A major hill or slope in your backyard may make your outdoor space seem limited, but you can actually take advantage of the slope to create a more interesting space. The following are a few ideas for integrating the slope into your garden design.
Terracing is a common design enhancing strategy for using a slope. The terraces can be wide with a gradual elevation for shallow slope, or they can be narrow for steeper slopes. For a varied slope, geometric terracing uses different widths and lengths of divided terraces to create a more visually interesting design. Each terraced area can be planted differently so you have more varied colors and textures. You can put rock gardens near the top, where drainage is most extreme, and then put your lush water-loving plants in a lower terrace.
Install water features
Water features can be an eye-catching use of at least part of a slope. The slope will lend itself naturally to a simple waterfall, which empties into a small pond or pool at the bottom of the slope. You can even get more intricate and install a series of waterfalls in combination with terracing, with the waterfalls trickling from different angles among the various terraces before coming out into the pond at the bottom.
Plant an edible hillside
If your slope receives plenty of sunlight, there are a variety of berries that will grow well on it. Berry varieties like strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries grow healthily in well-drained soil in an area with full sunlight. Strawberries are well-suited to slopes with no terracing, since they are low growing and send out runners, which fills in between the plants and helps anchor the soil. Bramble blackberries can behave in a similar fashion. Upright blackberry varieties and most raspberries grow better if some terracing is provided so the slope doesn't slide.
Create a raised patio
An interesting way to landscape the top of the slope is to install a secondary patio, overlooking your yard and perhaps the landscape beyond your property. You can combine this with any other slope landscaping you install, such as terraces or water features, to create a hillside oasis.
Add something for the kids
If you have children, consider integrating their play area into the slope. There are special slides, climbing walls, and ropes courses you can purchase or have custom designed to specifically fit a slope or hillside.
For more help, contact a garden design company in your area.