Hillside Landscaping Tips

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A hilly property can pose numerous challenges to homeowners who desire a certain aesthetic. An uneven yard can seem awkward, unruly, and is often difficult to mow. With a little creativity and planning, however, you can transform your Dutchess County sloping yard into a masterpiece! Use these hillside landscaping tips to bring out the best in your property.

Shape a Hillside With Terraces and Retaining Walls

Aside from presenting design complications, a hilly landscape is prone to soil erosion. Use terraces and retaining walls to protect from the elements and break up your yard into multiple zones for more usable space. Terracing divides a hillside into large, level “steps,” encouraging water to seep evenly into the earth, rather than accumulating and pulling soil downward. Additionally, a terraced landscape is the perfect base for a diverse and richly layered garden. Retaining walls are another beautiful option which hold back sloped and level areas alike, allowing for greater design versatility. Create harmony between natural and manmade features by integrating planters into retaining walls or letting plants grow organically among cracks in natural stone terraces.

Going Up, Going Down

Rolling hills are beautiful in nature, but they must be tamed for functionality on a residential property. Stairs are a smart hillside landscaping tool because they merge form and function, introducing a striking visual element that make maneuvering among elevation changes accessible. Rustic flagstone steps installed alongside trellises or heavily planted retaining walls offer a dreamy garden look, while clean, geometric stairs surrounded by tasteful shade trees and shrubs bring class to your landscape. Cleverly placed benches at either end encourage inhabitants to stop and enjoy the encompassing beauty while resting after an ascent or descent.

Plant a Hillside Garden

A steep hillside is the ideal canvas for a garden oasis. Fill your hilly landscape with a bounty of flowering plants interspersed with elegant hardscaping elements. For built-in protection to keep plants and soil steady, lay down netting and cut holes large enough to dig through. Plant perennials such as phlox, dusty miller, and daylilies in consistent groupings for visual continuity, and choose hardscaping features which match plants’ colors and textures for striking contrast. Structural pieces, such as gates or pergolas, provide focal points, leading viewers’ eyes through your hillside landscape.

Don’t Forget the Extras

Turn heads with hillside features like water fountains, sculptures, and specimen plants. Take advantage of the graceful forms of weeping willow or flowering dogwood trees, or keep visitors to your landscape captivated year-round with holly. Harness the soothing power of a soft, running fountain. If it fits your budget, a koi pond adds unique mystique to a multi-leveled hillside landscape.

Don’t let uneven terrain render your property aesthetically flat. Follow these hillside landscaping tips to delightfully surprise any visitor to your home.

Related: 5 Drainage Tips for Better Landscaping