Staggering masonry retaining wall height and waterfalls
We finished paving the below deck patio today and I need to start making decisions for the 40 foot curved retaining wall for the fire pit patio. The retaining wall starts at one end at about 16 inches for three feet, rises to 24 for three feet, 30 inches for about five feet, 36 for about five feet, peaks at the center at 42 inches for about five feet and then starts sloping back down the other side in a similar fashion. I keep drawing it on graph paper but it looks like stair steps which is awful. Any thoughts on how to attractively do this? We have nice trees at either end, so I can't do much backfilled dirt at the ends. I think we have decided (cost pending) to install cinderblock faced with medium stack fieldstone and a cap.
Next, I'd like to put in a pondless waterfall at the top of the slope. It will come down the slope sideways a bit so we can see it from the deck above and then make its way down the center of the high point of the retaining wall. I don't want it to just plummet off the 42 inch wall bc of splashing and evaporation, so do I make that affected wall height shorter where the waterfall will be or eliminate that section of the wall all together? We're going to hire a mason to do the retaining wall and possibly a waterfall guy for the waterfall ( I just got a quote and almost had a heart attack on that one) but I think, after my grading issue, I should really educate myself on this before making decisions.