Dealing with Hills

Dealing with hills in a landscape design can often present unique problems and situations that many people are not ready to overcome at first glance. With a little thought, some careful consideration, and the proper planning hills can actually offer you some great opportunities for truly making your yard look fantastic. There is one item that must be considered before all others when dealing with hills, and that is size of the hill.

The size of your hill or hills will determine what you can and cannot do. If the hill is particularly large, then you will be able to do larger scale projects. However, with a smaller hill you don't have that flexibility, and are actually limited in what you can and cannot do. Here are a few methods that you can be used to begin dealing with the hills you have around your home.

  • Use terraces. One of the main problems with hills is erosion. Over time, water from rain and snow fall will wash away the soil and all your landscaping efforts. By utilizing terraces, both large and small, you can help slow the flow of water and allow you a more overall space to use in your landscaping efforts. By using terraces on a larger hill you can create separate "rooms" or areas that are dedicated to a specific type of plant or gardening style. For smaller hills you will have the opportunity to do the same thing, but on a smaller scale.
  • Water is good. Another method for dealing with hills is to use the natural change in height to your advantage, and incorporate a few water features. For example you can install a water feature in the form of a brook or stream that winds its way down the hill. Another possibility is to install a water fall, or you can combine these two ideas into one. It all depends on what look you are going for, and how much room you have to work with.
  • Plant it all. An interesting alternative is to simply plant the hill completely. Use plants, shrubs, and trees that are natural to your area and plant them on the hillside. This will help reduce the amount of erosion that you experience, while also giving you the opportunity to create a "wilderness" that you can enjoy when you want.
  • Use texture. Perhaps the best method for dealing with hills is to actually use a combination of all the above. By mixing the different methods together you can create a unique texture for your yard that you don't see anywhere else.

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