Yard Retaining Wall

Backyard Landscape Makeover

Backyard Landscape Makeover

Nothing lasts forever, landscaping included; plants can outgrow their location even with the best of maintenance and decades of environmental exposure will eventually erode construction materials. This is why it is important to use a knowledgeable landscape designer and choose the best construction materials possible for your budget.

Simply redoing an old outdated patio can breathe new life into a backyard but when the features that are failing were installed to provide support for the hillside, driveway and garage, their replacement becomes essential. That was the situation affecting a family in Willow Grove; their mid-century home was landscaped by an earlier owner and included poorly constructed stacked stone and mortar walls. While the construction held admirably for several decades, the wall was not constructed on a proper base, filled with poorly draining backfill and not stacked for stability or mortared for strength. The client called Stoneworx to help address their property’s crumbling infrastructure.

The small property required little in the way of design, the walls were placed specifically to uphold the structures and the hardscape was limited by impervious surface requirements. Small changes were made though; a seating wall along the patio, more direct walkway access and more generous bed space to help improve privacy and views. The most dramatic change of all though was the materials selection, irregular natural stone walls were replaced with E.P. Henry’s new Cast Wall segmental concrete blocks and the ordinary concrete patio was upgraded with its Bristol Stone pavers.

The wall blocks offer the look of natural chiseled veneer stone with the simplified construction of a dry-laid product. Cast Wall is available in three new colors Durango, Adirondack and Breckenridge. E.P. Henry is offering new color blends for its line of 2016 paving products. In addition to more vibrant shades of its four classic colors – Autumn Blend, Dakota Blend, Harvest Blend and Pewter Blend – it has added Phoenix, Tucson, Sedona and Sonoran to the line-up. In addition to these beautiful products, the client also selected E.P. Henry’s Devonstone wall caps and Chilton step treads which also mimic the texture of natural stone.

Stoneworx had to work with township zoning officers and a local engineering firm to address the integration of the garage porch posts and the supporting porch retaining wall, and work quickly to ensure the structure was strengthened and protected when the existing wall was removed. The material removed was enough to fill a 22 yard dumpster and the new installation required about 16 pallets of new paving product and nearly 60 tons of crushed stone. It took 12 days to complete the transformation, including installation of new landscape gardens.

The clients are thrilled with the installation. Not only is their property now safe from erosion and collapse, they have a beautiful view and new space for backyard entertaining. The plants will provide them year-round color and interest, offering privacy as they grow and added lighting will improve walkway safety and extend the hours of enjoyment. While new landscape solutions will allow these clients to enjoy their home for many more years, these sorts of functional landscape improvements can have a dramatic effect on property value as well as curb appeal.


If your home’s existing landscape is coming to the end of its life and posing a hazard or has just lost its appeal, contact Stoneworx to discuss how quality craftsmanship and improved materials can help give your home a makeover.

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