Top Design Ideas for Landscaping on a Hilly Surface

By Erik Neilson , last updated April 16, 2011

Landscaping on a hilly surface can be rather difficult. As most people who get involved with landscaping their yard quickly learn, even a slight variation in incline can be enough to halt a project in its tracks. Fortunately, there are a variety of landscaping techniques that lend themselves well to hilly areas, many of which are easy to implement no matter what type of yard you might have.


For many people, the main goal of landscaping a hill is to either draw attention towards it or away from it; planting shrubs is an ideal way to achieve the latter. Shrubs will also help to secure the soil and prevent erosion from occurring, which is a common problem that often affects hilly areas. Choose shrubs that will provide a strong contrast with the rest of your landscaping for best results; dark greens will achieve this perfectly.

Retaining Wall

Hills often look awkward when viewed in comparison to the rest of a yard. One of the best ways to make a hill more attractive is to segment it with a retaining wall. Retaining walls can be built out of a variety of different materials including brick and stone, and can help to break up your landscaping by adding tiered levels. Once a retention wall is set into place, the hill can become the focal piece of your landscaping project.

Mulch Covering

Hills can be very useful in landscaping in that they add contrast with the flatter portions of your yard. You can take this concept even further by mulching the entire hill, which create a clear line between the hill and the rest of the yard. Choose a dark mulch that contrasts nicely with your home. While flowers and other plants are optional, they can look quite attractive when planted in a tasteful manner and surrounded with mulch.

These design ideas will give you a variety of options for beautifully landscaping the hilly area of your yard.

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