A steep hill is a common feature on many properties in Victoria BC. Neglected, they can snowball into large and expensive problems. However, with the right mind set, they are in fact landscaping opportunities. Here are some landscaping ideas to spruce things up and creating a structurally sound feature on our property.
Whenever you have a hill, there could be problems with erosion. Erosion can cause anything from annoying washouts contaminating your sidewalk or patio to dirt blowing through your screen door or window to fences and trees falling down. It is something that is guaranteed to happen given enough time. With proper precautions, however, that time frame can be greatly extended.
Things that Work and Things that Don’t
Plants can be a great addition to a hill. Their roots can stabilize the soil to a point and their colors and textures can really add aesthetic appeal to your property, especially when your hill is in your front yard. Small plants interlaced within rock or mulch can be a great look that also saves on water. For a steeper hill or one that is holding up a large mass, such as a large tree, fence, or shed, you may want to explore retaining walls.
Retaining walls look amazing. They give a clean orderly look to a hilly landscape. They can open up more flat spaces that can be used whether for gardening without having to bend over or more space for patios or lawns. They work great in the back, side, and front yards equally. Retaining walls bring a very classy look and feel to a property and they are very unique as a landscape feature. Best of all, a properly built retaining wall will last decades. It is an excellent long term investment both improving the look and feel of your property but also protecting it against erosion. As mentioned before they are also an excellent way to significantly and permanently open up useable space. When combined with landscaping features such as small trees and small plants, they make a property feel very upper class.
While flat land is often preferred, a property with a hill and slope opens up opportunities that other features do not. While one is tempted to just go with a non conspicuous lawn in a flat yard, with a hill one can add so much character to one’s property. With the proper investments, a retaining wall is a life long addition to quality of life of one’s home.