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Hillside Landscaping

For many first time home owners, landscaping ideas aren't on the top of their list. That's not to say that landscaping isn't important, simply that paying off the mortgage comes first. When a couple does decide to begin landscaping hills and a sloping property can create unexpected challenges.

However, with a little bit of ingenuity and guidance, these sloping burdens can be transformed into near vertical canvas' that will beautiful convey the hillside landscapers ideas.

First off, you are going to have to determine how you are going to access the area. This means a meandering slope, stairs or even a ladder if the terrain can accommodate it. You could even make a combination of the three, using the same material.

Whatever you do try and use materials that are indigenous to the area. These will more seamless integrate into the overall look of your property. Hillside landscaping should never be intrusive considering how much of the eye line it inhabits. Avoid using plastics and bright colors unless they can't be avoided. Wood, rocks and wood chips are always a good bet.

The next step is choosing the appropriate plants. While this may be disappointing, not all plants are suited to grow on inclines. This is less true for flowers and small bushes, while for trees this consideration is essential.

Conifers are your best bet when landscaping a hill. They have a heartier root structure that allows them to be more exposed and make live off of poor soil. Plus they provide year round color.

For the smaller bushes and plants you have more options. If your slope is extremely steep you should try and terrace you landscape. This must be done subtly of course. You don't want your garden to look like an industrial rice paddy.

Try and get some layering going by alternating larger plants with smaller bushier ones. These will conceal the terraces giving your landscaped hillside a seamless quality. Also, don't be afraid to throw some pots in there as well for more delicate plants. They will stand out and catch everyone's attention.

Your last, but biggest challenge is soil erosion. Larger plants with more roots will hold the soil in place and soak up water that might otherwise wash away valuable nutrients. They will also provide shade and shelter from the wind, which is crucial in avoiding erosion by wind.