How to Build Garden Walls

With a little work and careful planning, garden walling can help structure your garden and make excellent use of even limited space – all while adding extra beauty and sophistication to your outdoor area.

When done properly, building garden walls doesn't have to overly complicated. We're here to walk you through, from foundation to the final brick.

Bradstone Countrystone Walling in Buff

Caption: Bradstone Countrystone Walling uses traditional dressing methods to reveal the natural decorative chippings, a cost-saving alternative to natural stone.

Building Garden Walls – A guide in 9 steps

If you plan to build a retaining wall higher than 600mm or for any wall over 900mm, we recommend that you seek expert advice regarding its structure.

1. When building a wall, start by building up the ends of the wall over the level foundations to approximately three or four courses.

2. As a general rule, the depth of the foundations should be between 1/4 and 1/3 of the walls height and the foundation width should be two or three times the walls width.

3. Remove topsoil and dig to firm ground and lay concrete foundations using 6 parts ballast to 1 part cement (or 4 parts coarse aggregate to 2 parts building sand to 1 part cement).

4. A building line should then be stretched from one end of the foundations to another. Build one course at a time, using a spirit level to check for accuracy, vertically, diagonally and horizontally.

Checking levels


5. Using a trowel, spread mortar (4 parts building sand to 1 part cement) evenly over the foundations and then over the blocks of each course as you lay them. The mortar should slightly exude from between the joints and any surplus should be removed with the trowel.

6. Fill vertical joints as you go. Apply mortar to one end of the block before positioning it adjacent to the previously laid block.

Laying walling block

7. The blocks should be laid in a stretcher bond using half blocks at the end of each alternate course. It is recommended that no more than 6 to 8 courses are built at a time, allowing for the mortar to set resuming work.

8. Using a pointing trowel, smooth and finish the mortar joints.

9. Top the wall with a matching coping.

You're finished! Stand back and admire your work.

We want your landscaping project to be perfect. For advice, assistance, or inspiration, Simply Paving is here to support you at every stage. Give us a call on 0800 032 6306. We would love to hear from you.