Hillside properties appear beautiful as they highlight the house’s architectural features from the other side of the hill. However, hilly backyards aren’t the easiest to work with as they come with other risks such as soil erosion, poor drainage, and inaccessibility. Despite these faults, hillsides have some inbuilt advantages that any homeowner can maximize by having an instant view. With your creativity, you can make good use of the rocks, wild plants, and other natural features to create a dynamic view. Here are seven solid ideas for landscaping a slopy, or even a downright hilly, backyard.
Most hillsides do well with native plants. The soil on a slope is often less ideal as the topsoil can easily be washed away by water, taking all the nutrients and fertility with it. A mix of groundcover, trees, shrubs, and perennials can be a great strategy to hold the soil in place when it rains. Review all the slope sections and determine where to plant grass, trees, flowers, and shrubs. Planting helps reduce maintenance in spots that are difficult to mow. Native plants require less help from you and are firm enough to reduce soil erosion. However, you might want to get a high-quality EGO chainsaw for seasonal pruning. Remember, native trees and shrubs aren’t the easiest to cut or shape.
A hilly backyard can be challenging for plants as they can suffer soil erosion or poor drainage. However, you can always get creative with the rocks on the slopes and arrange them in varying shapes and sizes to create a stable base for plants that thrive on rocky areas like the Ornamental grass, Maiden grass, Purple-Fountain grass and Stonecrop. If you can move the rocks easily, consider using them to create terraces and build a rock-solid structure that is functional and attractive. The little walls you create with stones can provide ample space for planting your favorite plants, a waterfall, and other landscaping features.
Creating tiers is also an excellent way to prevent soil erosion. Check the sections in your slope that you can dig and create tiers for planting. You can also build retaining walls with stones and add plants on different sections to create contrast. If you use rocks as tiers, fill them with plants and small trees to create a natural look. Tiering provides enough space to add landscaping elements for a cohesive design. Another great option for gardeners who enjoy planting vegetables and herbs is using tiered raised beds that makes it easy to access your garden during planting, weeding, or watering. You can also plant ornamental grasses and mix them with bright flowers. Consider easy-care blooms like the marigold.
If you enjoy a garden or backyard full of plants, the best way to style it up is by building some stairs leading up to your flatter ground. Find areas in the slope that can create a beautiful path between the plants and build some stairs. One long staircase can be boring and tiring. Consider small staircases at different sections of the yard. Staircases blend into the landscapes far better when surrounded by plants on all their sides. You can also install garden furniture to complete the look.
If you have always wanted to add a water feature to your compound, your hilly backyard provides the right height to build a sensational water feature. You can use the available rocks to create a natural waterfall that brings a soothing, relaxing air to your outdoor space. Don’t forget to include native plants along the fall. Smaller plants fit better and are easy to cut and design.
Your slopy property will definitely require some form of staircase or pathway, depending on the steepness. If the slope is not dangerously steep, you can enhance its incline with stairs, steps or paths. A winding path made of bricks and pavers will be a better option for steep slopes. Stepping stone paths are great additions, too, as they add form and function to your sloped backyard. If your hilly side is full of rocks, you might want to use them to build a stairway that will complement the surrounding plants and anchor your landscaping design. You can cut big rocks into rectangle shapes to build stepping stones. Use other different-sized rocks with varying colors, and textures and place them on each side of the steps. To avoid a rocky-looking structure, leave some space to add small plants and flowers.
To add some form and functionality to your slopy yard, you can cut away a portion of the hill and install retaining walls to hold back the soil. This is especially a great idea if you’re looking to create a dedicated planting area along the retaining wall or planting grass to create a play area for your children.