Landscaping a sloped yard

Offering reliable landscaping services to homeowners in British Columbia since 2013

Picture of Natasha Maerz

Natasha Maerz

Owner/Office Manager


A sloped residential landscape can be difficult and intimidating when it comes to picturing what landscaping ideas you can do in your outdoor space. Not only can a sloped yard be difficult to work and walk on, but a steep hillside can also risk having soil runoff down the slope.

Topsoil on hillsides tend to wash off quickly. The issue with this is that the soil can cause damage to your home or yard. If you are trying to landscape your hillside, homeowners may have to create planting pockets, and add rocks and extra soil or mulch to bring everything together.

If soil eroding is a big issue, stone or Allan block retaining walls are a great way to tame a hillside. When built properly, they give homeowners peace of mind that their soil will stay put. Retaining walls look stunning, and can be built terraced, with stairs, and in whatever color goes with the landscape.. They really serve two purposes, make your yard safe, and add a focal point.

If you have a hillside in your backyard that tapers off into the distance, you can still incorporate it into your landscaping design. Use this space to your advantage by adding lots of trees and lush plants, and add a pathway or walkway if the hill allows. This will make your space feel like you have your very own forest right in your backyard and give you a lovely scene to look at from your kitchen window or patio.


If you have a roadside slope, choose plants and trees that do not require a lot of maintenance. Shrubs and evergreens are great because they do not require a lot of grooming, and fill up the extra space. This slope will probably be one of the first things that people see when they look at your residential landscape, so you still want your outdoor space to look inviting, and match with your other landscaping.

If your sloped yard is quite extreme, you may want to focus your  landscaping design on just the areas that are close to your house or yard. You might not want to leave your hillside “bare” but a hillside that has wild grass growing on it can actually work to your advantage. It gives your yard a “wild” look that can make you feel like you are far away from the city.  If you still want some sort of décor and landscaping for your hillside, add a low maintenance boxed garden along the slope, and fill it with beautiful plants and flowers.

If you have a larger property, why not turn your hillside into a garden that you can walk through? Depending on how steep your hillside is, add a walkway with pavers or gravel, and line the path with wild flowers, or if you are feeling adventurous add a small garden to your outdoor oasis. 

While it seems like having a sloped yard will only bring you problems as a homeowner, there are some benefits to having a sloped yard, so don’t fret if you have a home with one!

When your yard is sloped, it gives you an instant view, and when plants and flowers are positioned on a hillside, they give your yard a dynamic look.  

Landscaping can be done anywhere to any type of area and property, and can turn a regular piece of land into something breathtaking and spectacular with a little of planning and work!