35 Sloped Backyard Ideas that Make Hills Feel Like a Blessing
A sloping garden isn’t exactly every landscaper’s dream. No matter if it’s a steep slope or a more gentle one, it really seems like a waste of available space. Then there are issues with water runoff and soil erosion. No worries though! There are plenty of ideas for a sloped backyard to fit any budget.
1. Opt for a Flower Garden. Fill your backyard slope with plants that develop a deep root system and spread quickly to cover bare soil. These will help stabilize a hillside and improve water absorption during heavy rains. Native flowering plants will also support pollinators and wildlife.
2. Combine a Slope with Flat Areas. In challenging landscapes, creating multi-level areas is a winning solution. Note how the garden joining the two levels in this backyard maintains a certain slope, which makes the landscape look very natural and united. Also, the cushions on the lower level gabion retaining wall make it double as a seating place.
3. A High Deck with Retaining Wall Planters. Getting a deck on a sloped backyard allows to level the space for entertainment and gives you an opportunity to enjoy wonderful views of a garden. Depending on the steepness of the slope, the deck can be raised on pillars and create some storage space underneath. Otherwise, this idea of making the retaining walls double as benches is simply ingenious!
4. Construct Terraces. One of the most popular down-sloped backyard ideas is creating terraces. Not only will they help prevent soil erosion, but they will also make lovely garden beds. Adding seating areas will turn your garden into a full-scale relaxation zone.
5. Go for an Outdoor Living Space. Extend your home’s living area right into the backyard with a large backyard bar and a dining table. Sloped land provides you with the luxury of complete privacy and seclusion. Add a fire pit for evenings filled with warmth.
6. Get Your Personal Amphitheater. How adorable is this porch with wooden retaining wall planters combined with a daybed? The soft pillows and the rug perfectly contribute to the homey and comfortable look. A sloped backyard might call for customized solutions, but the nook created here is so much worth it!
7. Make a Pool a Central Feature. A sloped backyard could be used to your advantage if you decide to create a poolside area. Try a taste of luxury with wide open views while enjoying a splash.
8. Add Statement Stone Steps. Creating steps using stone slabs or concrete pavers will add dimension and interest to your garden. Mixing natural stone steps with well-trimmed bushes give sloped backyards additional charm points.
9. Set Up a Pergola. Setting up a pergola on the raised part of your sloped backyard will create a sheltered seating area and add visual interest to the entire backyard. If your garden is small, look up mini pergolas – they don’t take up much space and make your landscape design distinctive.
10. Plan a Picnic Area. Imagine stepping down the slope to reach a carefully designed picnic area. That’s the thing about sloped backyards, you never know what is waiting either on the top or bottom. Form a seating space concealed behind the heavily vegetated retaining wall.
11. Level Up. Leveling a sloped backyard with a help of a concrete retaining wall and stairs will create flat, perfectly usable spaces that are easy to zone out. We cannot decide what we like more about this backyard: the elegant combination of white and black in the matching retaining walls and raised flower beds, stylish wood storage, or the stairs design that make them resemble a lake deck.
12. Landscape with River Rock. A dry river is not only a beautiful river rock landscaping feature, but it also improves management of water and prevents lower areas of your sloped garden from turning into an unpleasant mud. The sight looks awesome both on sunny days and filled with water on rainy ones.
13. Dig a Pond. A pond nestled on a slope? Yes, please! A water feature added to a sloped yard allows you to avoid soil erosion, add a seamless waterfall and make your overall design more dynamic and energizing.
14. Use Planters and Color Coding. You don’t need to level the whole garden. Leave part of it naturally sloping, while adding a perfectly flat deck with a lounge zone. If you make it in the lower part of your yard, large planter boxes are great solutions to separate the stairs from a sloping area. Use bold contrasting colors for a dramatic impact.
15. Add Plants Around a Retaining Wall. There’s nothing as appealing as a blend of natural stone and vegetation. Look how these grass beds and colorful plants make the landscape with large stone wall much more inviting.
16. Give Brick Walls a Go. Use reclaimed materials and build a charming old brick structure to function as a retaining wall and a bench. Together with vintage garden furniture and clay planters, it gives this yard so much character!
17. Design a Feature Path. Winding stairs leading to the top of a sloped backyard hold mysteries and promises. Line the pathway with solar lights for a mysterious twilight glow.
18. Don’t Make Stairs too Steep. Splitting sloped yards into levels is a common solution. However, how do you connect two levels if the difference in heights is large and there is no space for an interim level or a flower bed? Well, why not arrange a longer staircase that starts on one side and gradually leads you to a lower area? If you don’t use any railing, they may even double as additional seating places.
19. Let There Be Light. There is always room for a fresh approach to sloped backyard ideas. Light the stone steps up with ambient lighting and let the minimalist palette shine against the contrasting background of flower beds.
20. Create a Winding Path. Let your sloped backyard garden stand out with a natural stone pathway lined with seasonal flowers. It also introduces an element of surprise. What is there waiting for you behind the corner? A fire pit or a rock garden?
21. Combine Various Materials. Here, each material has been played to its best potential: cement retaining walls prevent erosion and create separate zones, curated wood makes wonderful stairs and mini deck, and gravel provides a statement edging. The contrast of white walls and dark wood adds to the statement backyard design.
22. Consider Weathered Steel. If you are looking for uncommon sloped backyard ideas and solutions, bring in unique materials, like weathered steel, into your landscape design. Add large stones among the variety of shrubs, trees and ground cover plants for a stunning effect.
23. Dare for a Total Makeover. Even with a small sloped backyard, the makeover might take some time and planning, but it’s totally worth it! A DIY wooden retaining wall makes an awesome budget idea, and you can gradually invest more by getting a nice deck railing, garden furniture and a backyard room. We also love how this yard has been decorated with plants and lanterns.
24. Multi Level Backyard with Stepping Stones. Need more affordable sloped backyard ideas? Add hollow wooden frameworks within the backyard slope and fill them with stepping stones and gravel. The solution ties the whole backyard together and makes a unique lantern shaped fire pit a real centerpiece.
25. Turn a Sloped Yard into a Lounge Area. As you step down the sloped backyard, you will find a snug spot to sit back and relax. Add ergonomic seating and a round table to spend a perfect evening in nature.
26. DIY Winding Stairs. The creators of this marvelous budget path just got tired of how their steep backyard turned into the “lethal mud-slide” each time it rained. Steps out of slabs of stone or slate filled with gravel changed it all. Decorated with rocks and lush greenery, they go a long way beyond function.
27. Plan for Vegetation. One of the landscaping ideas you will never regret is adding more greenery to your backyard. A raised flower bed next to your retaining wall will give it a lovely edging while also hiding the steps that connect the levels.
28. Make Water Features Rock. Tired of rainwater running down a hill? Use it to your advantage and liven up the landscape of a sloped yard by creating a waterfall or a pond. Looks stunning, doesn’t it? Not to mention the much desired coolness the water feature provides in hot weather.
29. Consider Microclimates. When choosing plantings for your garden, consider their habitats. Shady areas will be cooler, while rock or stone walls will absorb sun, making adjacent planting beds warmer.
30. Level the Patio. You definitely need a flat area for the backyard furniture. When getting one level patio deck, consider ending it with a retaining wall that will also double as a planter for your favorite flowers or decorative shrubs. A great way to finish off your patio and separate it from the adjoining area.
31. Cascading Planters. Now, here is another ingenious sloped yard idea to take note of! Get stairs on one side and surround a flat area with neat rows of cascading planters, filled with ornamental grass, flowering shrubs or fragrant herbs. As a bonus, here is how to break the height of the retaining wall planter by turning it into a comphy bench.
32. Terrace a Hillside. When creating a terrace on a slope, you might want to envelop the stairs with a wall planter for a smooth transition of the levels. Mind that these may host not only flowers, but also trees. But make sure you choose the ones that don’t develop a large root system; otherwise, it might damage the wall.
33. Admire the View. When choosing sloped backyard ideas, start by considering the grandstand view of the garden from the house. The yard that slopes up from the house can be designed with wide steps, planting areas and discreet terracing, and it’s better to avoid handrails that block the view.
34. Vegetable Gardens. Many owners of sloped land opt for a flat patio white leaving the rest of the hill unused. If your sloped backyard gets enough sunlight, why not take advantage and install beds for growing vegetables at the bottom? Wooden boxes or crates can be arranged in a staircase-like manner – a real paradise for a green thump.
35. Get Inspiration from Nature. Your uneven backyard has a muddy area in it? Why not let water stay where it naturally wants to and turn the nasty thing into a statement water feature? Ponds or babbling streams are beautiful landscaping options that make the courtyard vivid and sparkling. Edging the grass with plants can help with water management and add freshness to the space too.
Sloped space requires careful planning, but with the right approach, even steep slopes can become some of the best landscape features. We hope these sloped backyard ideas have made you take a fresh look at your sloped garden!