My very first garden had a serious slope that ran from the street down to the house. At the time, I was so new to gardening that I didn’t realize what I was getting into. But, after much trial and error, I learned that sloping properties are little micro climates unto themselves. They have special needs. So I was happy to see this post, brought to me by a guest writer, that addresses ways to work with sloped gardens.
The following is a contributed post. For more on my contributed posts, please see this page.
Coping With A Sloped Garden
Sloped gardens often come with unique challenges. One major issue can be water runoff: Water traveling downhill, instead of absorbing into the soil, can leave sloped areas too dry. Meanwhile, the area at the bottom of the slope, where the water collects, becomes boggy. Water runoff and wind can also cause soil erosion. And placing garden structures or outdoor furniture on a slope can be a challenge.
Fortunately, there are ways to make a sloped garden more manageable. Below are just a few suggestions for making good use of your sloped garden.
You may be able to flatten out or fill in your sloped garden by getting it levelled. This can be quite expensive if you’ve got a large garden and may not be practical if the slope is quite steep. However, when it comes to small gardens with gradual slopes, it could be a good solution.
Create A Tiered Garden
Another option for a sloped garden could be to divide it into stepped tiers. In most cases, creating multiple levels of flat sections is more practical than levelling the entire garden.
You could dedicate each tier to a different purpose. For instance, there could be a tier dedicated to a patio area, a tier for your lawn and general plants, and possibly a tier for a vegetable patch. Excavation companies such as Rock On Walls and Falls can help you to build these tiers. Between each tier, you could add stairs and stylish retaining walls.
You may even be able to add features like multi-tiered ponds with waterfalls.
Build A Raised Deck
You may be able to build a raised deck over part of your sloped garden. This could give you a flat area for socializing in your garden without having to do any excavation work. A raised deck is more affordable than a raised patio. Just be sure to consider property boundaries and setbacks, and expect to deal with issues such as permits and planning permission.
More information on building a raised deck can be found in this post by BuildDirect.
Embrace The Slope
You don’t have to build decks or flatten out areas of your garden. Instead you could embrace the slope. This approach is all about working in partnership with the land instead of trying to conquer it.
Start by observing the dynamics of the area: Where water is traveling and where it ends up, which locations are sunny and which are shady, which plants are thriving and which are not, where opportunities for viewpoints might be – or areas you might carve out for private garden “rooms.” Before adding features, be sure to identify any issues with the area, such as soil erosion, that you might need to keep in mind or address.
Some plants are able to grow well on slopes. Such plants can often survive in relatively dry soil and take punishment from the wind. You could try to incorporate these plants into your garden.
Think of features that you can add to enhance and make use of the slope. One option could be to have a long winding path or staircase leading down your garden – possibly with small levelled sections or platforms along the way. You could also find ways to direct water down your garden in a stylish manner, such as using rocks to create a waterfall. Just make sure to have a plan for where that water will end up (perhaps in an attractive pond) so that you don’t flood your area or create flooding problems in a neighbor’s garden.
Working with the dynamics already present in your garden is also a great way to keep the local wildlife happy and create your own nature sanctuary.
Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.
Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories: