What are retaining walls made of?

In general, retaining walls are relatively simple structures. The simplest of them can be built from ordinary branches, wooden boards or logs and used as protection against sand blown in from the desert – besides, in some parts of the world you can find such structures even today. They are of course relatively primitive, so it is no surprise that if there is an option to use a different and more durable material, then wood is replaced with it. Thereby, simple retaining walls can be also erected using stones joined with a simple mortar, clay or primitive bricks. Nowadays, they are made primarily of concrete and reinforced concrete, construction ceramics and even steel.
We should also remember about gabions, that is steel, wooden or concrete baskets filled with loose material, most often gravel or sand. Retaining walls made of gabions have been known for a few hundred years. They are used not only in road and transport construction, e.g. to stabilise banks, but also in the military, to build covers and reinforce fortifications. Garden enthusiasts use them as well, since gabions can quickly assume very varied forms and, after they are filled with soil or humus, you can plant any plants in them. Arranged gabions will serve a dual purpose then – as a retaining wall and plant pots.

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