Retaining walls hold back dirt along slopes with tiers or in the base of a hill, where dirt is cut off, such as for a driveway or a level building surface. To make the area more attractive, landscape around the wall, both below and above, if at all possible. Adding plants or other ornamental items will distract the eye from a plain wall.
Put low plants near the upper edge of the wall, since the roots of trees and larger bushes may damage the wall, while confinement by the wall could harm the plant. Put smaller plants in the border so that they don’t block the view of other plants that might be put behind them.
Add plants that spread over the top border of the wall, such as ivy or even Million bells (Calibrachoa) with its showy, colorful blooms. Allow the plants grow above the wall and melt marginally, to visually break up the right line of the wall and add some interest.
Situate vegetation in rows from the plant bed near the peak of the retaining wall. Since these walls may produce plant beds that are at or above eye level, stagger the plants in each row so that your belief of individual plants at the peak of the wall is not obstructed. Use two or three different plants in each row in order to add variation of texture, color and height, and bring up the eye, distracting you from the wall.
Plant tall vegetation such as ornamental trees or tall grasses at the bottom of the retaining wall to add some texture before the wall, such as the Thundercloud cherry plum tree (Prunus cerasifera).
Attach a trellis to the wall and enable climbing vines, such as A Shrophire Lad scaling rose (Rosa “Austin Rose”) to develop up, covering parts of the wall.