How to build a garden wall with interlocking blocks

Written by jim franklin
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How to build a garden wall with interlocking blocks
Garden walls can be constructed out of interlocking blocks. (Structure from blocks image by amlet from

A garden wall allows for decoration and can increase lawn or garden space. It can also help with erosion and water drainage. The use of interlocking blocks allows for each block to be stacked on top of another. This creates a strong joint with a "stepped-back" effect. Building a garden wall with interlocking blocks requires a few materials and some patience. After its completion, you will have a beautiful and useful addition to your garden.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Shovel
  • Tamper
  • Sharp gravel or rock dust
  • Stakes
  • String
  • Interlocking stackable blocks
  • Level
  • Brick chisel
  • Small sledgehammer

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  1. 1

    Clear the area where the garden wall will go by digging a trench. Use a shovel to remove dirt, rocks and grass.

  2. 2

    Compact the soil with a tamper. Hold the tamper over the area and tamp or hit the ground with its flat bottom.

  3. 3

    Add a layer of sharp gravel or rock dust. This will prevent settling.

  4. 4

    Place a stake at one edge of the wall's intended location. Place a stake at the other edge. Connect the stakes by tying a string to them. Place a block down at one edge. Use the level to make sure the block is balanced from front to back and side to side. Adjust the block by adding more gravel or digging deeper. Adjust the string so that its height is exactly the same as the block's.

  5. 5

    Continue laying blocks in a straight line along the string. Make sure the tops of the blocks are not higher than the string.

  6. 6

    For the second layer of blocks, lay them in a staggered fashion so that joints occur over the centres of the underlying blocks. Periodically check that the blocks are straight and level using the string and the level.

  7. 7

    Cut blocks using a brick chisel and a sledgehammer. Use the chisel to score blocks that need to be cut. Place the chisel on the scored line and strike it with the sledgehammer. There may be mark on the back of each block to indicate the centre.

  8. 8

    Fill in gravel and dirt behind the garden wall. Place gravel next to the blocks and dirt behind it. Use the tamper to compact each layer. This will provide support for the wall.

Tips and warnings

  • Check your local building codes to see whether permits are required for a garden wall or if there are any restrictions. You may also want to contact your local utilities to see if there are any buried pipes or cables where your wall will go.
  • To estimate the number of blocks, calculate one block per linear foot. Extra blocks are useful in case your estimate is off or if a block breaks.
  • Stackable blocks or stones are typically recommended for walls that are no greater than 3 to 4 feet in height. Taller walls may need additional reinforcement.

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