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Win the Uphill Battle: How to Landscape a Hill

Win the Uphill Battle: How to Landscape a Hill

Landscaping a hill might seem like a daunting task, but so is the nightmare of pushing a heavy lawnmower along a slope. Unfortunately, most people believe that the alternative is to stare at an expanse of weeds descending into their yard. But, don’t let this incline fool you. That unsightly hillside can indeed be transformed into a beautiful addition to your outdoor space. All you need is just a little imagination and planning. So, get ready to tackle that mountain of a problem and learn these simple steps on how to landscape a hill.

How to Landscape a Hill – Step 1: Evaluate the area

landscape a hill with a waterfall
Is that difficult-to-maintain hill in your yard a perfect fit for a hillside rock garden? Is the location also near an electrical source? If so, it could be well suited for a waterfall feature. This would utilize that incline to its fullest and it also would give you the serene sound of rushing water. Or, it could be a great place for a dry creek bed. It could help to divert rainwater downhill, away from the rest of your yard. But, keep in mind that a very steep hillside will require larger, heavier rocks to remain in place. If you are dealing with excessive erosion, adding some low maintenance plants will help to keep your landscaped hillside in place whether you opt for the waterfall or not.

landscape a hill with a dry creek bed
Additionally, if your hill already has many natural plants, you might consider trimming them back and then adding a gorgeous rock pathway. Ultimately, much of your design decisions will depend on the degree of the slope. If it is a gradual slope, you may just consider using large flat stones flanked by smaller ones. But, if the grade is steep, steps made from stones could be the answer. Either way, a pathway can clean up and add visual interest to your existing plants and as a result, create functionality.

How to Landscape a Hill – Step 2: Choose your materials

Once you have decided which landscaping option fits your situation best, compile a list of materials for your project.

Next, and perhaps most importantly, use a materials calculator to help you estimate the amount of landscape product you will need. Be sure to use one prior to buying your materials. Otherwise, you may buy too much or too little.

Since there are a vast array of landscaping materials to choose from, like decorative rock and mulch that come in various sizes, textures, and colors, you will need to decide which materials will work best. For example, if you decide on that beautiful waterfall feature, you might choose a multi-colored river rock. Because of its rounded edges and variation in colors it lends itself perfectly to running water. If you opt for the rock pathway, look for large, flat stepping stones, over-sized rip rap, and eastern shore egg rock to line and fill your new, beautiful path.

How to Landscape a Hill – Step 3: Make a plan

Finally, it’s important to realize that any landscaping project will take a lot of time and work. It will, however, pay off in the end. Homes that are landscaped offer far more curb appeal than those that are not. And, if you are selling a home, consider this: investing in home landscaping could potentially pay a 215% return in home value. Hence why you should take advantage of a low maintenance solution like a rock garden or dry river bed.

Now that you have a vision for your new project and a plan, you should ask yourself whether this project is something you can do on your own or whether you should hire a professional. Either way, Wilson Blacktop can deliver your landscaping supplies within a 50-mile radius of our home base in Martins Ferry, Ohio.

Most importantly, you don’t have to keep dreading landscaping that hill. We are excited to help you with that uphill battle. So, don’t hesitate to contact us and set up your delivery!


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  • Mark
    March 10, 2018, 6:22 pm REPLY

    Great tips on how to landscape a hill. I’ve kept this in mind while landscaping my yard over the last couple weeks (which has a large sloped area) and I’ve seen very positive results. I haven’t finished the project yet. In doing research for landscaping on a slope, I came across this interesting article (https://carveyourcreation.com/how-to-landscape-a-steep-slope-on-a-budget), which I think has some okay ideas, but your article here is a nice complement to it. They mention low-maintenance design with indigenous plants and other things. It’s not my site but I hope you don’t mind me sharing the link. Anyways, I’ll be giving you guys a call shortly. Thanks!

  • Kate Welling
    November 29, 2018, 10:34 pm REPLY

    Thanks for your tips about how to landscape a hill. You mentioned that hills are great for rocks. I like how you showed an example of a rock waterfall! I’d imagine that rocks would be great for this because excess water could always drain downhill. I’ll start looking for a landscaping company that can help me get my hands on some rocks so I can do something similar to this!

  • Rhianna Hawk
    February 13, 2019, 10:36 pm REPLY

    I really appreciate your tips for landscaping on a hill, as there’s one in my yard that is making designing my yard very difficult. Your tips for incorporating a rock garden are really nice, and a dry gravel riverbed would be a lovely way to frame the slope, for sure. The practical use of diverting the rainwater is a big bonus, as well, and I appreciate the tip.

  • Ethan Hansen
    March 25, 2019, 3:55 pm REPLY

    It’s nice to see how far gravel can go to landscape a hill. My wife and I want to add a pop of color to our barren hill. I will pass this on to her so we can find a gravel service near us.

  • Dyaln Peterson
    November 22, 2019, 3:46 pm REPLY

    I like what you said about installing a waterfall feature on your hill if it’s close to an electrical source. My brother has been telling me about how his new house has a hill that he’d like to make look better. I’ll share this information with him so that he can look into his options for getting a waterfall installed on this hill.

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