A decently composed patio is likened to adding square footage to your home. Description from bestinspired.com. I searched for this on bing.com/images
Steps, walls & Patio with new railway sleepers
... retaining wall, Concrete block
Sleeper retaining walls and pavior capped steps
step into retaining wall - Google Search
retaining wall idea for the back yard, I like the terraced appearance. Would be great on the side of a deck.