Hillside Landscaping Ideas

hillside landscaping ideas 1

Hillside Landscaping Ideas

BHG.com Gardening Landscaping Landscape Basics Hillside Landscaping Ideas Get landscaping ideas for sloping yards. By Kelly Roberson Facebook Pinterest Twitter Google Plus Email Print More Prev View all Next × Prev View all Next Prev View all Next Popular In Landscape Basics No More Cookie Cutter Landscapes! How to Differentiate Your Yard Small Garden Ideas What Should I Plant Together? Tips for Taming a Slope Everything In This Slideshow 1 of 11 Facebook Pinterest Forest Frolic A gentle slope relies on shade-hardy plants for textural interest. Big brush strokes of color — from the same plant — draw up the eye through the landscape; here, a bright red stretch of astilbe beckons at the top of the path. A terra-cotta container offers a no-fuss way to integrate additional flowers and foliage along a slope. The selection and placement of hardscape materials reinforces the style of a garden setting, as with these free-form stacked boulders at the path’s edge. Bright blooms of yellow sedum soften the geometric angles of path and edging. Wide and deep, the steps offer a leisurely stroll up the hill with plenty of shade-lovers for view along the way, including sedum and lamb’s ear. Are you using retaining walls to manage your hillside? Find out how to keep them in great shape. 2 of 11 Facebook Pinterest Slope Approach Pretty plants and trees make quick work of a steep incline. The design of a slope is as much about the approach as it is about the angle of the hill; here, a grass path sinuously curves around plantings to draw visitors toward the stairs. Retaining walls present a garden conundrum: How do you dress them up without them looking fussy? A series of simple metal trellis and flowering vines does the trick here. With no spot along the slope for a resting spot, a bench offers a breather before the rise of the stairs. Shrubs and trees such as a full moon maple maintain year-round visual interest. Restrained yet elegant plants, including hostas, roses, and coralbells, provide a cohesive visual style. 3 of 11 Facebook Pinterest Steady Incline A hillside garden relies on uncomplicated plants and a straightforward path. A switchback path makes quick work of a steep hillside and helps reduce erosion. A path’s design can add visual interest to a landscape; here, the flagstones are mortared into place in an understated pattern. To shorten the approach to the boathouse and dock, the path neatly segues into a series of steps at key curves. Slope safety is key; this simple metal version fades discreetly into background. Ivy works as a vigorous, no-fuss groundcover, with a few shrubs here and there to up the vertical interest. 4 of 11 Facebook Pinterest Soothing Slant Broken by a series of terraces, a gentle slope strikes the right notes. Slight slopes such as this one can become boring when planted with just grass. Elements such as terraces break up the rise, offering plenty of gardener-friendly spots for flowers and shrubs. A shrub or two placed on each terrace maintains visual and textural consistency. Just as an unbroken slope equals blah, an unbroken wall can be a distraction. White latticework offers cover as well as a spot for a climbing vine. Trees can be used — or omitted — to enclose a yard or open it up. To one side of this yard, a cluster of trees shields the area from the neighbors, while the other side has a nearly unobstructed view of the expansive back yard. Neither exotic nor overdone, the plant selection, including black-eyed Susans and daylilies, offers a pretty, pleasing palette. 5 of 11 Facebook Pinterest Style Cred Plants and materials in similar colors break up a steep expanse. Resting spots on hillsides can come in many forms, such as a table and chairs, a pergola, or another structural element. Offering hardscape elements as separation between the grades in a garden is a visual trick to rest the eye; here, a small gate marks the end of the stairs. Plants and materials should complement each other in style and form. The color of the wood rail fence echoes the stonework, while its casual style recalls the rail near the gate. The stairs up the slope neatly transition into a series of terraced beds. Repeated groupings of plants such as dusty miller, salvia, phlox, and impatiens, provide visual consistency. 6 of 11 Facebook Pinterest Path Appeal Two available paths provide very different garden experiences down a slope. An interesting path can spice up a slope as much as plants can. The curve in the walkway adds grace to the garden. A flagstone path leading down the slope offers a different character and textural contrasts. In place of a rail or a fence, mid-height shrubs fill the space to the narrow side of the path. Several hostas, which cascade over the stair-stepped path, soften the wood edge. Shrubs and steadfast perennials, such as daylilies, congregate at the crown of the hill. 7 of 11 Facebook Pinterest Tilt Solution Plants edging a path work wonders to offer views and tame a side yard. Add a path or two along planting beds on your slope; it’ll help make garden maintenance easier. Gravel and flagstones form a path that hugs the bottom of the hill. Repeated groupings of shade-loving plants flank the sides of the walkway, creating a sense of intimacy. Tall trees define the border between one yard and another, and create a lovely backdrop for the plantings. Shrubs dress up the scene at the top of the slope, creating a great scene when viewed from inside the house. 8 of 11 Facebook Pinterest Setting the Scene Using elements of balance and proportion is key to create the classical style of this slope. Even small hills offer the chance to include interesting garden elements. At the top of this slope, a retaining wall divides steps from a seating area behind it. Focal points in the form of garden ornaments provide the eye a place to rest. Symmetry is a key design tool. This garden relies on it for a tidy, classical look. Increasing plant heights draw the eye from the base of the garden up the hill, with lamb’s ears as groundcover, boxwood at mid-point, and yew at the top of the stairs. A large tree shields a seating area at the top of the hill and adds a visual layer of interesting materials to the garden’s layout. 9 of 11 Facebook Pinterest An Abundance of Bonsai A collection of miniature plants adds rhythm and grace to a landscape display on a terraced slope. Use a slope as a design advantage. Here, a small rise next to stairs is cleverly carpeted with grass before turning to a bounty of plants. Hardscape materials maintain consistency in your landscape. Using the same type of stone ties together the various walls. Several smaller terraces break up the steep hill; installing small paths also avoids building a massive stretch of retaining wall. Garden beds can be home to permanent plants, or beds can contain moveable growing creations that allow for more flexibility using container gardens. Tidy, understated bonsai stand in stark contrast to the azalea and rhododendron blooms. 10 of 11 Facebook Pinterest Walk in the Woods A walkway up a slope echoes the spontaneous feel of the landscape around it. Stairs up a slope can appear either man-made or natural; the latter was the choice with these broad, worn stairs. Curved metalwork edging echoes the slope of the hill as it discreetly separates walkway from grass. Easy-care shrubs add visually interesting elements to the landscape. Here, a collection clusters along one side of the walkway, eliminating the need for edging. A trimmed hedge at the top of the hill visually distances the home behind it from the pathway. A sturdy conifer and the more delicate foliage of Japanese maples offer contrast to each other throughout the seasons. 11 of 11 Facebook Pinterest Next Slideshow No More Cookie Cutter Landscapes! How to Differentiate Your Yard No More Cookie Cutter Landscapes! How to Differentiate Your Yard Having a landscape that breaks the mold of boring design is a lot easier than you might think. Here are fifteen extraordinary examples of things you can do to pump up the style around your home. Begin Slideshow » Related Small Garden Ideas What Should I Plant Together? Tips for Taming a Slope
hillside landscaping ideas 1

Hillside Landscaping Ideas

Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Sleep stopes or “banks” run rampant in some San Diego neighborhoods. A by-product of Southern California’s hilly terrain or simply of builder-bulldozed soil, these slopes often characterize backyards, especially in North County. Depending on the slope’s stability and what’s behind it, homeowners have dealt with their backyard banks in a number of ways: landscaping it with ice plant (not recommended), pushing it back for a pool installation, or letting it grow “wild.” Of course, issues like erosion control and drainage pop up when talking about slope management, and are important slope stability considerations. So before we cover what to do with your steep backyard slope, let’s discuss what’s happening on your slope first. What Kind of Slope Do You Have? Drainage — Where does water drain on your slope? Is it moving across it or down it? Look for water channel clues. Are the channels wide or narrow? What direction are they headed? If the answer is down, erosion control will be a problem and you slope may be more unstable than you want. This is something to keep in mind when you landscape – slope stability. Dig a hole and fill it with water. Note how long it takes for the water to drain. If drainage occurs within an hour or so, that’s good. If it takes several days to drain, that’s not so good. You don’t want water sitting on your slope because wet soil and mud on a steep hill can cause erosion and slide issues. Soil — Dig another hole somewhere on your slope, preferably where you’re considering landscaping. If you find solid rock or clay, the soil on top can slide down your bank easier and this will inform what you plant to better “secure” the bank. Meanwhile, analyze for soil with a home test it. Make mote of what you find because it will inform what types of plants will grow best there (or not grow at all). Incline — Is your slope accessible? Are you able to walk up your slope or do you need to hold onto something at all times? Your answers will help you decide if you can plant and maintain your slope or bring some of it into your existing backyard landscape. Sunlight — Is your slope in full sun? Again, noting this factor will help you choose how you landscape your slope. Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Contemporary Landscape by El Dorado Hills Interior Designers & Decorators Deborah Costa What To Do With Your Slope? Because erosion is an issue in many cases, hillside stability is key. What you plant can address erosion and most hillside movement in your landscape, as can reinforced retaining walls (something has to keep all that dirt and rock up there). Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Traditional Exterior by South Deerfield Architects & Designers Habitat Post & Beam, Inc. Planting — Most hillsides can be made relatively stable with plants . The planting should be a mix of groundcover, shrubs, trees, and perennials with the areas between plants covered with mulch or boulders. A mix of plants and vegetation layers ensure that when it rains, the force of the water hitting the ground is deflected. In most cases, if your slope soil is deeper, a mix of deep-rooted plants  like bougainvillea and shallow-rooted plants like monkey flowers or sagebrush are needed to secure the top soil to the bottom rock. If you have surface soil on solid rock, planting trees helps keep water moving off the slope. For actual planting, create small divets in the sloping soil as individual planting holes. Stagger planting placement to help to prevent water from running straight down the hill. Dig holes that are large enough to allow the roots to spread out and apply a layer of organic mulch between the plants, such as large bark chips. Be sure to irrigate your planted slope, using drip irrigation or soaker hoses, which allow water to soak into the soil and reduce runoff. Terracing — Depending on the size of your slope, you can divide hillsides into more manageable sections with retaining walls, which are strong and stable barrier walls usually made of stone, concrete or lumber. These walls can be placed where they will hold back the soil above, and make a space below that can be left as a slope, leveled, or planted. Multiple walls can be placed at different points to create a terraced look. Terraces can range from a few feet wide and used as planting areas to wide expanses. If your is large, some experts recommend putting an 8-10-foot terrace every fifty feet to make your slope much more functional long term. Tiering — Creating tiers down your slope make it less likely to erode. By digging into the hill at certain points, you can also create tiers for planting. Retain the walls of the tiers with stone pavers and layer different plants and landscaping elements to create contrast between tiers. If you use rock walls as tiers, try filling them in with plants, small trees, or even river rock for a natural look. Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Contemporary Landscape by San Francisco Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Randy Thueme Design Inc. – Landscape Architecture Paths and Stairs — If your slope isn’t dangerously steep, enhance its incline with paths or staircases made of stone. If you do have a very steep bank, consider a winding path made of pavers, or bricks that traverses your slope to create less of an incline. Stepping-stone paths are pretty, too, and add form and function to your backyard. Rock Landscaping — Using rocks for landscaping adds some “nature charm,” while also holding plants and soil in place. Make indentations where rocks can sit without rolling and place different-sized rocks of varying texture and color together in groups. To avoid an all-rock look, leave spaces between groupings and spaces between some of the spaces to add  medium-height plants or flowers to break up the landscape. Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Traditional Landscape by Novato Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Derviss Design Go Native — As you might imagine, native plants are native for a reason. In fact, studies show that using native plants on a slope causes no measurable erosion because they’re adapted to the California environment. Native plants are perfect for sloping hillsides because they’re pretty, stabilize slopes and reduce water usage. You can also choose native plants with different bloom cycles for year-round color and variation.  If you’re into birds, and butterflies, using native plants will attract them to your bank. If you do go native, some good choices include California holly, California Glory or Dara’s Gold. Native ground cover options are California perfume, bear berry, and coyote bush. What Not To Do With Your Slope Plant grass — Planting grass does not stop erosion, and it’s been found that 30-75% of all rainfall on grass- covered slopes runs off. Also, seeding a bank with grass creates a weedy slope that is hard to stabilize and makes reestablishing plants much more difficult. Use plastic — So-called plastic weed barriers or erosion matting will sooner rather than later curl and kill almost everything under it, except possibly weeds. Plus, plastic in a natural landscape does your backyard no beauty favors. Use fabric/straw mats — Fabric mats don’t last, cause greater erosion, and attract rodents. That’s enough about straw mats. Use ice plant as ground cover — Ice plants have very shallow roots and are heavy, which add to the weight of the slope, actually encouraging the soil they’re superficially planted in to slide after a rainfall. Ice plant is used so often in southern California because it doesn’t burn very well, and addresses fire concerns. If fire danger worries you, instead of ice plant, use California native plants, which tend to be more fire-retardant than other varieties, and use mulch, which helps keep plants hydrated and a little less flammable. Good Plants for a Slope California lilac Creeping juniper Purple coneflower Rattlesnake master Russian sage Snowberry Star jasmine Common periwinkle Siberian carpet cypress Your Turn… Backyard slopes can be made into things of beauty, but before landscaping, it’s always a good idea to check with a landscape architect to ensure you’re not creating potential erosion problems. Overall, if you’re still stumped, go with a mixture of deep-rooted California native shrubs, and trees, mixed with shallow-rooted shrubs that are mulched. Do you have a slope in your backyard? What did you do with it?

Hillside Landscaping Ideas

Hillside Landscaping Ideas
Hillside Landscaping Ideas
Hillside Landscaping Ideas
Hillside Landscaping Ideas

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