many retaining walls are good and many are structurally or chemically unsound.
stay away from the Rail Road Tie wall. This will leach creosote for years and grass will have a hard time growing near the site. In the hot summer the stuff leaches out of the wood, and it smells.
Cinder block or hadock blocks make for a very sound wall. They will stay up and will look nice, they can be painted.
Landscape timbers also work will. But will last only 10 to `12 years.
What every mode or style you use, do not forget one important feature that many people do not do. That is ample weep holes. Walls that fall, mostly do not have ample weep holes.
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