Hillside Landscaping Tips
Your hilltop home has a gorgeous view, a spacious garage, and a small problem: your backyard is a steep slope that you have no idea how to landscape or make the most of. Never fear, slopes can be tricky but they also offer you an opportunity to create a stunning and highly functional space.
Include trees and bushes the smart way
Overgrown, these may hide that gorgeous view, but their root systems are invaluable to holding the hillside together. Instead of cutting out the trees completely – risking expensive and unsightly erosion to the slope – bring in an arborist who can trim and tame the forest.
Have the opposite problem? Plant strategically on your bare slope, with preference to naturally low-growing and drought resistant varieties. Consider planting in several horizontal rows to divide a long, narrow yard into functional and inviting spaces as well as slow erosion.
If you have a natural spring running down the hill, or even a drainage channel for rainwater, you have a great opportunity for a waterfall feature. Use the rocks at hand or some section of concrete half-pipes to create a leisurely, meandering brook that will babble away, delighting your senses. If the water only runs sporadically, you can install an inexpensive water pump at the top and let it flow during garden parties.
No flat areas in your yard? Create them!
Terraces are popular for a reason – if properly dug and installed, they create a great deal of classically attractive, usable space. However, an improperly installed terrace can be a real headache and even compromise the integrity of the hillside, so look for experienced professionals for this investment.
If terraces are a little beyond your budget, or you’re looking for a less-drastic change to the slope, consider a multilevel deck. These attractive wooden structures offer comfortable, rustic elegance every bit as functional as a terrace.
Stairs connect one area of your yard to another, but with a little ingenuity, they can become a feature of your yard in their own right. A wide, curving staircase is easy to climb and visually breaks up a very step slope. Take advantage of those steps and install small garden lights, an attractive row of potted plants, or curios along the edge. At the top of the staircase, set up a beach umbrella so people can sit and read on this impromptu porch.
Planting in parched places
Live in an area hit by drought? Head to the local gardening supply center and look for native and drought-resistant plants. You’ll find an amazing array of colorful, glossy, and highly textured plants that will let you create a memorable garden with minimal upkeep.