Living with a hillside in your backyard can be challenging. They are cumbersome to mow if planted as a lawn. Erosion can also take its toll if the area is planted with plants that do not control erosion well. Landscaping a hillside in a backyard can be done in a more casual way than landscaping a hillside in a front yard.
A groundcover will help to anchor the soil and keep it from tumbling down the hillside. Anything from ground-hugging ivy or lily of the valley to medium height hostas or ferns to taller shrubs or perennial grasses will stabilize a hillside. Plants suitable for virtually any climate are available.
Terraces are like giant steps that break up a hillside and help control soil erosion. A series of terraces in a backyard can be planted with vegetables, herbs or small fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries. Go for an orderly arrangement with sections or a less formal look with wildflowers.
Build a retaining wall the height of the hill and fill in with additional soil. Retaining walls can be constructed with natural or artificial stone, concrete blocks, poured concrete or wood timbers. Install a small fence or railing at the edge of the hilltop for your family's safety. Extend the lawn to the edge of the retaining wall or install a flower border or small vegetable plot.
Erosion Control Landscaping Fabric
Landscaping fabric or cloth is used as a permanent mulch to suppress weeds in perennial gardens but can also be used to control erosion on hillsides. Because the fabric must be covered with gravel, wood chips or other heavy mulch material, this method will only work on a hillside with a slight slope. The top mulch material will eventually roll down the hillside on a steep slope.