4 Landscaping Ideas for a hilly Backyard

A sloppy backyard is not everyone’s cup of tea. It can be intimidating, especially when you have your ideas of how you want your backyard to look like. They are often challenging to work with, walk on, and even come with risks of having the soil washed away down the slope.

However, hillsides are packed with many advantages that we often overlook. They provide you with an excellent chance to create an instant and dynamic view that doesn’t exist anywhere else. That means there are many ideas you can incorporate when landscaping your sloped backyard. This article will explore four ideas, but before we dive in, let’s look at the considerations to make when working with your sloped backyard.

Factors to Consider When Working on a Hilly Backyard

Of course, issues like drainage and soil erosion have to pop up when discussing slope management and landscaping. You need to make essential slope stability considerations to avoid future challenges. They include;

The Soil

You will need to critically analyze your soil to know what to expect when it rains. Consider a home test and meanwhile dig a hole anywhere on your slope, particularly where you are looking to the landscape. If you find clay soil or solid rock, it means your topsoil will slide down your bank easily. That means planting to secure the bank.


Check the direction of water flow in your backyard. Is it flowing downwards or across it? Let the channels guide you as you follow to the ultimate drainage. If the water drains downhill, you have a big task ahead of stabilizing the slope. Dig another hole and check how long it takes for water to drain. If the water takes less than one hour to drain, that’s good. If it takes days to drain, that’s not good news because you don’t want to have water sitting on your slope, as this can lead to slides and erosion issues.

Sunlight and Incline Degree

How accessible is your slope? Are you able to walk up and down, or do you need to hold onto trees or walls for support? How much sun penetrates your slope? The answers to these questions can help you determine how to landscape your slope.

What You Can Do with Your Slope


Planting is the best and most common way of landscaping your sloped backyard. You can mix trees with shrubs and plants to deflect the force of water. Strong, deep-rooted trees will hold the topsoil. You can also plant grass and irrigate your yard well.

Create Paths and Stairs

The best way to work with a dangerously steep backyard is by creating paths and stairs to enhance its incline. Consider a winding path made of bricks or pavers that transverses your slope to create less of an incline. You can also add form and function with stepping-stone paths.


Tiering helps reduce the likelihood of erosion. If you’re looking to plant vegetables or other non-edible plants, you can dig specific points and create tiers for planting and retain the tier walls with stone pavers and layers of different plants and other landscaping elements to create style and contrast between them. You are not limited to planting small trees or shrubs as long as they align with your desired results.

Go All Native with Wild Rocks and Plants

You don’t need to dig deep to add some charm to nature because your yard can actually create that for you. You simply need to make indentations of what you want and allow nature to take its course. Native plants are native for a reason. They can withstand the harshest water flows and are beautiful if well organized and perfectly designed. If you are doing rocks and plants, make sure they vary in design and color. You can also paint your rocks to resemble what you want.

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