A sloping backyard isn’t exactly everyone’s landscaping dream. The angles and height can look like an overwhelming task. Then there are issues with water run-off, soil erosion, and challenging tillage. Sure, you can hire a landscaping company for the job. But that alone can cost you thousands of dollars.
Don’t worry though – we’ve gathered some of the best ideas for sloped backyards that should fit within your budget.
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Are sloped backyards a bad thing?
While level gardens are easier to decorate and plant on, sloping land has lots of potential. Let the unique angles of your property awaken your creativity.
If you’re into DIY, you can get friends and family to help on weekends and turn a landscaping project into a socializing event, too. What’s more, you’ll learn a lot along the way while slowly transforming your backyard into the envy of the neighborhood.
Sloped backyards have the height that leveled gardens don’t. So there’s plenty of room to play around with. One can add steps, decks, terraces, raised beds, and interesting water features. Depending on the elevation, you can even make a scenic spot so you can view the entirety of your property.
Feel free to combine concepts or think up your own theme to spruce up that slope.
The Best Sloping Garden Ideas on a Budget
With patience and lots of creativity, your sloped backyard can look stunning! Here are several backyard solutions for your small hill or slope.
1. Use groundcover plants.
Credits to Kasi Smith via Blessmyweeds.com
This is perhaps the simplest and easiest way to beautify a sloped backyard. The hard part is choosing the appropriate plants to avoid water run-off and soil erosion. You’ll want something low-maintenance but nice-looking, too.
While regular grass is an obvious choice, perennials are better because of beauty and all year-round cover. There’s Mondo grass, clovers, creeping junipers, Japanese spurge, and Russian Cypress to name a few.
2. Rocks and steps are your friend.
Credits to Jan Meissner via Green Thumb Blonde
Creating steps using stone slabs or simple pavers will add dimension and interest to your garden. They’re usually inexpensive and can be found at any garden store. With any luck, you can find them in your surroundings for free as well. You can make this as big or as small as the slope allows.
3. Add trees and shrubbery.
Credits to Brooke Christen via Nesting with Grace
These will give depth and height to your sloped backyard. They will look amazing with small or big stone steps, too. Put in some wildflowers or local plants, as well as gravel for contrast, and you’ve got yourself a pretty adorable setup, regardless of garden size.
4. Use cement for a modern look.
Credits to Outdoor Happens
For a more contemporary approach, concrete can provide a clean, modern look. Apply this technique for creating walkways, steps, or a garden wall. For a softer touch, make sure to add all kinds of plants, including succulents, flowers, and hardy shrubs. Lighting will play a key role in enhancing the mood in your concrete space.
5. Create a personal cliff.
Credits to LDAW Landscape Architecture via One Kindesign
This DIY is perfect for folks with steep slopes. Boulders will help create this illusion. If you have handy friends, they can assist you in positioning the boulders in your desired areas. Complete the design by interspersing plants and/or flowers on the front and trees at the back.
6. Make a secret place with lots of foliage.
Credits to Rob Cardillo via Fine Gardening
Want tranquility on busy days? Escape in your own cozy secret nook hidden by boulders or a grotto and plenty of evergreens. Put chairs, a table, or maybe even a bonfire for cold nights. This project works well for big or small sloped gardens.
7. Build an outdoor dining setup.
Credits to CBA Landscape Architects
Your family will love al fresco dining in your own backyard surrounded by flowers, greenery, and solitude. Level the ground where you want the dining space to be, then cover the sloped area with plants. Add a table, chairs, an outdoor umbrella, and a grill. Don’t forget lights so you can enjoy dinner under the stars, too!
8. Incorporate water features.
Credits to Donna Weber via Pinterest
A cool water feature, like a waterfall, pond, or tiny stream, can instantly turn your garden from ‘meh’ to ‘marvelous’! Pools in general take up too much space and can be challenging to install in a sloping backyard. These alternatives are not only beautiful, they can also be used as homes for animals such as fish, birds, ducks, turtles, and frogs, making your garden come to life.
9. Add sloped flower beds.
Credits to Décor Home Ideas
Raised beds are a great solution for sloping gardens because they’re relatively easy to build, affordable, and versatile. Whether you decide to plant flowers, herbs, or vegetables, you’re sure to have an impressive result in months.
10. Make terraces.
Credits to Farm Food Family
Your terraces can be made from wood or concrete. At the end of the day, this garden solution will help stop soil erosion and generate more space for your plants. You can also add steps or seating areas.
11. Create a succulent lovers paradise.
Credits to Eileen of Dig Your Garden Landscape Design
Succulents come in many varieties that will look amazing on your sloping garden, no matter the size. They’re pretty low-maintenance, suit hot climates, and complement other plants. It’s a wonderful option for those who want to re-create a desert or boho chic theme around their home.
12. Place decks and rails.
Credits to Stephen Cridland via Better Homes and Gardens
Decks are always a good idea for allocating more space into your garden or backyard. For land that slopes down to a grand view, the area can serve as a viewing deck. Just add chairs, potted plants, and a small table where you can place your coffee. Wooden decks can be fun playgrounds for little ones as well.
13. Build a retaining wall.
Credits to Real Homes
A retaining wall is pretty straightforward to build and is something you can do within a budget. It’s great for small sloped backyards because it provides needed drama without plenty of fuss.
Feel free to plant anything on top of your garden wall once it’s finished – but cascading plants like creeping figs, trailing rosemary, roses, ivies, and gromwells are your best bet. They’ll brighten up that retaining wall and bring interest in your yard.
14. Create your own woodland trail.
Credits to Farm Food Family
Re-create a smaller version of the great outdoors with a woodland trail right in your garden. To achieve this, plant trees, shrubs, and wildflowers. Use natural materials such as bamboo, wood, stones, or gravel to make steps or pathways.
15. Get creative with a kids’ play area.
Credits to Farm Food Family
Sloped backyards are perfect as playgrounds! Use the slope as slides or as a climbing area. The steeper the hill, the better. Make sure to add safety precautions such as soft grass to avoid unnecessary injuries.
16. The right decor goes a long way.
From watering cans, wheelbarrows, chairs, and benches, to colored pots, stones, and ceramics, you can dress your garden in a myriad of ways. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Visit thrift stores for great finds, or ask friends and family for things they can share.
Which of these sloped garden ideas will you employ in your backyard?