Monday, March 14, 2011

Landscaping Hillsides

Landscaping hillsides can be one of the most difficult parts of designing a backyard, but there are several tasteful ways to go about it: create terraces, arrange low retaining walls, construct zigzag pathways, design several landings carved into the hillside, or plant dense, strong-rooted plants in staggered rows. Strong-rooted plants include Artemisia, ceanothus, cotoneaster, creeping mahonia (Mahonia repens), ice plants, juniper, rockrose, California buckwheat, Japanese buckwheat, and rugosa roses. On hillsides, it is important to install drip irrigation so plants get the amount of water they need without a lot of runoff. If you notice “ponding” on flat ground, this can mean poor grading or uneven soil settlement. Surface drains, berms, retaining walls, and terraces are all effective erosions controls. Here are several different examples of well-landscaped hillsides. (Sunset’s Western Landscaping, 2006)

A natural looking hillside with native plants and stone steps

A rock retaining wall with dense planting

Strong-rooted hardy plants such as Agave are great for hillsides

A gravel pathway cuts through a hillside held up by natural rock and dense planting

A terraced hillside with full-grown native planting

A formal Italian hillside with stone walls, pillars, and stairs

The most natural looking hillside with stepping stones, wild flowers, and a dense colorful ground cover preventing erosion


carpenters in essex said...

That was an artistic design. I am always in thought on how to make our hillside a much better looks and good design so that it won’t look nonsense. I think that's a good source of information, but I can’t do that; so I’ll just hire a gardener to fix our hillside yard.

Bonnie said...

Beautiful! Makes me wish I had a hillside to decorate, now!