The east side of the house has a small concrete patio, and then sloped downhill pretty rapidly. The goal here was to make it feel like there was more space to stand without falling down the hillside. The lower rock wall (called Rinard's wall) is over 2 feet thick. It is designed to help hold some dirt back so we do not fall down the hill! Most of the rock walls have wire and steel rod support to help them last longer.
My husband used to laugh at me, sitting in an old blue chair in the yard sipping my tea. I would sit there and plan a garden, build it up, then find the faults and start all over. He would walk by saying "Now I know how Disneyland started" and we would laugh.