Sloping yards can often present a challenge for Monroe, NY homeowners looking for the freedom to build the backyard landscape of their dreams. Hills and slopes can limit building options and create drainage issues. Fortunately, with our landscaping expertise and some basic engineering, a sloping yard can actually work to your advantage in creating a rich and flowing design.
Dividing your yard into multiple sections with varying functions is a great way to break up space, and create variation and visual interest in any landscape. With sloping yards, this challenge is often limited by a dominant incline. However, using retaining walls, it’s possible to use a naturally occurring slope to your advantage by creating multiple sections separated not only by visual dividers such as hedges and walkways, but also by height. This makes for an interesting, three dimensional design often making use of steps built into the slope to link and create flow between the spaces.
Amphitheater with quad
For large yards with a steep slope, amphitheater style terracing can be used to hold back a slope while creating a stadium-like area complete with seating and entertainment area or patio cradled in the center. Alternatively, the steps created by retaining walls can be used as flowerbeds, adorning a sweeping slope with color.
Plants for slopes
Selecting plants to grow on a slope can be tricky as they require a strong root system and good hold in order to not be washed away. Low growing shrubs are also an advantage as they are less likely to be uprooted by the effects of gravity. Plants such as the dwarf forsythia, cutleaf stephanandra and the flowering quince are good examples of shrubs perfect for this purpose. Slope plantings not only bring color and character to your landscape, but are also excellent tools for preventing erosion and topsoil loss.
Steps as a central feature
Landscape steps can be an excellent opportunity to showcase skilled masonry and attractive high quality natural stone. In front yards, a set of steps that complements your landscape attracts attention and draws the eye up towards the home. Centrally placed stairs in backyards create flow between outdoor areas, and create an accessible main artery for foot traffic.
A steep yard can pose quite a climb for backyard pedestrians, but this can be countered with the use of walkways that criss-cross the slope, winding upwards. Winding walkways are a safer alternative to steps and offer a gentler climb and meandering route through the scenery. This can be taken advantage of by placing interesting features along the way that strollers can admire as they go.
A sloping garden has the advantage of providing a sweeping view of your yard and surrounding panorama. Why not embrace the slope and take advantage of this with a hillside patio where you can admire your property? Built into the slope, a hillside patio makes use of strong concrete foundations to anchor itself against the incline. Alternatively, where the topography calls for more versatile means, decking can be used to achieve the same effect. Patios can also be built into the base of a slope with the help of retaining walls to carve out a space where your patio can be nestled.