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How can I build a garden with walls-back yard has steep drop?

I have the idea in my head- I need a flower bed/garden for the back part of my yard which has a steep drop off. I want to build something with wood or cheap materials so the back of the garden doesnt slip off the "cliff"(as i like to call it) This is going to be used not only to plant flowers, but to aid in stuff such as my daughters soccer balls falling off the cliff. What ideas do you have? Thanks in advance


  1. Check your local freecycle.org and see if you can get used/recycled landscaping blocks. Terrrace it with steps between the levels. Put up a 3' wire fence across the top to keep the soccer ball from going over the edge. you could plant a vine on the fence.
  2. I had to build steps and retaining walls on my slopes. I used cinder blocks: cement blocks that are rectangular with holes in the center. I put the cinder blocks where I wanted, dug into the ground to flatten for placement and stacked how high I wanted, then I anchored the blocks by pounding 3 to 4 foot rebar in the center of the block into the ground, leaving none above the top of the block. I then filled the holes with gravel. This is inexpensive and works well. You could actually hang landscape netting on poles to keep you daughter's soccerballs corralled.
  3. You could get some rail-road ties and stack them onto a flat ledge you've created a few feet down the slope. Then, pound re-bar into the ground on the other side of the wood to keep the wood from slipping down the hill. Now you can shovel some of your old dirt down into the gap you've created and add topsoil, garden soil and compost to fill it in. If you've started the ties down the hill a bit, you have now extended your flower-bed out another two-three feet. To stop the soccer balls, you could sink fence-posts inside and build a fence. Or you could pound metal posts in and attach a wire fence. Or you could keep stacking up rail-road ties until it's tall enough to stop a soccer ball. They sell retaining-wall blocks, but you said you wanted it cheap. That's the cheapest I could think of, without you becoming a mason and collecting big rocks from all over the place!