Granted, sloping backyards have a reputation for being fussy or impractical. Since their nooks and crannies are often too precarious for a pool or pergola, it’s easy to waste those empty square feet. With a little creativity and strategic planning, however, a hillside property can have a lot to offer.
Below we share 10 standout sloping backyards that dare to defy gravity. Whether entertaining or beautiful Backyard ideas, these weird garden designs will take your garden to new heights.
1. Ascent to greatness
As this option from a multidisciplinary company RIOS proves the simplest inclined Backyard ideas and solutions can often be the most effective. Here a minimalist path crosses a large bamboo forest with 85 different plants. The garden is designed to be experienced during the dramatic sunset, while the landscape bathes the hillside below the house in warmth and a stimulating glow.
2. Level your land
San Francisco is known for its rolling countryside, so it’s no surprise that the Bay Area-based designer Kendall Wilkinson has seen their fair share of quirky backyards. Although Wilkinson wanted a level courtyard for their customers, the stone wall and fireplace seen here emphasize the winding terrain.
“You can see the slope of the garden behind the wall, which was the perfect base for the fireplace and seating,” explains Wilkinson. ‘Located on this side of the property, this terrace is very quiet, calm and relaxing. Paired with a metal roof in the pergola style, strategic lighting and really comfortable matching sofas, wasted space turns into valuable square meters. “
See: Garden design ideas – how to design the perfect terrace, garden or lawn for your home
3. Choose a versatile vantage point
Garden designer Georgia Lindsay turned a dangerously crumbling slope into a multi-purpose garden with various terraces. The first terrace offers a generous storage room for bicycles and garden tools, while the lower part of the garden goes off seamlessly from the house and reflects the interior floor with hardwood terraces. An outdoor kitchen, a cozy seating area and lighting complete the garden.
“Leaning gardens can be great when it comes to lighting,” she shares. ‘It’s like being in an amphitheater, you can enjoy your entire garden with one view.’
4. Fill your sloping garden with flowers
Since this space is from Andrew Mann proves that flowers can make a big difference. The San Francisco-based architect has worked with. teamed up Christa Moné to create raised garden beds that descend the slope. This idea not only breathes life back into the courtyard – in the truest sense of the word – but also creates visual interest between the foot of the slope and the property’s outdoor pavilion.
See: Ideas for landscaping a small garden – modern garden design for small spaces
5. Fire up your sloping garden
If you want to transform your sloping garden into a livable oasis, Camille styles cleverly bridges the gap between form and function. Here the blogger built a handful of terraces with seating and a fireplace.
“When we bought the property there was a crumbling stone deck that the original owner of the property built in the 1950s,” she wrote. “It was covered in overgrown vines, but it always reminded us of old European estates and envisioned restoring it to its splendor.”
6. Play in a sloping room
If you want to make a sloping garden attractive to the whole family, consider adding a play area to your space. Fortunately, it is possible to spread childish miracles without compromising the style of your home.
“The house was designed for a young family and has a sheltered lower courtyard for more privacy, and a triangular stepped landscape has been suggested to accommodate the level change,” explains Gibson of Mike Eldridge London. “The repetitive triangular planning enables a multitude of activities while maintaining a clear, consistent identity. The triangular modules form plant beds, steps, trellises, sitting areas and include a slide and a sandpit play area. ‘
The result: a playful and at the same time sophisticated environment.
7. Plan a water wonderland
Another way to add some fun to your sloping garden is to add a storage pool. Cuckoo 4 design Blogger Julia Konya describes her sloping back yard as “essentially a hill”.
Adding an above-ground pool can make the slope appear less steep and fun for the whole family. The wooden facade, the rocky landscape and the green round off the look and transform this sloping backyard into a tropical oasis.
8. Plant fruit and vegetables on the slope
For a sloping back yard that is both practical and aesthetically pleasing, add a vegetable garden. Leslie Bennett from Pine House Edible Gardens decorated this room with wooden raised beds and pyramid-shaped trellises.
The raised beds follow the natural path of the slope and create designated areas where everything from herbs to tomatoes to hot chili peppers is grown. This tip not only makes optimal use of the space occupied, but also resembles a lush, nutritious salad in full bloom.
9. Blur the boundaries with a staircase on a sloping room
Outdoor stairs can be an easy way to tweak a sloped garden, but they can often feel disruptive when faced with the lush greenery. Los Angeles based company Elysian landscapes blurred the lines of the hardscape by flanking each side of the stairs with a wild line of plants. This setup has an ethereal touch to it thanks to its texture layers and muted color palette.
10. Set accents with a visually appealing design
If you want to make your hardscaping even more pronounced, take a cue from Ian Kitsonwho created this courtyard for an art collector. “It overlooks an estuary in Wales that is tidal,” he explains. “So twice a day the water disappears and you get amazing patterns in the sand river bed: this is one of the pointers garden design needs.” The raised garden beds and winding paths emphasize the sloping land and blur the line between earth and water.
What can I do with a sloping garden?
A hillside garden is full of possibilities. Hard landscaping is key and requires careful planning to use the available space effectively.
Slopes offer fantastic design options and exciting new opportunities to experience and view a garden, be it from above or below. But steep slopes can also be both costly and cumbersome, and therefore require a little more thought than usual.
When it comes to the comprehensive redesign of a hillside garden, terracing is the obvious option. Unfortunately it is not a cheap product. Earthmoving equipment is often required, as are long retaining walls, which are always expensive – especially when they are made of brick and mortar.
Instead, consider strategies that minimize major earthworks. Do you really have to terrace the whole garden in the first place? It is likely that one or two level plateaus built into the slop – for one or two benches – will create enough “usable” space and cost a lot less.