Landscaping a sloped yard can require you to think outside the square. You have to combat curves and slopes and factor in varying degrees of incline and decline while simply trying to create an outdoor entertainment space.
In contrast, working with a flat section means you’re able to utilize any landscaping method without worrying about how the angles will affect its function and aesthetics. However, you may be surprised at just how many innovative and straightforward options there are for turning your unusable sloped yard into a peaceful and functional slice of paradise.
Carve Out Areas With Retaining Walls
When you want to be able to use as much of your sloped property as possible, aside from your home, utilizing retaining wall products may be in your best interest. There are a number of different classic and contemporary options you can use to border off parts of your property that you have carved out to take advantage of flat areas.
Retaining walls can be purely functional as walls, but they can also be turned into quaint gardens and features that take your property’s overall aesthetics to the next level. You can also choose from a wide variety of colors, such as sandstone for those more classic gardens and charcoal for something a little more modern and fresher.
Maximize Your Flattest Spot
When you’re only working with a slight incline or decline, you may not need a hulking concrete block retaining wall to hold back masses of soil. Identify the flattest part of your property and maximize its use.
You may decide to add rocks or one large rock to flatten it out or frame out the area with extra soil and paving stones. If you have a gentle slope leading up to that flat spot, you may consider carving out a path or stairs for aesthetic and functional purposes.
Plant Out Your Hillside
Even if gardening is not your favorite pastime, planting out your hillside can be how you make use of a challenging space in the most attractive way possible. However, it’s important to note that plants won’t always thrive on a bare hill, even if you plant some of the hardiest plant varieties. Topsoil often washes away, and nutrients and fertility are often washed away with it.
If you establish planting pockets with the use of rocks, plants, and extra soil, you may have a beautifully transformed slope in no time. Create several partitioned areas with rocks, add hardy plants like succulents, Snowberry and California Lilac, and add new topsoil to help them settle into their new home.
The addition of rocks means heavy rainfall is less likely to wash away the soil’s fertility and nutrients it needs to help your plants thrive.
Terrace With Stone Walls
If you’ve always loved the idea of a cottage garden, but your sloped property has left you lacking imagination, you’re in luck. You can terrace your hilly property with stone walls and established planted areas to enjoy year-round.
Terracing can be a significant undertaking and may require the assistance of professionals, but it can be worth it when you see the final result. You’re making practical use of the space without the need for lawn mowing, edging, or spraying that may be required if you didn’t develop the area.
Build Rock Gardens
Buying a blank canvas can sometimes be more challenging than purchasing a property with a yard you don’t particularly like. A bare, grassy, sloping section doesn’t always evoke your imagination, and you may also not want to spend too much time, effort, or money on making it more than a bare lawn that’s challenging to mow.
In that case, building a rock garden may be an option you consider. It can be as simple as purchasing rocks to stabilize the slope and investing in plants to add a burst of color, like succulents, ornamental grasses, and creeping ground cover plants.
There doesn’t have to be any method to your planting, nor do the rocks have to form a symmetrical design. Place them where you see fit, and let your rock garden develop itself over time.
If you’ve already planted out your slope or decorated it with rocks, you may be wondering if there’s anything else you can do to improve the aesthetics of your property. Creating stairs or a pathway by cutting through the slope may be something you consider.
The stairs or path may lead to something, such as an entertainment area with seating and a fire pit, or it might loop around your property and back down to your house again. Sometimes, this simple addition is enough to break through the slope and create some much-needed definition on your property.
Build Terraced Areas
You might decide to install retaining walls and terrace your property for gardens, but there’s so much more you could be doing with your newly created flat space. Each terraced portion of your property could be transformed into somewhere you can relax with friends, sit with a book, or take time for yourself.
While some people do prefer terraced gardens, you can create these spaces with all manner of materials like paving stones, grass, and gravel to suit your unique needs.
Make Vegetable Gardens
Fruit and vegetable costs are rising, which means many homeowners are wondering whether they may be able to save money by growing their own vegetables. However, this may not seem like an option if your property is sloped.
As previously mentioned, the soil on slopes tends to lack fertility and nutrients, which means you may not get the bumper crop of vegetables you were hoping for. However, you may be able to combat that problem by cutting into the slope and installing vegetable planting boxes.
These can allow you to make practical use of your space, grow the fruit and vegetables you want, and solve your sloping land problem. Best of all, you can carve steps through the middle of each planter box for easy planting, weeding, and watering.
Landscaping a sloped yard can take some creative planning, but it’s entirely possible to end up with a beautifully-established yard that you can make full use of. Any number of these options above may pique your curiosity, so now might be the right time to start planning in earnest.