’s a good idea to clean them every four to five days.

5. Plant native nectar plants nearby. Native plants and hummingbird populations have evolved together over time, and native plants are best adapted to our climate, seasons and soil. Ribes sanguineum (Red Flowering Currant) is a gorgeous, drought-resistant native shrub, and a magnet for hummingbirds and butterflies.

It may take a month or two before hummingbirds make an appearance, but eventually, they’ll come. Log in to Facebook and let us know what you’ve planted in your garden to attract hummingbirds!

Thanks for reading our blog.  Northwest Construction & Landscape, LLC is a Kitsap County landscaping company that offers landscaping, decorative concrete and lawn maintenance services to homes and businesses across Kitsap and Pierce counties. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here.

Front Yard Transformation

We headed all the way out to Steilacoom for this project.  The homeowners were such a pleasure to work for that we didn’t at all mind the extra commute!  An added bonus was getting the opportunity to learn about and work with different vendors in that area.

The talented Emily Russell ASLA designed this lawnless landscape, creating an additional parking area along with pathways for the homeowners to easily move through their front yard space.  Her plan originally called for pavers, but with concrete being a much less costly alternative, the homeowners opted for London Cobblestone stamped concrete instead.

Take a look at the progression of this lawn free landscaping project:

pierce county landscapers

Before shot

decorative concrete

Existing grass and an exposed aggregate concrete walkway and step were removed.

landscaping

Topsoil and decorative rocks were installed for the creation of landscape beds, bordered with forms for concrete installation.

landscaping

Plantings included Miscanthus ‘Morning Light,’ Mexican Feather Grass, Mondo Grass and more…

stamped concrete

Integral coloring was used for this concrete installation which was done in two separate pours.

concrete

London Cobblestone stamped concrete before it was antiqued and sealed.

pierce county landscapers

After shot. A total front yard landscape transformation!

Log in to Facebook and share your thoughts on this project below in the comment section.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks for reading our blog.  Northwest Construction & Landscape, LLC is a Kitsap County landscaping company that offers landscaping, decorative concrete and lawn maintenance services to homes and businesses across Kitsap and Pierce counties.

New Landscape Installation

This new landscape installation in Seabeck is one of the largest residential projects we’ve installed to date.  Our clients’ gorgeous custom home was constructed by BK Sargeant Construction, and from their kitchen table and back deck they enjoy a breathtaking view of the Olympic Mountains.

seabeck landscapers

Landscape Architect Emily Russell of Russell Design Source designed this landscape, providing a formal to-scale plan to our clients which we were able to easily reference and work from. Never one to impress her design ideas upon her clients, she listened to what they had to say about which features to include in their landscape plan and gave them exactly what they wanted.

kitsap county landscaping

One of their main concerns was an area that remained saturated after heavy rains due to a natural slope in the landscape. Emily’s design solution was to incorporate a dry waterfall and river rock bed. Larger 2-man and 3-man sized rocks were placed throughout the beds and within the river rock bed as well. The dark, nutrient-rich garden mix topsoil you see below was delivered to us from Vern’s Organic Topsoil.

river rock bed

Vern’s Organic Topsoil was used for all raised garden beds and lawn areas. With approximately 13,000 square feet of lawn, installing an irrigation system was an absolute must. Another must for our clients was purchasing a new riding lawn mower!

seabeck landscapers

Emily’s plant selection took into account the many deers that inhabit neighboring wooded areas.  Though just because a plant is considered to be “deer resistant,” that doesn’t mean it won’t be eaten.  Deers will eat just about anything if they’re hungry enough.  The plant list included Whitebarked Himalayan Birch, Oakleaf Hydrangeas, Variegated Winter Daphne along with natives such as Oregon Grape Holly and Western Sword Fern.

new landscape seabeck

Grass began to grow within two weeks of hydroseed being sprayed, largely due to the endless amount of sunshine we received in late July.

seabeck landscaping

The value of working with a Landscape Architect cannot be overstated.  Our clients knew what the end result would look like, even before we arrived on day one.  We were able to provide our clients with a 6-week plan and time frame for completion, a deadline which we met thanks to our hot and dry summer.

seabeck landscaping company

Let us know what you think about this new landscape installation! Log in to Facebook and leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading our blog.  Northwest Construction & Landscape, LLC is a Kitsap County landscaping company that offers landscaping, decorative concrete and lawn maintenance services to homes and businesses across Kitsap and Pierce counties.

In Honor of Labor Day

In honor of Labor Day, we’d like to introduce you to a few of the hardest working men in landscaping!  We’re incredibly fortunate to have such dependable and highly trained employees on our team.

landscaper bremerton

Elias

Elias is our Landscape Construction Supervisor.  Our clients often tell us just how impressed they are with his technical skills and high level of service.  He is the father of two beautiful young girls, and he and his wife and children reside in Bremerton.

Juan

Juan

Juan is our Landscape Construction Lead.  When we hire a new landscape construction crew member, they’re instructed to watch Juan in action as his form and skills are second to none.  He also lives in Bremerton.

lawn care silverdale

Jeff

Jeff is our Landscape Maintenance Supervisor. Our clients love and trust Jeff, and we greatly appreciate all that he has done to help grow our business to the level it is today. Jeff was born and raised here in Kitsap County and has worked in the landscape maintenance industry for nearly 20 years.

Phillip

Phillip

Phillip is our Landscape Maintenance Lead.  He’s demonstrated excellence in all areas of lawn and landscape maintenance, and our maintenance clients are incredibly pleased with his high quality of work, week in and week out.  Phillip is a Kitsap County native and resides in Silverdale.

We salute these men for their hard work!

Thanks for reading our blog.  Northwest Construction & Landscape, LLC is a Kitsap County landscaping company that offers landscaping, decorative concrete and lawn maintenance services to homes and businesses across Kitsap and Pierce counties.

Back Yard Renovation w/ Fire Pit

This back yard in Poulsbo called for a total transformation.  The hillside was the first issue to address.  To hold the massive, existing slope in place we created a retaining wall that ensures excellent drainage.  We compacted a layer of ¾ minus for the base of the wall, utilized 18-24” of drain rock behind the wall, and installed a perforated drain pipe with a sock to mitigate the possibility of wall failure due to erosion.

Poulsbo landscapers

Before shot

Our client is a chef at MorMor Bistro in Poulsbo, and wanted a wood burning fire pit to cook for family and friends.  The concrete was poured in phases, the first of which was the square fire pit.

stamped concrete Poulsbo

Wood burning concrete fire pit

We created a Random Canyon Stone stamped border around the existing exposed aggregate patio, and around the Roman Slate stamped body of the patio.  (Or should we say, “shoulders” of the patio?)

landscape contractors Poulsbo

Stamped concrete patio and fire pit before color

This landscape did not include irrigation, so we selected drought tolerant plants that require little maintenance, such as lavender, California lilac, and salvia.

concrete fire pit Poulsbo

Elias and Juan sealing the stamped and colored concrete

Vern’s organic topsoil was brought in and spread before hydroseed was applied.  In the photo below, grass had just begun to sprout!

landscaping Poulsbo

Old World Compass Stamp

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Thanks for reading our blog.  Northwest Construction & Landscape, LLC is a Kitsap County landscaping company that offers landscaping, decorative concrete and lawn maintenance services to homes and businesses across Kitsap and Pierce counties.