How To Landscape A Hill In Front Yard Effectively?

Make a design drawing will help you determine the layout of the plants that you will plant in this garden.

Having a house in a mountainous or hilly area does feel good. Besides the cool air temperature, the site also offers more beautiful views than cities. But of course, it comes with challenges, especially regarding front yard landscaping. The sloping soil makes this area more tricky to plant various trees, shrubs, or flowers. And for that reason, we want to share tips on how to landscape a hill in the front yard effectively.

In addition to designing the landscape ideas for their sloping gardens, homeowners must consider how to prevent erosion in the area. Hence, we will also include recommended plants to grow around the hilly regions and how to stabilize the spots. Without any further ado, let’s dive in!

Front Yard Hill Landscaping

Maybe you have often seen hillside areas planted with tall pine and fir trees. Not without reason, those trees can withstand water runoff when heavy rains come, thereby preventing erosion and landslides. But apparently, you can try front yard landscaping for sloping areas with ornamental plants.

how to landscape a hill in front yard
Front Yard Hill Landscaping

However, before discussing this further, we strongly recommend knowing what hill landscaping is and the benefits homeowners can get when trying it. Check them out!

1. What Is Hill Landscaping?

Like its name, hill landscaping is a landscape design involving hilly areas that often have sloping land contours. Due to the geographical conditions, only some plants can grow in this area. Not only that, the type of soil, usually more moist, even limits the kinds of plants or trees that survive.

In addition, hillside areas also usually only have a limited period of sunshine compared to lowlands. The humidity is relatively high with cooler temperatures. To decorate the yard, homeowners usually will feature some plants and trees to grow around the garden.

According to our experience, some favorites include Russian sage, creeping juniper, and day lilies. Some trees, like maple and oak, also thrive on this site.

2. The Benefits of Hill Landscaping

Apart from making the landscape of a sloped yard more captivating, hill landscaping also offers excellent benefits for homeowners. Let us reveal some of them for you below!

Decorate The Outdoor Space

You can’t deny that the front yard is the first greeter for guests visiting your house. It also works as a headline of the exterior design, giving an overall impression of the theme of your home. So, having stunning hill landscaping also decorates the front of the house to make it look more attractive.

Prevent Erosion

One of the risks of owning a house in a hilly area is erosion. But fortunately, you can prevent this by planting plants in your slope garden. The roots will help hold the soil despite the heavy water flow during heavy rains. These plants also prevent floods and landslides that usually happen due to intense rain.

Provide Water Catchment Areas

Apart from preventing erosion, having a hillside garden is useful for providing catchment areas. This is very important to maintain the availability of groundwater. In addition, the plants also prevent sinkholes due to the absence of groundwater.

What Should You Put On Your Landscaping Hill?

With limited land that is challenging to handle, you have to think smart to make the best use of the area. Based on our experience, we suggest you flatten the ground before planting anything. It is extremely important to allow you to grow your plants easily on stable soil.

To create a growing space, you can also make a tiered garden with retaining walls. Besides, it adds variety and accent to your front yard. Such a design also provides better drainage as the water will flow through to lower surfaces.

how to landscape a hill in front yard
What Should You Put On Your Landscaping Hill

Now, it’s time to choose the plants! As we discussed earlier, not all plants can grow in this extreme area, as they must have robust roots to hold on to the soil. Among all options, consider ground covers. They can spread fast with a strong root system, which is necessary for erosion control. Our experts advise growing creeping juniper and mondo grass to offer greenery.

If you prefer flowering plants, creeping phlox and periwinkle are the best for front yard ideas. The sloppy area is also amazing to create raised beds for your vegetable garden. Moreover, you can take advantage of the slope of the land by adding a water feature, like mini streams with rocks, to enliven the landscape.

How To Arrange Plants On A Hill?

How to landscape a hill in front yard? – One of the best ways to arrange plants in a sloped front yard is to create a tiered garden. This method takes advantage of the slope of the land to create an eye-catching sloping landscaping look. What are the benefits of slope garden design?

Building the tiered one might be the best and most effective option if you are a newbie in designing slope gardens. Such a setting makes it easier for you to care for the plants and, at the same time, helps create a solid structure to prevent soil erosion due to retaining walls.

How To Arrange Plants
Arrange Plants On A Hill

Besides, it’s relatively easy to make and won’t overwhelm your pocket. You only need to make a retaining wall from rocks or wood and add soil to the space. The tiered garden also improves drainage as the design makes water flow easier without having to install a complicated drainage system.

You also don’t need to worry that the water will be trapped for too long in the soil, thanks to the sloping contours of the land. So, how to make one?

  • Check the local authority’s guidelines. Make sure the size of your garden does not exceed the provisions. Also, the area where you live is not under restriction to create a tiered garden (e.g., being in a national park area).
  • Next, determine the size of your front yard hillside garden. We recommend limiting the area to make it easier for you to maintain.
  • Build garden beds using wooden planks or wood. Remember to install a trench and drain pipe around it to ensure proper drainage.
  • Now grow plants! But first, identify them to ensure they can adapt to the area. For sunny locations, we recommend creeping phlox, stonecrop, and dianthus. Meanwhile, the shady area is the best site for ferns, hosta, wild ginger, and coral bells.

How To Stabilize A Steep Hillside?

How to landscape a hill in front yard? – Slope stabilization is a crucial point to consider in a hillside landscaping project. Apart from security reasons, such as minimizing erosion, stabilizing a sloppy garden also ensures a proper growing area for the plants.

how to landscape a hill in front yard
Slope Retention Construction Design With Rocks and Mesh To Manage Landslide

So, what can you do to make sure this slanted contoured area is stable? Find out the best tips from our experts below!

  • Choose the right plants. They are crucial for preventing erosion and landslides in hilly areas, thanks to their deep root system that wraps the soil around them.
  • Build rock retaining walls. You can do this along with designing tiered gardens. Some people use wood to create the walls, but we recommend stones as they have a more solid structure. The wall can be an option to prevent intense water flow when it rains.
  • Mulch your soil. Even though it looks trivial, mulching is essential to improve soil quality. Thus, it can absorb more water instead of letting it flow to lower levels.
  • Create terracing. The flat surface allows you to grow veggies or plants in the area, where the retaining walls work to prevent water flow from eroding the soil surface.

How To Landscape A Hilly Front Yard?

Landscaping hilly areas do require extra effort considering the geographical site. But actually, decorating the space is pretty easy. There are many ideas for landscaping a hill that is available nowadays.

how to landscape a hill in front yard
Landscape A Hilly Front Yard

And here, we include some tips to get the most stunning sight of your slope front yard!

  • Make a design drawing. This will help you determine the layout of the plants that you will plant in this garden. In addition, the arrangement also helps provide an overview of the installation of drainage pipes in the area.
  • Provide accessible entrances. It will make it easier for you to care for your plants. In case you grow fruit-bearing ones, harvesting the fruits becomes faster.
  • Determine the garden theme. Adjust the theme to your exterior design so that the designs match and don’t overwhelm one another.
  • Get creative with stairs. As well as providing easy access to other parts of your garden, they also offer space to grow some flowers along the steps.
  • Try making a terrace setting. You can use the flat surface to set a pair of chairs and a table to enjoy the view while using the other area to plant flowers.
  • Add rocks and water features. We recommend building a dry creek using bright-colored river stones or gravel. Then, in the end, install a mini waterfall. Grow ground covers on the sides of the stream for decoration.

Final Thought

How to landscape a hill in the front yard? It’s relatively simple! You only need to identify the slope area around your house and determine the theme you choose. Furthermore, choose plants with robust and deep root systems to ensure they can withstand the water flow when the rain comes.

Some you can grow, such as Russian sage, maple, oak, astilbe, ferns, stonecrop, and many more. Make sure you choose plants that suit your climate (e.g., sunny or shaded, tropical or cold temperatures). In addition to planting plants, we recommend incorporating retaining walls, rocks, and water features in your hillside spots to spice up your garden.


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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What are the best trees to plant on a hillside?

Not all trees can withstand steep hillsides due to extreme geographical conditions. But don’t worry! You can still plant some of the best trees in your hillside garden, such as a sugar maple tree. It will adorn your outdoor areas when its leaves turn golden yellow to red in the fall.

Besides maple, white oak is also an excellent choice for hillside landscaping, as the leaves will also turn red. And for the best canopy to provide shade, California live oak is the ideal choice for garden design.

How do you landscape a steep hill on a budget?

Landscaping steep slopes are indeed tricky and may cost you some extra budget to decorate the area. But it turns out you can cut the money down if you know how to choose low maintenance plants and arrange them in your garden. Here are the tips:

  • Grow ground covers. Even though they seem fragile, they have deep root systems that can spread fast to prevent erosion.
  • Tiered retaining wall is a must! Besides creating a stunning landscape design, this wall can also prevent major runoff after the storm. You can incorporate rocks to the wall design to offer texture.
  • Try slope landscaping with rocks. You can create a dry river with the white gravel or river stones to decorate your hill landscape. Plants ground covers along the dry streams to add a green accent.

Can lavender grow on a hillside?

If you love lavender, you can grow the flower in the steep hill around your house. The purple flowers are awesome to feature along with trees and ground covers. In fact, the sloped garden also helps your lavender to thrive as it offers better drainage–water will unlikely sit on the soil for too long. But remember to grow them in an open area where your lavender can get at least 8 hours of full sun exposure.

Can you plant evergreens on a slope?

Evergreens are excellent picks for those who favor everlasting greenery in their sloped garden. Besides, they are relatively easy to care for. Thus, won’t bother you with complicated maintenance especially if you grow them on a steep hillside.

However, not many evergreen plants can survive the hilly areas. You can try dwarf heavenly bamboo, purple rock rose, or juniper to densely adorn your garden. For the trees, willow wattle and pineapple guava can be the best options.

How do you plant shrubs on a steep hillside?

Due to its geographical condition, hill landscaping is pretty tricky. Not many plants and shrubs have strong roots to hang on the soil. But if you are interested in growing them, we have some tips to plant shrubs in the sloppy area.

  • Create a flat surface. It will help you to grow the plants easily. Make sure the size is around three times the diameter of your shrubs’ balls to provide wide spaces. Use a retaining wall to make a border with a sturdy structure.
  • Plant the shrubs with a proper depth. If the root balls are large, ensure the holes are deeper. Don’t grow them too close to the sloping end to avoid the roots being exposed due to erosion. Also, avoid planting shrubs at the top of the slope. It is crucial as your plants’ risk being buried when erosion occurs.
  • Build a berm on the downhill side. It is important to hold water and prevent erosion when the water runs off from the top hill.
  • Apply mulch! Besides showering the roots with more nutrients and keeping them moist evenly, mulching also improves soil ability to hold water. Add the mulch a few inches above the ground around your plant’s base.

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