A slope or hill on your property may seem like a landscaping problem, but there are great ways to use that hill to beautify your property. You can go beyond grass with these best hillside landscaping ideas.
Create Vegetable Terraces
Vegetable terraces are an obvious solution for sloped areas in your yard. This solution utilizes raised beds with shallow sections on the uphill sides that then deepen at the slope, creating a stable and secure growing environment. But you needn’t limit yourself to flowers and shrubs—use those sunny beds to grow veggies and herbs. They are attractive, unusual for a hillside, and a successful vegetable garden will save you some trips to the grocery store.
Combat Erosion with a Rock Garden and Native Plants
Hills and slopes suffer erosion easily, and there are many signs of erosion to watch out for. Soil and the nutrients within it can wash away and make it hard to establish plants and keep them alive. Rely on native plants to anchor a hillside and hang onto soil. Help them along with boulders and rocks that anchor soil and give plants a chance to grow before soil washes away.
Add a Winding Staircase
Steep slopes will require stairs. In some cases, a straight up line will be your only option. But gentler slopes can accommodate a winding staircase or path. Use native groundcovers to hold soil and create a transition between wooded areas and lawns.
Add a Retaining Wall or Waterfall
Retaining walls hold slopes in place and can create tiers and terraces with level areas on top for planters, grass, or shrubs. Interlocking concrete blocks create a tidy wall, and natural stone gives a lived-in look that will last. In some cases, you may be able to plant flowing vines that cascade over the wall’s edges, creating a waterfall effect.
Take advantage of gravity on your hillside and install a waterfall. This can be a natural feature that comes to life only when it rains, draining water away from the yard into appropriate drains or catch basins. Or, you can create a permanent water feature that uses gravity to allow water to flow and a pump to circulate water back to the top, invoking the soothing sounds of falling water.
Check local zoning regulations before installing any major modifications to your hillside landscape, especially those involving drainage. Beautifying your hillside only to drown your neighbor’s property will create more problems than it solves. Erecting retaining walls, installing drains, and creating terraces and stairs may all require permits. Work with your local authorities and landscape experts to create a plan that works for your style, taste, and budget and incorporates your choices of best hillside landscaping ideas.