A beautiful perennial hillside landscape garden planted on a difficult slope. Extreme gardening at it's best!

Extreme Gardening: How to Build and Landscape Hillside Rock Gardens

Many homeowners with a sloping hillside yard consider it to be a liability. However, a sloped yard can offer great opportunities to display your creativity. With some amazing landscape hillside ideas and a little dirt under the fingernails, you can have a great backyard or garden plot that looks wonderful. Plus, it can also serve important functions such as improving drainage and helping control erosion. Also, since a sloped yard presents more difficulty to maintain, water, and weed your garden, you need to ensure that your landscaping design makes it simple and easy to take care of.

5 Steps to Building a Hillside Rock Garden

Once you decide to upgrade your landscape hillside yard into a rock garden, here are some tips to help you get started.

Have a Proper Plan in Advance

Unlike some landscaping projects that you can develop quickly and make changes as you go, a hillside rock garden needs a proper plan. Take the time to review the area, sketch a garden scale design and list the things you need. Take into consideration the drainage, water features, paths, electricity and any other needs requiring space. Determine what equipment you’ll need, such as shovels, rakes, gardening gloves, a wheelbarrow, etc., and keep them on-site.

Integrate a Suitable Drainage Solution

Plant gardens absorb water into the land, but rock gardens will need surface water drainage. One of the benefits is that it will reduce erosion and help maintain your landscape hillside rock garden design for many years without the need to regenerate the soil supply.

Since more water will come down from the slope, you will need to create a simple path for the water to flow downhill through the landscape design. You can add concealed drains and perforated pipes to guide the flow of the water. Or the strategic use of large rocks and boulders can help provide breaks to slow the flow of water in an area. And even better, you could even create cheerful little rock-made waterfalls.

Select Suitable Plant Species

Using appropriate plants to design your hillside rock garden will add some freshness to it. You can create small level areas or small terraces and then fill them with gardening soil. Plants on the sloping surface also help in erosion minimization and soil preservation.

Pick plants from sempervivum and sedum families that are hardy and thrive in rocky conditions. You can also pick plant species that are indigenous to your region that will need minimal maintenance. Other plant species that are perfect for rock gardens include Alpine Stonecrest, Ajuga, Rockcress, Creeping Phlox, Creeping Juniper, and herbs such as thyme, lavender, and sage.

Heartland Landscape Group, Inc. 6386 Osage Beach Pkwy Osage Beach, MO 65065 (573) 302-8866 https://heartlandlandscape.com/
Sempervivum plants can make a lovely addition to rock landscape designs.

Add Stairs and Paths for Convenient Access

Different stages and terraces in a rock garden look pretty. They are also critical if you have plants at different slope levels that you will need access to for maintenance. If the slope is gentle and slight, smooth gravel pathways should be enough. However, for more steep slopes, you will need to add stone stairways with plantings around them.

Decorate with Other Garden Accessories

Apart from large rocks and plants, there are other decor accessories you can use to highlight different areas of your hillside rock garden. Using decorative gravels, moss beds, statues, antique pieces, and other items can add a personal touch to your garden.

Make Sure it's Amazing!

Take your time designing an amazing landscape hillside rock garden for your backyard or front yard. But if you are not completely confident, it is best to hire a professional landscaping company. They can design the perfect hillside rock garden for you according to your preference and taste.  And you can be sure that you’ll end up with a beautiful and functioning slope that will add great value to your property. 

So whether it’s a new backyard patio or a full-scale outdoor space makeover, the professionals at Heartland Landscape Group are always happy to talk with you about your landscaping needs.

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