Whether your property is looking out over or directly into a hillside, the primary selling point for your home or office is the view. This means that all landscaping should enhance, not constrict the vistas from your primary windows and porches. Landscape design on a slope has particular challenges that can be met by an experienced landscaper. Landscaping your hillside home or office creates challenges because of the following attributes.
Compacted soil is a problem for hillside property owners as the soil is less able to absorb rainfall. This increases runoff and erosion. A landscaper will work to decrease compacted soil by covering all soil with vegetation or mulch, creating pathways and designated areas for walking and driving by using fences, retaining walls, and mulch to protect vulnerable soil areas.
Erosion control prevention and management depends on stabilized soil and targeted water flow. Ground covering plants and other perennials will hold soil in place naturally. Mulching with 1 to 2 inches of shredded bark, rock, gravel, wood chips, and even straw will keep the soil in place and minimize evaporation. Adding extra seed to bare and sparse patches increases root density, and these roots help keep water and soil in place. Planting trees in your hillside landscape will also help with erosion control because of their strong root systems. Be careful about which trees you are planting though, as plants might impact your hillside view in the coming years. Trees with low spreading canopies such as maples, oaks, and willows are better than trees with an upright conical form such as firs that may grow taller than your structure. Adding a rain garden will control moving downhill water and create visual interest with water-loving plants, stones, and other features to direct the flow of water.
Standing water problems need to be addressed as this is typically a breeding ground for mosquitoes and drowns plants and grass. A professional landscaper will grade your property so that low-lying areas are treated, and natural channels and drainage outlets are created. Your lawn may also need to be dethatched so that the soil is aerated and drains properly. Retaining walls and stairs to different areas of your hillside with layers of soil that create raised beds is an attractive solution for many property owners.
Drainage problems and solutions may be noted by a landscaper about your hillside landscape as this is main cause of erosion and runoff. Although there are many options such as retaining walls and plantings, a French (curtain) drain may be suggested. This is a graded trench that directs water flow away from the home or office. The trench is filled with gravel, and a pipe is buried beneath it. Gravity channels the water into a perforated pipe at the base of the trench. The outlet is camouflaged by attractive plants, foliage, or rocks.
Each lawn has its own challenges and opportunities. Consulting a professional landscaper will provide you with all your options for a dream lawn to surround your space. Contact us today for more information about how we can change your hillside nightmare into the landscape you’ve been dreaming of.