Steep hill landscaping can be a little challenging if you’re a fan of conventional landscape design. It’s not all about retaining walls and layers of soil and earth and worrying about soil runoff.

10 Ideas for Steep Hill Landscaping

Hilly landscaping is quite attractive to those who love a modern take on just about anything, including some usually designed landscapes. Please keep reading to check out all the ideas we’ve gathered for your steep hill landscape design.

List of Steep Hill Landscaping Ideas

1. Making a Rock Garden

You open your eyes and see a lush, multi-leveled garden filled with foliage. Across the landscape, you can see rocks of various sizes, shapes, and colors.

Making a Rock Garden

The stones are all situated next to plants and leaves, some covered in moss. This sounds like the making of a perfect zen garden or a small meditation space. Yet again, this idea is like the ideal natural space that one would have.

All you’ll need in this space is to creatively use your imagination and place rocks wherever you think the foliage will best complement them. Rock gardens would be considered one of the ideal designs if you consider how much they would elevate the place.

In addition, you should also do this if you’re looking to make the space authentically yours. Painting the rocks and adding some native plants, the ideas are endless for how you can make your rock garden feel like it’s truly yours. You have to be very considerate to the plants that you would be choosing, as succulents are the best ones for this.

This idea is even more perfect if you’re in a dry area. The rocks will shine through the foliage in warmer, drier climates. Plus, the grass would act like a footing for the rocks, preventing them from sliding over the steep hillside—a great idea, especially for those who love to make a place unequivocally theirs.

2. Tiered Raised Plant Beds

Beware, this idea is for those who take the art of gardening very seriously. Tiered beds act as the perfect slideshow for all the plants you’re growing yourself. This idea is great for those with a green thumb and those who appreciate a good background for their patio. 

Tiered Raised Plant Beds

If you place a couple of chairs, a coffee table, and even a big shade umbrella in front of your tiered plant beds, well. You’ve just got the perfect background for the seating area of your patio.

Tiered raised beds also give your garden a more excellent, cleaner, more organized look and feel. It will look like you have stacked your plants neatly on a shelf.

Another benefit of tiered raised beds is that they are more accommodating to your backyard landscaping. This is because they are usually pushed back while the rest of the yard has more space to grow and thrive.

Finally, raised beds are suitable for gardeners overall, especially the steep hill ones, as because of their various levels or tiers, they’re easier for you to tend.

Usually, gardeners don’t have to bend down so much, and their backs don’t have to be in pain from bending, reaching, and crouching. That’s the thing about raised beds. They’re full of benefits not only for the whole garden but also for the gardener. 

3. Terracing Hillside With Stones 

The biggest problem many homeowners find with their hillside landscaping project is their plans look a bit basic and very simple.

erracing Hillside With Stones

The same retaining wall, the same plants, and the same hillside landscape. Despite this, there are ways that you can make your hillside landscape stand out. A straightforward way to do this is by using stones to elevate this mode.

Stones are one of those materials that are both available in markets worldwide and are very affordable to buy, to build the terrace or the patio that you wish. In this idea, we suggest using stones to make your hillside/backyard landscaping ideas pop, if only just a little.

By adding stones, you can be placed in pathways all around the garden. This material along with its texture can also adorn the retaining walls to give them a little texture and make them stand out. 

Some people have also used small stones as borders of different outdoor areas. For example, using stones only in the patio and seating space regions.

This clarifies which space is open for nature and which room is to be used by people or sitting and lounging. Plus, placing stones cemented together for outdoor stairs is also a trend gaining all the hype these days for the patio you are building for different reasons.

Indeed, there are many uses for stones in your hillside landscaping ideas. The best part about this is that there is no right or even a wrong way to use stones. Just go wherever the flow takes you! 

4. Creating an Alpine Hillside Garden

If you’re lucky enough to be that individual who has a garden that slopes up and is naturally covered with rocks, count your lucky stars. You can create an alpine hillside garden with all that nature has blessed you with. 

Creating an Alpine Hillside Garden

We’re telling you, if done right, this can be the best feature you can have at your property. Not only does it look picture-perfect, but it also can really bring together the whole theme of your garden. This has the potential to be the star of your outdoor living space. 

A hillside garden can tie everything together, especially one on a steep hill. It gives way for enough space to be used for walking. It helps spread biodiversity. Many interior architects now use natural limestones as stone steps in their steep hill gardens, and this would be a great option for your alpine hillside landscape. 

Keeping in mind that limestone does such an excellent job of blending in the natural landscape. This idea is perfect if you’re sick of seeing everyone having the same steep backyard/hillside landscapes. 

Plus, a sloped yard or backyard is already almost a hillside garden. Just put some rocks and natural stone steps, and you’re done. Add some native plants and some foliage here and there, and you got yourself a whole alpine garden. Easy peasy DIY that’s not going to strain you or your bank account.

5. Front Yard Retaining Wall

You’re probably in a puzzle if you’ve got a slope in your front yard and driveway. Nonetheless,  this can make simple, everyday chores a total nightmare to do.

Front Yard Retaining Wall

For example, in the winter, you must shovel the snow off your driveway every morning. Imagine spending an hour every morning shoveling all that snow, only for it to come sliding right back from your next-door neighbor’s driveway.

As you can imagine, this can be pretty frustrating. However, there is a simple solution for this as well. This simple solution uses a retaining wall. This retaining wall creates an upper and lower section of the front yard. It’ll elevate your yard, leaving plenty of room for the driveway. 

This retaining wall stops any snow from coming onto your property and saves you the trouble of shoveling someone else’s snow off your driveway, which is why it is considered a lifesaver.

Moreover, this retaining can give your home an added touch of ‘the house on the hill’ feeling, which is very popular these days. Functionality and being aesthetically pleasing? That’s a clear win-win situation. 

You can also make your retaining wall match the exterior part of your home to give it that matching touch with the colors. Nonetheless, remember, we design our houses to reflect who we are as people, so have fun and don’t hold back creatively or even with a modern twist. 

6. Patio Seating Area

Your front porch is a very nice place to sit and watch the neighborhood kids play, especially if you live in the suburbs. However, having a sloped yard and driveway can get in the way of this simple joy of life. 

Patio Seating Area

Basically, wouldn’t it be functional and practical to have a proper, flat seating space where you could sit and enjoy the life of the neighborhood in its full glory? This idea is for those of us who, despite all odds, like functionality above all else, because the seating place is truly functional. 

A front yard deck that is both flat and elevates the front yard is ideal in situations like these. The deck supports all your seating furniture, all while leaving enough space for your driveway and your car.

This idea is trendy amongst homeowners who live in the suburbs, where they actively interact with their neighbors, you can even add some hammocks and swings to have a cozier place. 

If you’re looking for the same objectives, why not give this a try? An elevated yard also means a nice, small retaining wall that offers soil erosion control.

This has to be one of the more practical ideas included in this list of steep hill yard landscaping ideas.  You not only have a patio or the seating area, but a tiered planting space can also liven the place up and give you a better-looking front yard. 

7. Hillside Water Feature

Water features are already trendy as far as hillside landscaping ideas are concerned. A steep slope hillside garden is perfect for installing a waterfall or any water feature. This idea is for those who appreciate a more whimsical approach to life.

Hillside Water Feature

Can’t you picture a calm, quiet corner of your sloped backyard, echoing the sound of water slowly falling in a pond? Just thinking about it makes us feel so much more relaxed and better. 

If your landscape design involves materials like limestone or natural stone, adding a water feature will only pull the whole look together. This is especially true if you have quite a garden that is very biodiverse in itself. 

What’s better than a lovely, lush green garden with a water feature thrown in? Nothing. Therefore, adding a beautiful waterfall to your hillside landscape is better because who doesn’t need a peaceful, zen place to go and cool off? Trust us. You’ll be doing yourself a favor by installing this in your design. 

There aren’t many design ideas that help you get a pause between the happenings of daily life. Do this for yourself! This idea is unique as it benefits your landscape design and well-being. 

8. Patio Overlook

You may be surprised if your hillside landscape leads down instead of up. Just as many people hope for a slope that leads upwards, the downwards slope means you’re in for a good time. With a downward slope, you can create a mini cliff and use it to your advantage.

Patio Overlook

In instances like these, you can make an overview of the slope that leads downwards to some scenic view, like a lake or a lush green open space. This overview can overlook this view, you will have something gorgeous to look at while you sit in your overview and gaze down at the scenic views. 

You can achieve some very creative expressions with your overview setting. Many people lean towards a popular choice is making a patio, so you can lounge in your overview. Think rustic, wooden outdoor furniture and fairy lights overlooking the lake

That is the main goal here, to create a fun yet a functional place for your hillside landscape, so you can show off creatively while only adding greatness to the aesthetic of your home. Few people can achieve this level of excellence, though. Only use this idea if you’re serious about your ambiance and surroundings, especially if you’re trying to make them aesthetic. 

9. Low-Maintenance Hillside Garden

Another idea regarding an outdoor garden is ideal for those who don’t want to put too much effort into their garden. A low-maintenance hillside garden is perfect if you want a natural park that looks like a forest.

Low Maintenance Hillside Garden

One of the significant problems with hillside gardening is runoff, which is worsened when the slope flows off into the road and settles there. You can easily choose shrubs, ornamental grasses, and prairie plants like coneflower that produce a blanket of roots to help stabilize the slope.

These plants stabilize the ground and require little maintenance during the growing season. In addition, they may even be left standing for winter interest. The plants are so durable and robust that they can withstand severe weather, be it cold or humid heat.

Any hillside or slope can be transformed into the main focal point of your yard with a bit of care when picking the type of plants you want in your garden, these are even great for watering, because they are next to each other, so the water would be very easy. 

Moreover, this overflowing garden can look amazing, especially in today’s day and age of tamed, uniform plants. Let the native plants of your garden run wild and experience the best of what nature has to offer. You’ll only be grateful for the result, trust us. 

10. A Hillside Garden-Walk

Looking for useful, functional, and practical ways to use your hillside gardens? A hillside garden with a walkway is an excellent idea for kids and adults who love being around nature. 

A Hillside Garden Walk

Terracing the pathway while leaving the planting space raised creates the illusion that the flowers cover every garden surface. This gives passersby the impression that your garden is nothing but a sea of plants and flowers. 

Homeowners against installing simple, bland stone steps opt for this idea instead. Using pot stands and containers on the lower levels, the colorful perennials along the route are given even more level changes, which serve as focal points for the decline. 

Additionally, rather than simply being able to see the first few plants a flat garden would provide, cars traveling by on the road can also have a complete view of the hillside garden. This garden would be great for you to look at, to take care of, and even to enjoy the afternoon on.


Steep hill landscapes are a challenge to anyone, but as we said, if done right, they can be the star attraction of your home. It is not easy to manage, but that doesn’t mean that it is impossible, there are different ways that you can change the way that your house on a steep hill would look with a bit of creativity.

After learning about the various ideas presented here, which one stuck with you the most? Even though all them would give a unique touch to your space! We hope this list of ideas gave you some inspiration for your hillside landscaping plans.

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