Tips on How to Landscape on a Hill

For most of us, landscaping is a challenge even if we do it in a small area of our backyard or front yard. It would take time and effort before we finally get into the result we want.

What about if your house is located on a hill? That would even be more challenging! But of course, it is still possible to get a beautiful landscape on the hill.

Hillside landscaping is indeed a hard job. In fact, some could have given up and just leave the area as is than be engaged with a tedious task. But there are ways to landscape a hill while not just taking into account its design but also avoiding soil erosion and controlling water flow.

With this tips, you will surely agree with us that giving your sloped yard a makeover isn’t impossible at all!

1. Study the place.

Study the place


Not all hillsides are the same. That is why you need to study the place well.

Consider its landscape. Look into existing trees and boulders. What are the issues you want to find answers? Is it flooding? Is the soil eroding? You have to make sure that the place is safe to mow and that the type of soil fits the kind of plants you will be getting.

Plan everything very well so you won’t waste time, money and effort.

2. Plant selection.

Plant selection

Crisp Architects

Selecting the right plant is very important because in the hill, water drains down hillsides quickly leaving the soil drier. Drought tolerant trees and plants are required, it is also good to choose perennials. Native plants work well too as they have adapted to the local conditions of your area.

If you are not sure of what plants to get, consult the experts.

3. Leave some existing plants and trees.

Leave some existing plants and trees

Mark Gerwing

We have mentioned that you need to check and study the area first before landscaping. If there are plants that are noxious and invasive, eradicate them. Retain other plants and trees that can add shade and can be helpful to hold soil.

You can add shrubs in the area and other landscaping plants that will complement with the existing ones.

4. Build a pathway or stairs.

Build a pathway or stairs

NRD Landscape Design Inc.

It is important that you create a pathway leading to the entrance of your home. You can add stairs or steps to make it easy and safe to go up. You can also place a patio at the bottom with a walkway.

Be sure to pick the right materials for your steps and see to it that it is sturdy too.

5. Place retaining walls.

Place retaining walls

Caputo Construction

It is popular to put retaining walls for hilly areas – it can help hold the soil to avoid erosion.

There are many ways to build a retaining wall. You can use concrete walls but you can also make one using rocks or sometimes even wood. Retaining walls also add beauty to the area.

6. Use ground cover with shrubs.

Use ground cover with shrubs

McClellan Architects

Another way in landscaping hills is adding ground covers then plant shrubs or bushes on it. This will prevent washout and erosion as well. And of course, this will add appeal to the garden and doesn’t require much maintenance too.

7. Build dry creek beds.

Bring in some plants

Garden Culture Victoria

If excess water flows from the property that may cause drainage or erosion problem, a dry creek bed would be the answer to that. It will not only improve your landscaping drainage but it will also be an interesting element in your area.

Other people who don’t encounter any problems with their hillside home still opt to build a dry creek bed because it looks attractive.

8. Cover it with bark or mulch.

Cover it with bark or mulch

Paradise Restored Landscaping & Exterior Design

This is a simple approach in landscaping your hill. If you want to avoid mowing and maintaining your garden, then this option is good for you.

Some people doesn’t like planting shrubs or bushes, so mulch could work for them. But the downside is, the bark and mulch might also wash down because nothing is holding them in place.

This technique is good if you live in a place with little rainfall.

9. Mix and match techniques.

Mix and match techniques

Steven Ginn Architects LLC

There isn’t a rule that says you cannot mix and match the techniques we mentioned above. You can absolutely do that. Like when adding ground cover, plant it with shrubs and then place a retaining wall.

But you have to always consider your area all the time as to how steep it is, its location and others.

10. Get the help of a professional.

Get the help of a professional

Mike Knight Construction

If you think you really cannot do it on your own, then go ask for help. Contact a landscaping professional and let him do the job. But make sure to discuss things with him clearly and tell him what you want.

Take note, landscaping work isn’t really expensive. So it is all worth it to ask someone to beautify your sloped yard.


Not even a hilly area is exempted for a good landscaping. There is always a solution for everything and you will get the kind of surrounding you want. It would be best too if you will see more pictures of homes with a hill landscaping. We have created a list for this before. So go on and check out a showcase of hill landscaping ideas we have collated for you.