Hillside landscaping techniques allow you to use every part of your yard, even if you think no foliage can thrive on a sloped terrain. A hillside nursery can turn an unused section of your property into a thriving garden space. Frontier Landscaping in Vancouver, WA, knows exactly how to landscape a hill to prevent erosion and to provide a viable space for plants to thrive.
Soil on a hillside garden can erode over time due to normal weather patterns like heavy rains and high winds. There are some soil stabilization methods to prevent excess erosion from destroying your landscaping and killing nearby plants.
Erosion control blankets can cover the whole area, providing a finished look and keeping plants in place. The blankets are made from biodegradable material that won’t harm surrounding plants.
Certain plants can also stabilize the soil including:
- Creeping Rosemary
- Creeping Thyme
- Fountain Grass
Terracing involves creating level platforms or steps on the hillside, which can be used for gardening, seating, or pathways. These terraces help reduce erosion and make it easier to maintain the landscape. Terracing is a great way to set up extra gardening beds to grow your favorite vegetables. The flat surface can also accommodate water features or other decorative elements to create the perfect outdoor oasis.
Prevent erosion and water runoff by installing adequate drainage systems like French drains, yard drains, dry creek beds or swales. Ensure that the water flows away from the hillside to prevent soil erosion. Proper drainage is also essential in protecting your landscaping investment by helping divert surface water away from valuable trees and other plants and preventing standing water on lawns and landscapes.
Applying mulch helps retain moisture, suppress weeds, and improve soil quality. Organic mulch, like wood chips or straw, is excellent for hillside landscapes. Mulch can help hold in rainwater and keep it from flowing downhill. Over time you will improve the soil structure and make it healthier and more able to handle rainy weather while nurturing your plants.
Consider incorporating hardscape elements like retaining walls and stairs into the landscape design. These not only add visual interest but also provide functional solutions for navigating the slope of your yard.
Retaining walls help control erosion, manage water drainage, create usable terraces, provide stability, enhance safety, improve aesthetics, and increase property value. When designed and installed correctly, retaining walls can transform a challenging hillside into a beautiful, functional, and safe outdoor space. It’s essential to work with a professional or seek expert guidance when planning and constructing retaining walls on a hillside to ensure they are structurally sound and meet your specific needs.
Additional Safety Measures
Safety should be a priority, especially if your hillside is steep. Install handrails on steps where needed. To prevent accidents, install proper outdoor lighting on staircases.
Including safety measures along with taking the proper steps to reduce erosion will create a space that is both beautiful and safe to use.
Reliable Hillside Landscaping in Washington
Landscaping services aren’t just for properties with flat spaces. Hillside landscaping can provide a beautiful area to grow vegetables or cultivate native plants. Adding elements like mulch, terracing, or even hardscaping elements creates a space that you will never want to leave.
Frontier Landscaping provides a quote for their landscaping services in Vancouver and the surrounding areas. Fill out the online contact form or speak to our team directly by calling 360-574-8979.
When you are trying to unwind and enjoy your outdoor space, the last thing you want to worry about is privacy. A privacy landscape design can give you back your space.
Frontier Landscaping provides custom privacy landscaping for homeowners in Vancouver and the surrounding areas.
Whether you want to install a water feature or add greenery with a hedge fence, there are privacy landscaping options to suit any style.
Layer Your Planting
Place the tallest plants and trees in the areas you want to block from view. Start with taller trees or shrubs along the perimeter, and then work your way down with shorter plants, ornamental grasses, and flowers. This multi-level approach not only offers privacy but also adds depth and texture to your landscape.
Plant Shrubs Near Your Fence
If the fence around your property doesn’t provide enough privacy, you can plant shrubs or hedges near the fence line. The layer of greenery adds an extra layer between you and your neighbor while making your property feel more secluded.
Some shrubs and hedges lose their leaves as seasons change, so consider how much privacy you need year-round when choosing your plants. Evergreen plants provide year-round coverage and look beautiful through every season.
Your landscaping team has the training to plant the shrubs and hedges in the perfect place so they have room to grow without the root systems combining and causing serious problems.
Privacy isn’t just about keeping others from seeing you, it’s also about keeping them from hearing you. A water feature adds relaxing background noise while you enjoy your outdoor space while preventing neighbors from overhearing your private conversations.
A custom water feature can also help dampen sounds of nearby traffic and noise your neighbors make as they spend time outside. Whether it’s a small pond surrounded by lush vegetation or a cascading waterfall wall, water features add calm while helping you enjoy your private yard.
Add a Retaining Wall
Retaining walls have a dual purpose. They boost privacy and add stability to your landscape. A stone retaining wall gives you extra space to plant flowers while preventing erosion and other property damage.
You can choose from a number of materials for your retaining wall, including brick, stacked stone, or concrete. A retaining wall is a great way to add visual interest to your property while maintaining your privacy. When combined with native plants, you get a unique yard structure that is durable enough to last for many years with minimal maintenance.
Increase Your Privacy Through Custom Landscaping
You deserve to enjoy your backyard without worrying about curious neighbors watching your every move. Privacy landscaping gives you the option of installing a water feature, living fence, or a soil berm to create a private space that adds to your home’s value.
It’s always a good time to invest in your property and your privacy. For a free quote from Frontier Landscaping in Vancouver, Washington, fill out the online contact form or call: 360-574-8979.
We have some tips if you’re more interested in enjoying the summer months instead of spending your free time maintaining your landscape! With the right approach, you can enjoy a beautiful yard without spending hours on maintenance.
Use perennials and ground covers.
Perennials and ground covers are some of the best ways to reduce landscape maintenance without sacrificing aesthetic appeal. Perennials come back every year, so you don’t have to replant them each spring. Plus, some perennials are drought-tolerant and can survive in various conditions. Ground covers are also great for reducing maintenance because they spread rapidly, eliminating the need to replace lost or damaged plants. Both perennials and ground covers require minimal watering and fertilizer, making them excellent low-maintenance landscaping choices. These plants can also replace a lawn, so less mowing!
Use native plants
Using native plants in your landscape can be a great way to reduce maintenance while still having an attractive garden. Native plants are adapted to the local climate, soil, and moisture levels, making them much easier to care for than other plants that might require more attention.
Create raised garden beds.
Raised garden beds are a great way to make the most of your landscape without spending hours maintaining it. Raised garden beds can be easily installed and provide an easy way to grow vegetables, herbs, and flowers without having to till the soil or pull weeds.
Raised garden beds can be made from various materials, including wood, stone, or concrete blocks. To ensure that the soil in the bed remains loose and well-drained, use a combination of compost and soil to fill the bed.
It is essential to remember that raised garden beds require more watering than traditional gardens, as they tend to dry out quickly. If you install an irrigation system, ensure it can reach the raised beds so the plants are watered.
Mulch is an essential element in any landscape as it helps retain moisture, prevents weeds from sprouting, and adds a decorative touch. Mulch comes in various colors, textures, and materials and can create a uniform look throughout your garden.
When adding mulch to your landscape, remember that too much mulch can harm your plants. Use about two to four inches of mulch, which will reduce weeds and help to retain moisture. Additionally, organic mulches such as shredded bark, pine needles, and cocoa shells are preferable since they provide additional nutrients to the soil.
Using mulch in your landscape is a great way to conserve water, improve soil quality and reduce weeds without extensive maintenance.
Install an automatic irrigation system
Installing an automatic irrigation system is one of the best ways to keep your landscape looking fresh and healthy without spending hours maintaining it. With a properly installed irrigation system, you can save time, money, and water while ensuring that your plants and lawn get the right amount of water.
If you want to have a beautiful landscape year-round, evergreen trees are the way to go. Evergreen trees stay green all year and don’t lose their leaves, which means less time spent raking and less mess around your yard. They also provide a gorgeous backdrop for seasonal plants and flowers. Some popular evergreen trees include pine, spruce, cedar, and fir.
As a full-service landscaping company, we can help handle your maintenance needs, address landscaping issues, and complete projects. Call us today at (360) 574-8979.
Adding texture to your garden is a great way to make it stand out and look unique. By incorporating plants with various textures, you can create an eye-catching display.
From grasses to shrubs and succulents, many plants are spiny, peeling, or feathered in texture that can be added to your landscape.
Perennials for Texture
Perennials are a great way to add texture to your landscape. They come back year after year and can give your garden a unique and beautiful look. Perennials come in all shapes, sizes, and colors and can be used to create any garden design.
Consider plants such as:
- Elephant Ears (Bergenia)
- Sword Fern
- Wild Ginger
- Santolina Chamaecyparissus
- Lamb’s Ear
- Sea Holly
Ornamental Grasses for Texture
Adding ornamental grasses to your landscape is an easy way to add both texture and movement to your yard.
For those looking for year-round interest, ornamental grasses offer great value as many varieties can remain standing throughout the winter months. Their airy habit can soften a landscape and act as a backdrop for other plants in the garden.
When selecting ornamental grasses, consider the size of the mature plants and the amount of sunlight they will receive. Some varieties can reach heights of 4-6 feet and require full sun, while others stay relatively low in height and prefer partial shade.
- Orange Sedge
- Northern Sea Oats
- Black mondo grass
No matter which type of ornamental grass you choose, cutting back the foliage at least once a year is important to keep the grass healthy and encourage new growth. This task is best done in late winter or early spring before new growth begins.
Shrubs for texture
Shrubs are a great way to add texture and depth to your landscape. Whether you’re looking for evergreen shrubs, flowering shrubs, or low-maintenance varieties, many options give your garden year-round texture and interest.
Popular shrubs to include:
- Red twig dogwoods
- Japanese holly
- Evergreen huckleberry
- Oakleaf hydrangea
No matter what type of shrub you choose, be sure to research it thoroughly before planting. Each type of shrub has different requirements for light, water, and soil, so you want to make sure you pick one that will thrive in your garden.
Trees are a great way to add texture to your landscape. They can provide privacy and protection from harsh winds and intense sunlight.
Try the following trees:
- Raywood’s Weeping Arizona cypress
- Pacific Madrone
- River Birch
- Hinoki false cypresses
- Thunderhead Japanese Black Pine
When selecting trees for your landscape, consider the mature size of the tree, as well as its growth rate. Think about where you plan to plant the tree, such as an area with direct sunlight or a more sheltered location with dappled light.
Need help with your landscape design or pairing plants with your hardscapes? Call us for a free consultation at (360) 574-8979.
If you’re looking to reduce your water consumption, there’s no better place to start than your own yard. Whether you’re planting annuals or putting in new shrubs and trees, there are plenty of drought-tolerant gardening tips you can follow to create a beautiful garden with less water.
Drought-Tolerant Plants for the Garden
The best plants for low-water gardens are xeric plants (from the Greek word meaning dry) which are hardy and do well in dry climates. These plants have developed over time to be drought tolerant and use less water than traditional garden varieties.
Arbutus unedo ‘Compacta’
Pacific Wax Myrtle
Sweet Potato Vine
Another option is drought-tolerant ground covers like creeping thyme or purple sage. These types of plants will not only make your garden look lovely but will help conserve water as well!
These plants will still need to be watered during dry spells for the first year or two until they become established. Once established, these water-thrifty plants will save you time.
Keep your soil in check with mulch
Compost and mulch are two of the easiest ways to retain moisture in your garden. A layer of mulch can cut down on water consumption by up to 50%. Compost is also an excellent addition to any soil because it will increase the amount of organic matter present in the soil. Organic matter increases the water-holding capacity of soils and improves nutrient availability. These two materials will both help you create a beautiful garden that won’t need much watering!
Plant closer together
Plant trees and shrubs closer together to provide shade and reduce the need for watering. Put large plants in the center of your garden, or place small plants around them to offer them some protection from strong winds.
Use Stones for Visual Interest
Using stones is one way to add interest to your garden. Stones are natural materials that are found in nature and can be used as focal points in your landscaping. They can also be used to create paths throughout the garden as well as act as barriers and even create shade around plants that need to be protected from the sun.
Dry Creek Beds
You may want to consider adding a dry creek bed to your drought-tolerant landscape. A dry creek bed is a type of garden design that mimics the natural environment by including rock or gravel as pathways and raised beds where plants can be planted.
Install a Water Feature
Installing a fountain in your drought-tolerant garden can actually help reduce water consumption. Typically fountains use about 3 gallons of water per hour. A typical backyard fountain can use up to 300 gallons of water per day. If you are using an electric pump then the cost is more as well. An aerating fountain only uses 3-5 gallons of water per hour. This type of fountain recycles the same amount of water over and over again without ever recharging the reservoir tank with new water.
Landscape Drainage Solutions to Help Problem Areas
We get our fair share of rain in the Pacific Northwest, so it’s not uncommon to have some landscape drainage issues. Adding a rain garden or a dry creek bed are great drainage solutions that can even enhance the look of your landscape.
Water drainage problems in your yard decrease property value and can lead to costly water damage to your house and other structures, as well as plant and turf damage. With a little planning, you can alleviate your drainage issues to protect not only your yard but also your home.
How to Check Your Yard for Drainage Issues
Pay attention to where the trouble spots are in your yard. Are there slopes that could be leveled out, mulched, or other materials added for draining? Is there an area with runoff from the driveway or gutters?
To get a rough idea of where the problems lie, take advantage of heavy rains to watch what happens to the water. Does it gush from the gutter and flood your flower bed or pool below your deck? Is there an area in your yard that becomes a swamp – or that remains swampy all year? Lawns and plants will die and/or become susceptible to disease and pest problems if they’re not able to dry out.
Does water run across the driveway or into the street during a hard rain or, worse yet, soak areas around your home’s foundation? In some cases, the grade was not established correctly and did not take into account that the ground should slope down and away from the house.
Level a sloping yard. To avoid incoming water, the ground should always slope away from your home in all directions. Locate the high and low points of your home and use extra soil to slope the yard away from your house. Melting snow and rain will flow away from your home.
Landscape Drainage Solutions
Choose native plants that prevent flooding in your yard. Native plants can help to prevent soil erosion while also allowing rainwater to drain more efficiently. Some selections for our area are Slough Sedge, Western Columbine, and Pacific Ninebark.
Using mulch in your garden can prevent water from flowing toward your home. In garden areas, grade away from your home and fill with a few inches of mulch. This will help keep soil in place and hold in rainwater. If mulching near your home, make sure the mulch is at least six inches from your siding to avoid moisture wicking and rotting of your home’s exterior.
Consider planting a rain garden. Rain gardens are the perfect solution for curbing erosion and improving water quality. They collect rainwater and water that runs from your gutters and downspouts, creating runoff and filtering it away from your house. They are often created in shallow, landscaped depressions, which helps to naturally absorb rainwater in the ground.
Dry Creek Bed
Install a dry creek bed to provide attractive and functional relief, especially if your landscape has standing water.
Dry creek beds are an excellent choice for addressing places in the landscape that are hard-hit by heavy rains. While a flat place in the yard may benefit more from a simple lawn drain, gradients and hillsides need the water capacity and speed that a dry creek bed can provide during extreme conditions. This drainage solution can be a nice addition to the look of your landscape by using different-sized rocks, boulders, and plantings.
French drains are the most commonly used means of collecting, conducting, and discharging water. This is a trench filled with gravel, sand, or rock (depending on application) and containing a perforated pipe that redirects surface water and groundwater away from an area. The perforated (“weeping”) pipe also allows small amounts to seep into the ground along the way.
Frontier Landscaping offers landscape drainage services. We have years of experience with designing and implementing features that effectively carry water away from problem areas. Our expert installation team will determine the best place to collect excess water, the best method and route to conduct it, and an appropriate discharge point. We do the clean-up, too! Give us a call today!