A sloped garden can seem like a bit of a nuisance; it’s notoriously difficult to plant anything on a hill and there is a risk of erosion. Such a slope, though, can easily become a thing of beauty with a little effort, vision and a touch of landscape gardening. Terraced garden beds, whereby a terraced garden wall is used to break up the slope and make it more usable, have huge potential. Whatever kind of space you want to create, a slope need not hold you back! Here are some ideas for how to build a tiered garden on a slope as well as some functional terraced garden ideas you may like to try.
These terraced garden bed ideas were provided by Joel for Gardens Galore, the award-winning Scotland & UK garden landscaping company. If you have a steep hillside, a garden terrace may be great way to make the most of you outdoor living space.
Terraced Garden Ideas
A sloped backyard can be a challenge but adding a tiered garden can make a beautiful space with many different functions. A terraced retaining wall can be used to create terraced garden beds each with its own purpose.
There are many different ways that terracing can be used, and these kinds of gardens/backyards are often more dynamic and beautiful than flat spaces. Separate terraces can have their own unique themes with paths winding between. Why not include a set of terraces that are flower or vegetable beds, for examples, then others for lawn or patio? Water features look great cascading between different levels of terraced garden beds.
Edible Terraced Garden Beds
If you like the idea of growing your own vegetable garden, a terraced slope can become the perfect place to do it. The Incas, who were agricultural pioneers, created fertile farmland from the Peruvian mountainsides by using terraces and irrigation channels. Terrace walls are a good idea to help prevent soil erosion and they create a raised bed effect that makes gardening easier.
Copy this model by creating a series of terraces on your sloped garden. After digging out trenches at calculated intervals, wooden supports such as railway sleepers and wooden stakes can be used to support and define the beds. By constructing a set of steps down the centre of the garden and paths in front of the beds you then have perfect terrain for vegetable growing.
A Tranquil Haven Terrace
If you desire a relaxing patio area on your sloped garden then this is absolutely possible. Again, the terracing method will need to be employed. Why not have one terrace for the barbecue, another for the dining table and another for sunbathing and relaxing? Use rows of trees and shrubs for seclusion and privacy.
If terraced flower beds speak to you of beauty and tranquility, you are not alone! They are a very popular choice. The way to pick which are the best plants for your terrace flower beds is to look at sun exposure. Most flowers prefer direct sunlight so that will be your number one factor in choosing. You will also want to consider an array of plants in different colors. Annuals need to be planted fresh each year while perennials return each year. Use low maintenance plants where you’d like plants but don’t want to have a vegetable or flower bed to have to tend to regularly.
Consider a staggered water feature to enhance the tranquil atmosphere. Or a fountain makes an attractive addition and creates a lovely focal point.
Kid Friendly Terrace
There’s no reason why you can’t use terracing to make your sloped garden into a kid friendly space. Using the terracing method, you can create a lawn at the bottom of the steep slope where kids can play safely. If you’re worried about the steps then handrails are a great idea, either traditional wood or contemporary metal designs.
Terraced Garden Logistics
Most landscaping companies will offer a terraced retaining wall service that covers everything from design to construction. You can tell them exactly what you want to include. Then, they can draw up the terrace garden design plans.
There are also many types of terrace wall building materials that can be used depending on your budget and aesthetic purposes. A few options include, concrete blocks, natural stone, stone veneer, poured concrete, boulders, railroad ties, and landscape timbers.
If your terracing project is fairly small scale and you want to have a go yourself, then be aware that the work is extremely physically demanding. The will be lots of soil lugging and it will take a lot of time. The initial design work and calculations must be carried out properly to avoid future problems. Additionally, there may be building codes to adhere to in your area. Bear in mind that narrower beds are best, as you can then dig shallower trenches. There are loads of fantastic step-by-step guides making tiered gardens online.
Building a tiered garden on a slope can be a great way to create visual interest and optimize space for planting. First, do your planning. Determine the slope’s gradient and the number of tiers you want. Plan the layout. Decide on the dimensions and placement of each tier. Next, gather your materials. Purchase retaining wall blocks or stones, gravel, landscape fabric, soil, and the plants you want to include. Dig into the slope, creating a level area for the first tier. Compact the soil to create a stable base for the first tier. Now, you can install the first tier.
Place the first layer of retaining wall blocks or stones on the level area. Use a rubber mallet to ensure each block is level and tightly packed. Then, add a layer of gravel behind the blocks to improve drainage. Lay landscape fabric behind the first tier to prevent soil erosion. This will also help in separating the soil from the gravel. Repeat the process for each additional tier, moving up the slope.
Remember to check local regulations and obtain any necessary permits before starting a landscaping project, as there may be specific rules regarding retaining walls or landscaping on slopes in your area. I hope you found these ideas for how to build a tiered garden on a slope helpful. Hillside terrace gardens can provide a great place to enjoy the outdoors in many different fashions. Have you ever terraced a sloping garden? What would be your top tips for creating terraced garden beds to share with other readers?