Well, here we are 10 years later, and I can tell you that it looks better than the day we finished it. The wall has performed perfectly and shows no signs of settlement or movement at all. It is truly the structural wall I was hoping it would be to take care of our unusable steep slope.
So why is it better? The landscaping!
The wall is the picture frame that enhances the beautiful landscaping. Like a painting in an art gallery hanging without a frame, the picture is not complete; but with the right frame, the picture comes to life. Because my wife and I love to be in the yard, over the years we continue to change around and enhance our flowers and shrub. Each time we make changes, the wall changes with it to add its fluctuation and beauty. The wall is always there, tirelessly doing its job of supporting our hillside, but it is more than that to us; it is the foundation of our transformed backyard.