If your home is situated on a lot with a steep incline, you are most likely all too familiar with the landscaping difficulties that come with being the proud owner of a slope. Landscaping a slope or hillside is one of the toughest gardening challenges out there because of one key problem – gravity.
Landscaping your slope not only makes it more aesthetically pleasing – but it’s also a fantastic way to protect your home from wildfires and erosion. It’s a statistical fact that a far greater number of homes on hillsides have been lost to out-of-control fires than ground-level homes. Keeping vegetation under control will protect your homestead during dry, hot months and it will look better too.
The other issue in the slope-risk equation is erosion. When it rains, slopes with mulch and clay can cause water to wash downward and collect at the base. This can lead to flooding, but it can also destroy plants at the bottom of the slope. The best way to control this issue is to utilize plants and ground coverings effectively to stop the sloughing. Let’s examine some additional tips for landscaping slopes.
Slope Landscaping Essentials
Ground covering, as mentioned above, is one of the best ways to landscape a slope. Once it begins growing, it requires minimal upkeep. Opt for aesthetically pleasing ground cover as an easy solution. If the slope is not too steep, a ground cover creates a clean appearance that is surprisingly easy to maintain. Most landscapers use ivy as a ground cover, opting for species such as Baltic English Ivy or Ebony Spleenwort. Others use traditional grasses like Sideoats Grama or Inland Sea Oats to keep the soil in place.
If you’re looking for something requiring a little less upkeep (but a little more upfront cash) you may consider installing a retaining wall at the base of your slope. Retaining walls are a perfect solution for hillsides or slopes that are simply too steep to the landscape. You can even plant flowers and shrubs behind the wall to dress up your lawn even more.
Other Tips for Landscaping a Hillside
When people purchase homes on hillsides, they’re usually doing so because of the killer view. In fact, many hillside homes have a higher price point for this very reason, so blocking or otherwise altering the view with landscaping would negatively influence the value of the entire property. Not only that – if you accidentally block the view for other houses, but it could also potentially affect property values for your neighbors as well. If the view is an issue, then make sure whatever landscape you choose leaves the same view accessible for you and your neighbors after you plant it.
Adding larger plants as a ground covering works wonders as well. This technique holds in the soil because the roots keep the ground from eroding. Try sprinkling sturdy shrubbery and perennial flowers in with your main ground covering to add texture to the area.
Hillside ground covering will add an extra dimension to your existing landscape and it will help protect your property from dangerous wildfires and erosion for years to come.