25 Hillside Garden Ideas You Will Find Breathtaking

Living in a mountainous area with fantastic views can be a dream for everyone. But here comes the tricky one! When you want to build a garden, considering the slope area, you may need help creating a stunning one. Not to mention the risk of erosion and erosion if you choose the wrong design, type, and type of plant. For that reason, we have compiled the most beautiful hillside garden ideas you will find lovely and breathtaking.

You can easily mix and match with your exterior as the designs we offer are very diverse. And most importantly, they are not only beautiful but also considered erosion prevention.

Don’t worry about maintenance, as they are generally easy to care for. Are you curious? Let’s check them out!

What Is Hillside Gardening?

A Hillside garden is an outdoor area that is generally located in mountainous or hilly areas. The geographical condition is different from the typical gardens, as it has a slope, making it challenging to plant. Therefore, plant selection is key!

You should pick ones with a robust root system to prevent erosion. In addition, plants resistant to pests and suppressing weeds growth are the best to grow in the garden; knowing the terrain conditions will make it challenging to eradicate those culprits.

How Do You Garden On A Hillside?

Before you decide to try one of the hillside garden ideas, you need to observe where you live. It is crucial to determine the design, types of plants, and how you maintain the garden. Here are some tips to garden a hillside you can follow:

  • Observe and analyze the soil. It will help you calculate the probability of erosion and how severe it would be if it did occur. Hence, you can design and choose plants that can prevent it.
  • Create drainage. This is extremely important for water management and preventing erosion. In addition, proper drainage will prevent landslides caused by high water volume during the rainy season.
  • Make easy access. Given the slope area, providing easy access is crucial so that you can easily plant and care for your plants in the garden.
  • Design your garden. You can choose the style, theme, and materials to match your home exterior. Remember to combine various plants to create accents and textures in your front yard.

How Do You Keep Soil From Washing Away On A Hill?

When creating a garden on a hillside, one of the issues is the risk of erosion and landslides. Therefore, you must really have knowledge about the geographical condition in order to prevent that from happening. You can follow some tips to prevent erosion in a sloping garden below:

  • Grow grass, shrubs, and ground covers as their roots will hold the soil when the water rushes over them. They can also reduce the speed of water flow, so the soil won’t be flushed away.
  • You can use erosion blankets that are widely sold in the market. There are several types you may pick, including compost and fiber blankets. They function to hold back the flow of water so it doesn’t erode the soil.
  • If your hill garden is built in a very steep area, then building a terrace may help hold the water flow. Depending on how easily you access these materials, you can make them from wood or concrete.

Lush Slope Landscaping Ideas

These slope garden ideas will easily become your favorites for those who prefer green, colorful, and lush landscapes! They combine rocks, stairs, and plants to make your outdoor areas more comfortable to hang around. And, of course, preventing the water from flushing the soil. Find the best for you below!

1. Coastal Garden Setting

hillside garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@Real Homes)

Add interest to old stairs in your slope garden with grasses and ground covers. Not only will they adorn the dull space with flowers and greenery, but those plants also hold the soil tight! Hence, they contribute to preventing erosion in your area. Moreover, you can simply grow them on the right and left sides of the stairs. Mix tall and short varieties to offer a variety of textures in your garden. Also, we recommend growing moss on the stairs to elevate the coastal vibes.

2. Steep Rock Garden

hillside garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@Fine Gardening Magazine)

Having an extremely steep area in your home? Transform it into a beautiful, green, and dense garden that will offer shade for the site. You can build stairs where the right and left sides grow ferns and tropical shrubs. The stairs allow easy access to the area at the bottom of your house, where you can place a white bench under a shade tree to enjoy the view. Furthermore, it is better to use rocks as retaining walls around the stairs to create a solid structure. Those stones also offer a nature theme to the landscape.

3. Dense Flower Landscape

hillside garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@Better Homes and Gardens)

Flower lovers will absolutely fall in love with this setting! It displays a bunch of blooms with diverse colors that sparkle against the greenery. Moreover, you can grow trees, lawns, and shrubs as the background to enhance your flowers even more. We suggest growing viburnums as they also provide privacy around your garden. Instead of concrete, you can use natural stones, like limestones, to create a retaining wall. Such materials will match the natural atmosphere with the surrounding.

4. Sunny Rock Landscaping

hillside garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@Better Homes and Gardens)

This setting looks unique. It features the arrangement of rocks that make up the small stairs where you can sit at the end. The sedum color up the gray background with a vibrant yellow shade. Meanwhile, you can expect white and red strokes of astilbe that add contrast color with green background. To balance the landscape, place a terracotta pot with stunning variegated foliage. You can also grow moss between the rock crevices to make it look more natural.

5. Garden Stairs Design

hillside garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@GardenLife Log Cabins)

Bring the garden stairs to the next level by designing them using gravel and flowers! The wide varieties of blooms give this landscape a cheerful vibe, offering different colors and textures. In addition to the flowers, green leafy plants are great for growing in the opposite direction of the flower sections. Meanwhile, the gravel will cover the soil and prevent slipping when you step on the stairs.

6. Lavish Slope Yard 

hillside garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@Family Handyman)

Instead of leaving your front yard empty, why not explore your creativity in designing the garden? Creating a beautiful landscape in the slope area may be tricky. Still, you can effortlessly grow flowers and green shrubs to adorn the view. You can also play with the stone arrangement to create natural-like stairs that look absolutely stunning. Those rocks will also work as retaining walls, ensuring a safe garden to grow plants and hang around.

7. Stone Pathway Garden

hillside garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@One Kindesign)

Like this magnificent setting, you can never fail to arrange stairs with ornamental grasses! Its beauty will capture anyone’s heart, featuring fountain grass waving along the stairs. Meanwhile, a tall tree at the end of the stairs adds a dashing statement to the lovely landscape. And also, the lime green lawn carpet and stone paths seem to welcome you down from the upper garden. If you prefer, growing stonecrop will look much better as the ground covers around the stairs.

8. Drought Friendly Hillside Landscape

hillside garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@Yardzen)

Living in an arid area is challenging since not many plants can stand the heat. But you can take advantage of native plants and create a drought-friendly hillside landscape. For the ground covers, stonecrop and creeping thyme will be your ultimate pick to grow around the stairs. Meanwhile, you won’t regret growing big bluestem, fountain grass, and pampas grasses. Their long stems and fluffy florets add dramatic effects along the stairs in your garden.

9. Three-Tiered Slope Garden

hillside garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@secretgardensdesign.co.uk)

Suppose you have a large slope area around your home, but you need to figure out what to do. Consider creating a tiered garden. Such concepts save space while providing you with endless greenery in the landscape. You can plant various shrubs and trees to provide fresh air and shade. We recommend setting the widest outdoor dining area in the area that allows you to relax and enjoy the scenery from a height. Meanwhile, you can connect the three gardens with a small stair that is parallel to the front door.

10. Tropical Idea For Hillside Garden

hillside garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@One Kindesign)

It doesn’t need a large area to create a hillside garden with a tropical theme. You can take advantage of the narrow slope area in your backyard and start by growing lawns. It is also better to build stairs as an icon of a hillside landscape that looks natural, covered in grasses and mosses. On both sides of the stairs, grow tropical plants like bamboo, palms, and Monstera to add character to your garden. You can also grow grasses along the stairs, but remember to give some distance, so it’s not too crowded.

11. Nature Slope Setting

hillside garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@Nature Hills Nursery)

If you love to decor a garden with a combination of leafy plants without flowers, then this one will suit your preference. Featuring a variety of plants with different patterns and variations, your garden will be exciting despite not growing blooms. Meanwhile, the rocks add a natural charm where moss can sometimes grow on them. You can also grow ground covers and grasses to prevent erosion. Plus, your garden will feel secure thanks to tall and dense shrubs.

12. Zen Garden Style

hillside garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@yourhomeandgarden.co.nz)

Calling for zen people who appreciate any design with a zen theme. At first, you might not think this is a zen garden as it is colorful and dominated by red, yellow, and green shades. But take a look a little closer. The Japanese planting that sits next to the stair accent the zen vibes. The stairs are made of concrete, where you can add gravel inside the hole to avoid slipping when you step on it. Meanwhile, the stones scattered in the corners of the stairs complete the ‘stone’ elements that are characteristic of the zen setting.

Modern Garden Hillside Landscaping

Unlike the lush hillside landscapes, these modern designs emphasize the less is more theme. They also allow you to set up an outdoor dining room and enjoy the fresh air. Interested in having one in your backyard? Get inspiration from one of the best hillside garden ideas below!

13. Minimalist Cabin Garden

hillside garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@GardenLife Log Cabins)

Only some people like a too-dense garden because it is more tricky to maintain. The leaves in the fall may trouble you to clean them all. With this minimalist hillside garden with cabin style, you will not be bothered to take care of it. Even though it is only decorated with lawns and some shrubs on the edges, it looks attractive. The idea of building a retaining wall out of stones makes this setting look like an ancient castle building. To keep its beauty at night, you can install tiny lamps on the wall as lighting.

14. Victorian Hillside Patio

hillside garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@ArchitectureArtDesigns)

Bring Victorian-era architecture to your hillside garden! Despite having a minimalist design, you can expect exquisite details on every corner of this layout. The main area is captivating, with green grass carpet and some flowering plants against the green shrubs. For privacy, building a wall that fences off the entire garden area will be best. Meanwhile, a set of dining tables with chairs beautifies the ground floor, looking elegant and grand. Instead of grass, you can cover the ground with ceramics so that the royal theme is more pronounced.

15. Green Slope Setting

hillside garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@mckaynursery.com)

For someone who likes gardens with clean and neat settings, this green slope is a one-go. Unlike the previous ones, which still have many knick-knacks and plants to grow around the garden, it only highlights lawns, some trees, and a few shrubs. The stairs connect the upper area with the grass carpet, while trees offer shade. Meanwhile, the stone setting near the stairs adds an accent to your garden. You can spread gravel or plant ground cover. But we recommend allowing ground cover, so the soil is not easily eroded.

16. Simple Two-Tiered Garden

Simple Two-Tiered Garden
Source: Pinterest (@Really Nice Gardens)

This simple two-tiered garden is suitable for all geographical conditions around the hill: the extreme and medium slopes. The upper area is dominated mainly by lawns and shrubs that offer green colors to the garden, while a tree grows tall to provide shade. You can also notice unique patterns, such as the flow of water made of gravel and ends in a ladder, connecting the site to the lower garden. On this site, you can introduce flowers and build a retaining wall, which you can use as a bench.

17. Contemporary Slope Patio Design

Contemporary Slope Patio Design
Source: Pinterest (@One Kindesign)

Perhaps, it seems impossible to have a modern patio with a fire pit on the slope area. But actually, you can make one with a garden around it. To avoid erosion and erosion around this area, you can make a retaining wall with rocks. In addition, growing ground covers, trees, and shrubs have robust root systems to prevent erosion. In the fire pit area, build a long bench that follows the layout to sit while absorbing the warmth of the fire with your family.

18. Cascade Landscape

Cascade Landscape
Source: Pinterest (@Paradise Restored)

Despite having a modern garden, you can highlight nature just like this cascade landscape. The setting is simple, only using rocks that serve as retaining walls and stairs. Then, you can also make a manmade river flow that ends in a pond in the lower garden. In addition, build a sitting space in the upper area with woods to enjoy a relaxing bubbling water. Don’t forget to put a fence around the site for safety.

19. Countryside Hillside Garden

Countryside Hillside Garden
Source: Pinterest (@Cozy Little House blog)

Rural landscaping is indeed enchanting. No wonder many people want to adopt the countryside garden as a highlight of their home. Thankfully, it is also possible for hillside gardens, though they may not apply to the extreme slope. You can plant dense trees to provide shade while building an outdoor dining area underneath where you can eat food while witnessing beautiful scenery. Not only can you grow green plants, but the flowers also beautifully adorn the first tier to add charm.

20. Tiny Yard Hillside

Tiny Yard Hillside
Source: Pinterest (@BobVila.com)

It doesn’t matter if you only have small areas in your hillside home. You can still create a garden and design it attractively. Well, it’s pretty easy, as the stars are ornamental grasses here. Arrange the grasses around your stairs and next to the stones. Then, grow low-growing shrubs near the grass next to the rocks. To add more textures, grow trees on the top hill. If you think it is too plain, plant lavender amidst the tall grasses.

21. Stunning Modern Hillside Landscape

Stunning Modern Hillside Landscape
Source: Pinterest (@lucas-lucas.com)

Who says grasses can’t create an attractive hillside garden? This stunning modern hillside landscape is proof of that. The key is to choose varieties of ornamental grasses that have colored florets. We recommend a combination of fountain grass bear white, fluffy florets, and lavender or Russian sage to offer purple shades. You can plant lavender along the steps while the grass grows inside the retaining wall. However, it will look breathtaking if you plant them terraced or alternating.

22. Large Hillside Lawn Garden

Large Hillside Lawn Garden
Source: Pinterest (@L’Essenziale)

Lawn hillside gardens can be attractive for those who want to highlight greenery in their outdoor area. In order not to be too bland, spice it up with trees. Choose ones that will grow dense foliage to provide shade. Also, build a garden path with earth-tone colors to connect one side to another. As for the borders and privacy around the yard, viburnums will work best! You can also arrange terracotta pots around the sitting area or gazebo for additional decorations.

23. Outdoor Tub Slope Garden

Outdoor Tub Slope Garden
Source: Pinterest (@One Kindesign)

Have you ever thought about hillside garden ideas that include a tub? As it turns out, a design like this is possible despite the geographical conditions. You can arrange rocks, such as limestones, as foundations and decorations around the rock garden. Then, set a wooden tub to match the color of the surrounding. Next, build a terraced retaining wall that also works as a bench. While the design only features a few ground covers, we recommend planting them near the tub so that they can absorb spilled water.

24. Retaining Rock Wall Setting

Retaining Rock Wall Setting
Source: Pinterest (@Happy Haute Home)

Make layered rock retaining walls if your residence has an extreme slope. It will work great to prevent maximum erosion. Instead of leaving them empty, get creative by making them part of the hillside garden. You can grow green ground cover or moss on the rock’s sidelines to add green shades. In addition, grow tall shrubs next to the wall to create privacy around your property. Don’t forget about the stairs to reach the low garden area.

25. Charming Lake Garden By The Hill

Charming Lake Garden By The Hill
Source: Pinterest (@One Kindesign)

Even though it looks trivial, a fire pit can elevate your hillside garden. It also highlights the modern theme without leaving the impression of nature. If you want one, you can combine the fire pit with the stones around it. Then, plant some low-growing shrubs with flowers, but ensure you prune them when they grow tall to avoid burning. The best location for this setting is near the cypress trees, providing shade, privacy, and a serene atmosphere.

Final Thoughts

Hillside garden ideas are mostly captivating! They blend with nature but you can also mix them with modern themes. If you are interested in adopting them into your garden, make sure you know your terrain conditions. Then, make sure you include preventive erosion elements in the garden, such as retaining walls, to ensure the safety.


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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is good to plant on a hillside?

Considering the sloppy area, not many plants can survive such a geographical condition. But thankfully, there are some that will beautifully flourish here. You can try growing fountain grass, catmint, Russian sage to offer a purple landscape in your hillside garden. For the greenery, creeping juniper, siberian cypress, and maiden grass are the best plants for a hillside garden. In case you prefer ground covers, cotoneaster, ground cover rose, and ajuga will stunningly decorate your outdoor space.

What to plant on a hillside to prevent weeds?

Try to grow ground covers if you want to suppress weed growth in your hillside garden. By growing such plants, you will leave no spaces for weeds to invade the soil. Some examples you can plant include periwinkle, creeping phlox, moneywort, English thyme, and bishop’s weed. Remember to check on your US hardiness zones, as they have different planting zones.

What is the best ground cover for a hillside?

Not only adorn your hillside garden, ground covers are also a favorite to grow in sloped areas because they can inhibit the growth of weeds. Another plus is that they are generally low-maintenance, thus, easy to care for. The best ground covers you can plant in the hillside front yard are creeping phlox, stonecrop, and daylilies. Their stunning blooms will make your garden far from dull.

Can you plant hydrangeas on a hill?

Wondering if you can grow hydrangeas in your hillside garden? Luckily the answer is YES! Hydrangeas are shrubs that feature solid branches. Hence, growing in sloppy areas is not a problem for them. However, you need to check the light requirements for hydrangeas based on their varieties, as each has a different intensity.

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