I think this short, retainer wall looks pretty neat. However, the OCD part of me is irritated because it was not done the correct way.
What do you think of it?
Well, since you asked...
The block looks cheap and the lack of a wall cap makes it look cheaper. The way the wall is built, with blocks alternating direction, shows that there is a "good" side (the split face side) and a back side (the smooth side with the groove). The reason the manufacturer makes the back side like that is that it's never meant to see the light of day. Yes, facing all the fronts forward would leave wedge-shaped gaps between each block, which is why you would a) use a different block, b) use a block splitter to cut them, or c) use a wall cap to hide the gaps. And the wings of the wall aren't even remotely level and it looks like the wall is falling apart there. Beyond that, I don't get why it's there. It's hard to judge the scale of the blocks, but at most it's an 8-12" wall. If the blocks weren't there, another yard of topsoil could be used to grade out the bed and then there'd be more planting space.
Thanks for the detailed response.
The neighbor's property begins right where the wall ends.
When I see things like this, I counsel that they should be removed. A sloping grade (if possible ... I can't see outside of the picture) would look SOOOOO much cleaner. These type things look junky to me.
If I could give my two cents... I would remove the concrete blocks. Maybe consider dry stack basalt rocks (half man size). Or, if you are not committed to the retaining wall just let it gently slope.