A Shady Hillside Makeover
July 27, 2021
Landscaping on a shady slope or hillside can be frustrating as plants can slip down the hill if not secured properly. The secret is to create firm hardscaping when possible in the form of a terracing structure, steps, or supports. Shady shrubs or plants with strong root systems will help hold the hillside together as well, offering support for the surrounding plantings.
Hillside Garden Tips
- Anchor the Hillside - Planning a hillside garden begins with anchoring the hillside as topsoil often washes away quickly. Rocks, bricks, and plants with deep roots can all work together to anchor the hillside and prevent soil degradation.
- Terracing with Walls – Terracing the hillside with stone retaining walls is a brilliant way to enhance the hillside while continuing a strong anchor plan.
- Steps, Steps, and Steps – When the slope angle on the hillside is extreme, install stairs to create a garden walk. It helps create an easy climb for visitors to the garden, an anchor for the hillside, and also allows for creative plantings along the stairway (as seen in the photos).
Plants for Shade
The beautiful terraced design in the photos surrounding the hillside steps was completed with the iScape app. Foliage offers visitors a lovely walk down the step garden.
Featured in the foliage design are evergreen shrubs and Ligularia ‘The Rocket’. Groundcover includes Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’ and various hosta. All the plants are bold-colored, offering a bright point in a shady garden.