When it comes to designing a yard, one of the biggest issues homeowners face is whether or not to try to level the land by removing huge amounts of soil, or instead to work with the natural landscape of your yard through hardscaping. Hardscaping uses impermeable surfaces and man-made materials to work in concert with the yard itself for a natural, long-lasting design that can totally transform your yard. Instead of investing hundreds or even thousands of dollars in tearing up your entire yard, try these three tactics to get the most out of your hilly yard.
What Exactly is Hardscaping?
Chances are you see examples of hardscaping every day, but many people don't know that structures like walking paths, permanent planters, patios, and any sort of impermeable surface or durable material like metal, concrete, stone, or wood used to embellish a landscape is what constitutes the definition of hardscape. With that definition in mind, the possibilities for using this technique are nearly endless, as you'll see later in this article.
The classic response to any super hilly yard is to use a retaining wall to limit a section of the slope from an angle to a straight drop, essentially cutting the hill off and leveling the land in front of it. This technique has endless potential for building patio space, a basketball court, or any kind of small to medium-sized paved area you can think of. To kick things up a notch, installing an outdoor gas grill in front of or directly built into a retaining wall can make for a great setting for a Fourth of July barbecue, among other outdoor occasions.
If you want to protect the natural flow of your yard, but still want to make it look a bit less steep, installing a planter along a hill can even things out nicely. This approach works best if the tree planter or garden box provides a secure, even, 360-degree base for the plant, which will help the plant to receive enough water without it all running downhill away from the plant. Since the planter will be flat on a sloped surface, it will appear to come right out of the ground from a high point, and then end and jut downward at a lower point on the slope, providing a natural-looking transition that will make your yard look a bit less mountainous.
If you really want to do all of the things mentioned previously while creating the ultimate relaxation spot, then just add water! Like the solution above involving using a planter to divide up a slope, substituting a hot tub instead will have the same spatial effect (having the hot tub come out of the slope) while giving you a place to hang out and enjoy your yard. You may want to build a little retaining wall above to keep dirt from falling down the hill into your hot tub.
For more information on how to get the most out of your hilly yard, contact a company that specializes in landscape and hardscape design.