8 Successful Ideas for Landscaping on a Slope

Not everyone has a flat yard. Depending on the size of your property, you may have a slope between your yard and a neighbor’s or in your back yard. When we say slope, we are also including hills. Mowing grass can be dangerous on a steep slope, and you may want something a little more exciting than turf grass. Keep reading to learn how you can turn your slope into a beautiful focal point with these successful ideas for landscaping on a slope.


1.  Build a Terrace Garden

For steeper slopes and hillsides, building a terrace garden will help prevent erosion, and create a dramatic view. Use natural stone or pavers to define the various terrace levels. You can even do a terrace garden on a smaller slope, with smaller terrace levels. Choose flowers, grasses, and shrubs that coordinate well for each level of the terrace.


A terrace garden will help prevent erosion and create a dramatic view.

2.  Build Some Stairs

If your slope or hillside is steep or long enough, why not build some stairs to help you get to the top or bottom? Whether you opt for stone or brick steps, you can add lush plantings on either side to showcase them! If your steps are wide, you can also have potted plants on the stairs that you can switch out with the seasons.


Steps can be a practical way to make use of a slope.

3.  Falling Water

Use your hill to your advantage and create your own backyard waterfall! It’s a wondrous water feature you will enjoy for years to come. The soothing sound of falling water makes for a relaxing outdoor space. Build a patio near the bottom of the waterfall to increase your enjoyment.


A waterfall with color-changing fiber optic lights can be very relaxing!

4.  Lay a Meandering Pathway

By installing a series of switchbacks, or winding and meandering pathway, you can make your way safely and gradually up your slope or hill. Consider rock slabs with pea gravel, or stepping stones surrounded by ground cover to draw the eye up or down the slope.

You can turn your slope into a beautiful focal point.

5.  Build a Retaining Wall

If you want to control erosion and claim more flat space, you can actually cut out part of the hill and build a retaining wall. The wall will hold back the soil, and create another focal point. Use the opportunity to create a garden space behind and along the retaining wall for visual interest.


Did you know that retaining walls can be functional and beautiful?

6.  Go All Natural With a Rock Garden

Take a look at your hillside and scan for rocks. Is it rocky? If yes, you have the option of turning into a rock garden. If not, you can add boulders and other rocks of various shapes and sizes. A rock garden is about as low maintenance an option there is for your slope or hillside. Plantings can include ornamental grasses, ground covers, and other rock-loving plants.


This rock garden with a built-in stream fits with the natural landscape.

7.  Create a Hillside Prairie

Another way to go all natural when landscaping on a slope is to use native plants. That way you can turn your hillside or slope into a hillside prairie. You can plant evergreens, shrubs, wildflowers, groundcovers, and more. If the plants are native, they will do well and will be very low maintenance. A hillside like this will also attract a variety of pollinators, birds, and small wildlife. It’s like your own nature center!

Slope in your yard? Adding native plants can complement your space.

8.  Build a Hilltop Destination

If you and your guests have made the effort to climb the stairs or traverse the pathway to the top, reward everyone with a destination fire feature and seating area. It’s always a good idea to have private seating areas if you like to do a lot of entertaining.


A slope can give you a nice hilltop destination!

Dream It. Build It. Live It.

If all of this sounds beautiful, but beyond your capabilities, hire a landscape design team with hardscaping experience. Ask to see portfolio pictures of how they have successfully implemented landscaping on a slope. Local professionals should know what works and what doesn’t, and will make landscaping on a slope look easy.

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