May 17, 2022

4 Great Ways To Go To The Next Level With A Terrace Landscape

Most of the terrain in Dallas, Fort Worth, and the surrounding areas we service are pretty flat. If you live around Plano, Southlake, Cedar Hill, or west of Fort Worth, you’re in some of the highest lands around.

If you look at some of the hills we have, you’d probably think, “there’s no way to grow anything there.” And you’d be right, except for terrace landscaping.

This post will show you how you can use terrace landscaping to either make it possible to plant on a steep hill or simply take your design to a whole new level.

Terraced Gardens

Terracing is the process of turning a slope into a series of level “steps” in order to create places for plants to grow better. It’s been used in agriculture or landscaping for centuries in places like Persia and Italy, where the terrain isn’t always suitable for farming or gardening.

Terracing has also been used to control erosion and make farming possible in places like the European Alps and the South American Andes mountains. The famous “Hanging Gardens of Babylon” were most likely built on a man-made mountain using terracing to create multiple levels.

Terraced Landscape Design

The goal of using terracing in landscape design is to work with the terrain instead of fighting against it. Commercial developers and homeowners with the resources to do so often simply remove whatever dirt is in their way to make their lots as flat as possible.

We get it. Having a large, level foundation to build on is essential. But utilizing the natural slopes around your build site and taking advantage of elevation changes allows you to enhance your property’s landscape design.

Two main factors to consider are:

  1. The size of the property.
  2. The steepness of the hill.

If you have enough room and enough of a hill to create multiple levels using terraces, it could be just the thing your landscape needs to really stand out and look incredible.

Landscaping Ideas on a Hill

The great thing about hillside landscaping using terraces is that there is no limit to what you can do. A steep slope can be tamed using all kinds of materials, and the results can be as rustic, modern, traditional, or whimsical as you want.

Here are a few ideas for landscaping on a hill:

  1. Build a retaining wall. This may be necessary from an engineering standpoint, depending on the layout of your property. But there’s no reason it only needs to be a functional straight cinderblock wall. A retaining wall (or series of them) could be made out of virtually anything and can curve, bend, rise, and fall in many interesting ways! Build one out of:
    1. Natural stone
    2. Brick
    3. Wood timbers
    4. Form cast concrete
    5. Decorative concrete block
  2. Incorporate a water feature. A flat lawn is suitable for ponds, but a hill lets you go even further. Imagine a stream or waterfall (or both!) running peacefully down the hill near your home or building. When more and more people in large cities are looking for places to escape and get away from the stresses of life, why not bring one to them using the soothing sounds of water running over natural rocks? Terracing lets you do that.
  3. Expand your living space. A home or commercial building often only has flat patios available as places to entertain or enjoy the outdoors. By strategically leveling off areas of a yard with a gentle slope, you can create several outdoor “rooms.” Retaining walls, steps, and outdoor structures can define spaces that will draw your guests outside.
  4. Create mystery. Picture the last time you were in a space where you could see a little bit around the bend, but not much. Didn’t it make you want to go further down the path to find out what was there? In the right situations, terrace landscaping can create a sense of mystery that makes your property more interesting. People naturally get curious when a retaining wall partially secludes part of the yard or when steps seem to lead somewhere new. Use it to your advantage to design a more than beautiful landscape—it becomes interesting.

If you want to spark your imagination, just scroll through all of the images with a simple Google search for “terraced landscape design.” The possibilities are endless!

Also, check out another post we did recently on “17 Big Backyard Landscaping Ideas to Make the Most of Large Spaces.” Some of the things we mentioned there would work great on terraces!

Terrace Landscaping Made Simple

Our landscape architects at LH Services have years and years of experience creating all kinds of stunning outdoor environments. We’ve created beautiful and engaging spaces on every terrain imaginable.

We’re a landscape company dedicated to making your look good and your property even better. If steep slopes have you stumped, find out how we can make them amazing.

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