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Sloping Landscape Ideas

By Shelley Frost ; Updated September 21, 2017

A sloping landscape presents its own set of challenges but also offers distinct landscaping options. Plant selection for a steep slope is critical. The water naturally runs downhill, depriving plants at the top and potentially saturating plants at the bottom. Whether you choose plants or a hardscape option, consider the uses of the sloping area and the budget for the project.


Terracing a sloped landscape offers an aesthetically pleasing option. Terraces also prevent the soil from eroding as water goes down the slope. This option provides a better growing environment for plants because the water and fertilizer used on them doesn't simply run down the hill. Garden paths weaved through the terraces allow for easy care of the plants.

Retaining Wall

Retaining walls are another method of preventing erosion on a slope. A long or steep slope may require multiple retaining walls. There are several options, including traditional retaining wall bricks, stones and wood walls. Consider the rest of the landscape when choosing the retaining wall material for the slope.


A sloping landscape offers a natural flow for a water feature, which can include a waterfall. Determine where the waterfall will start and the path for its flow. Ending the waterfall in a small pond or pool at the base of the slope creates a landscaping focal point in the yard. Additional landscaping along the edges of the waterfall and pond helps them blend into the yard.

Rock Garden

A rock landscape solves the problem of growing difficulties that often affect a sloped area. A combination of smaller rocks as the base ground cover and large rocks for accents creates variety and visual interest. Large stones used as steps allow easy access to the top of the slope. This is particularly useful if another functional area of the yard rests at the top of the slope. Any arrangement of boulders and rocks works well for the slope, and eliminates plants that may have difficulty growing.


A series of staggered wooden decks accents a slope and turns it into useful land. Two or three decks at different levels down the slope create a distinct twist to traditional decks. These decks allow you to create seating and entertainment areas that are separate yet close enough to allow mingling. Adding shrubs, flowers and other greenery around the decks creates a peaceful retreat.


About the Author


Based in the Midwest, Shelley Frost has been writing parenting and education articles since 2007. Her experience comes from teaching, tutoring and managing educational after school programs. Frost worked in insurance and software testing before becoming a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a reading endorsement.