If your garden has a steep slope, leveling it by terracing can make it both attractive and useful. One benefit of a terraced garden is that it stops soil erosion and rain water washing the nutrients away, making it difficult to plant and maintain most shallow rooting garden plants. However the main benefit you will find after leveling the slope and forming terraces, the garden will be easier to work on and get around, making it an enjoyable garden to be in, instead of a daily challenge.
Leveling a sloping Garden
If your garden has a steep slope, leveling it by terracing can make it both attractive and useful. One benefit of a terraced garden is that it stops soil erosion and rain water washing the nutrients away, making it difficult to plant and maintain most shallow rooting garden plants. However the main benefit you will find after leveling the slope and forming terraces, the garden will be easier to work on and get around, making it an enjoyable garden to be in, instead of a daily challenge. Terracing a sloping garden also adds interest, allowing planting at different levels, flowers at the top and vegetables at the bottom, paved area at the top flowers in the middle and fruit bushes at the bottom etc. The combinations are endless and unlike a garden with one steep slope, plant choice is not limited because of soil erosion . Leveling a garden that either slopes away or toward the house will present many more design and planting options.
What materials can I use to terrace a sloping garden?
Can I level a sloping garden myself?
How to build a retaining wall in a sloping garden.
Basic design advice for building a retaining wall.
High retaining walls are at the greatest risk of failure. As the retaining-wall height increases, the force trying to topple the wall increases by a large factor. For example, if you double the height of a wall, the tipping force can increase by a factor of three or four times. More information about landscaping sloping gardens
What do I do with the soil when leveling the slope.
How long will it take to level a sloping garden.
|Tips for designing a sloping garden.
What garden features can I include in a terraced garden.
What you include in your sloping garden design will depend on the size. Creating to many different levels will mean that terraces could be to small for purpose.
Paving on a slope
The golden rule for a paved terrace is that it is big enough to dine and entertain without falling of the edge, To work out the space you will need, place a dining table in the middle and place six chairs around the table, now move each chair back 18″ that’s the minimum space you should aim for and don’t forget to include space for the BBQ!
You may of course be more interested in growing your own vegetables than entertaining, I am, in that case a growing area will be more important than paving don’t forget to include space for a compost heap.
Kids play area and seating
A family with young children might want to include a safe play area and maybe a sand pit and a shed to store the kids toys. If you are not including a paved terrace aim to have plenty of natural seating spread around the garden, the tops of stone retaining walls and sleeper raised beds make great places to sit and ponder.Try to have them spread around to follow the sun. also make the tread of your steps wide enough to sit on.
Water features and streams running from the top to the bottom work well and look good in a sloping garden,they seem to connect the variouse terraces together and the sound of running water bubling over pebbles is something else.
Not to high and not to much
For the reasons we have covered above If possible, avoid very high retaining walls, and split the garden into fewer, shallower levels
but If your garden slopes away from the house and you are planning a patio area directly outside the house the further into the slope the patio extends, the higher the retaining wall will need to be. A higher retaining wall will need more steps to access the lower terrace.In a garden with a downward slope away from the house it might be worth considering positioning the patio on one of the lower levels rather than sacrifice dining and entertaining space. Remember the formula, table, six chairs pulled back at least 18″
What do you want from your garden.
Don’t be put off, a sloping garden with soil erosion, areas you cant get to and slippery slopes can be a nightmare, especially as we get older. With some thought and hard work it really can be turned into a garden you will enjoy using again.
Sloping Uphill, Sloping Downhill
Downhill slopes often look better with straight walls, sweeping paths and gradual slopes.
Stand at the bottom of the slope when you are designing a sloping garden and remember, although it can be expensive to build, a sloping garden is easier to maintain looks better and will become a garden you will use again.
More gardening tips on the landscape gardening website