I plan on doing a 20x40' area around our playset using pea gravel deeper than 6"...not sure exactly yet.
I'm set on pea gravel...I know there are many choices.
Has anyone ever made the choice of either building a retaining wall off railroad ties to hold gravel/mulch, etc. in, or have you excavated the area and surrounded it by a much shorter retainer?
IF I build a 9" retaining wall from garden timbers (3"x3") :
-Could be a trip hazard
-Will need to raise up the playset on bricks or deck footings (pyramidal ones).
-May be more unsightly/higher structure in yard
-May be unstable??
-I will need to pull up sod anyway
IF I excavate down 4" with a 5" retainer wall:
-Less of a trip hazard
-Do I create a "pool" under the gravel that will hold water
-Will I need a french drain to drain the water mentioned above
-I will have much more dirt to cart away
I like the raised idea. When the kids are grown, you can dismantle the area much easier. That is till the grandkids come along! Then it is back to putting in the play set area again. Also, I would cut the grass part of the sod as low as possible and then place heavy plastic down. This will keep the grass from popping up. I would probably make the edging another 3 inches taller to keep the gravel from being kicked, eroded or bulldozed out. Trip hazard for a kid? I would guess you will probably trip over it much more than they will!