Hillside Landscaping

June 1, 2014


Hillside Landscaping

The Pahl’s Market Landscape Team has the opportunity to meet with many customers that face a variety of interesting challenges to their landscape.  One difficult site that we address are hillsides.  Quite often hillsides are brutal areas to mow and maintain.  As a home or business owner, here are three great options for managing your hillside.

Terrace it.
A series of terraces create both a functional and aesthetically pleasing look to your hillside.  They can be built out of long-lasting, durable materials such as landscaping block, stacked stone, landscaping brick or even boulders.  The addition of steps running through or along the terraces allow for access to the landscape.  The terrace width and height will depend on the steepness of the hill.  The steeper the slope, the narrower you will want the terraces, meanwhile a gentle slope can have terraces spaced wider apart.  Depending on the width of the terrace, it could be a usable space for gardening, landscaping or even seating!

Groundcover it.
Depending on the site, you can try to establish a groundcover.  Groundcovers are good for areas that will not be highly visible.  Groundcovers can be a cost-effective and low maintenance way to hold the bank soil in place.  While establishing the groundcover, you will have to weed out any invading weeds, but once established, it is pretty self-sufficient.  You can set in more aggressive plants such as vinca vine or a spreading gro low sumac.  The advantage of this approach to landscaping hillsides is that the groundcovers will spread and outcompete weeds once established.  The disadvantage is that groundcovers can be very aggressive and have the potential to escape to spaces you do not want them to be.

Plant it.
Often an underutilized, but striking approach is gardening or landscaping your hillside.  The use of shrubs, evergreens and perennials can spread and fill in a hillside.  This will eliminate mowing, stop weeds and prevent erosion.  Again, it will take some work to combat weeds until the plants are fully established, but well worth the effort.  You can achieve a neat look by placing plants in rows, or having a variety of plants randomly interspersed on the hillside.  A large shrub border, tree accent or nice outcropping boulder can add an attractive feature to your hillside as well.  The possibilities are endless.

Terracing, groundcovers and planting are all great options for managing your hillside.  Combine all three options and a beautifully landscaped hill could easily be become your favorite view!  Don’t forget Pahl’s can help you with all your landscape needs.   Please contact us for your next landscape project at landscaping@pahls.com.

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