Two Different Looks for a Sloped Landscape Area
August 14, 2021
Homeowners often struggle to design a yard or garden if there is a hill or slope. Do you add stairs or a retaining wall? Do you gradually slope the beds? Finding a way to incorporate a smart solution in advance of digging and planting is very important. Wasting money on a build without understanding what the area might look like when it is finished is a frightening prospect.
In these before and after iScape designs, you can easily see and understand two very different looks for the area. One is a sloped grassy hill with interesting shrub plantings, and the other is a wide stair step down to a lower level of grass. Either design works, but both designs can be reviewed by a homeowner to help better understand design and expense choices.
There are many landscape options when presented with a sloping hillside. A few are listed below.
Add a Stairway – As seen in one of the designs on this page, stairways can be excellent solutions for a hillside or strong drop-off. Traditional landscapes might have more squared-off stairs, however, a meandering, winding stairway can be more interesting to the eye and fun to plant around.
Create a Retaining Wall – Building a retaining wall is a smart way to create planting areas. Plants can be placed on top of the wall and even in the nooks within the wall’s surface. Trailing perennials can hang over the front of the retaining wall. Most importantly, a retaining wall can offer support when a hillside does not.
Build a Water Feature – Hillsides are great for supporting a lazy rustic river bed and pond. There are hundreds of variations to creating a water feature which can be adapted to the sloped nature of the hillside or cut into a retaining wall to offer up a small waterfall.
Plant the Entire Hillside – Another alternative is to plant the entire hillside in a loose, airy native planting technique. Native flowers and plants often root very deeply and help hold the hillside together. They can be extremely low maintenance, but rustic in nature. Cut a loose pathway through the plants with boulders and a gravel walkway so guests can wander among the pollinators and touch nature.
Put in a Deck – Installing a multi-level deck can expand patio or seating areas and enable container gardens, multiple view areas, and add contrast with the gardens surrounding the deck. Installing a deck can elevate a difficult slope in a positive way.